Cowgirls n' Angels

 
Feisty star propels wholesome rodeo adventure for kids.
  • Review Date: June 13, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn how much dedication and practice it takes to perform or compete in a rodeo.

Positive messages

Sweet and tender messages about parent-child relationships, never giving up on your dream, and the importance of faith and family. But there are fairly mature themes about single parenthood, rehabilitation, dating tendencies, and the downside to being fatherless.

Positive role models

Despite Ida's occasionally iffy behavior (forging her mother's signature, nearly shoplifting, lying on several occasions), she ends up being a decent, genuine role model for a precocious young girl who just wants to get to know her father. Terence is an understanding, loving, grandfather-like figure who takes Ida in and helps her see how lucky and loved she is, even if her father isn't around. The Sweethearts all support and encourage their pesky new addition.

Violence & scariness

The rodeo can be a dangerous place -- falls and injuries occur regularly. A little boy falls off of a cow; the protagonist falls from a horse while doing a stunt and hurts herself; an elderly man collapses and is later hospitalized.

Sexy stuff

A young man and woman flirt, dance, kiss and start a relationship. They're shown embracing and kissing briefly a couple of times; in one scene, the girl's rodeo coach advises her not to fall for a rogue cowboy.

Language

Mild insults and exclamations like "stupid," "liar," "damn," "oh Lord," "hellbent," etc.

Consumerism

Not quite a product placement, but Ida has a poster of Chuck Norris' Code of Ethics in her room, and she's obviously a fan of his; other references to him include the fact that people think her biological dad (whose name is Walker) has something to do with Walker, Texas Ranger.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Young adults drink beer at a post-rodeo party, and at one point a young woman says she shouldn't drink because she used to have a problem with overdoing it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cowgirls n' Angels is a family drama appropriate for tweens and mature kids who can handle the theme of a girl searching for the father she's never known. The 12-year-old protagonist makes some questionable decisions in her search, but she's shown the error of her ways and ultimately learns how loved she is despite the circumstances. One secondary character has a romance, and she and her beau drink beers and kiss a couple of times. The language includes a few minor insults ("damn" and "hell"), and the violence features rodeo injuries and a hospitalized older man. Ida is a strong, precocious heroine, and her journey proves that with persistence and discipline, even the seemingly impossible is achievable.

What's the story?

Ida Clayton (Bailee Madison) is a precocious 12-year-old living in Oklahoma. She calls herself "half-orphaned," because her single mother (Alicia Witt) never mentions Ida's presumably deadbeat dad. Ida, however, has a postcard that proves his name is Walker and that he at one point worked for a rodeo. With this scarce information, Ida decides to scope out the local rodeo circuit and even joins the Sweethearts team of female trick riders coached by the kindly Terence Parker (James Cromwell), who knew her late grandfather. With the help of her new teammates, Ida continues to search for her father and even convinces herself that if she becomes a top rodeo attraction, he'll want to meet her.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although her Southern accent is spotty, Madison is charming enough to carry this family drama with the help of supporting characters like Cromwell and Witt. Played by a different child performer, Ida could easily have been intolerable, but in Madison's hands, she's the kind of underdog you can't help but root for, even when she's being a supremely misguided pest. There's something about how plucky (and, yes, a teensy bit devious) Ida is to find her father that will endear her to younger audiences.

The Sweethearts subplot offers tween girls the benefit of a romantic storyline between Kansas (Friday Night Lights alum Dora Madison Burge) and a handsome cowboy (Twilight vampire Jackson Rathbone) who becomes smitten with the rodeo gal. Their slightly forbidden love story isn't dazzling high drama, but there's just enough to hook in the 11-13 set. While sentimental movies can be a hard sell for some parents, COWGIRLS N' ANGELS at least boasts good performances and a tender message for both parents and kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Cowgirls n' Angels is consistent with the typical adventure of a child looking for her missing parent. Is Ida like other plucky young heroines?

  • Ida does some pretty unethical things in her search for her father. Is it appropriate to show such a young girl lying, shoplifting, and blatantly disobeying her mother? How is she redeemed in the story?

  • Why do you think "girls who love horses" movies are so popular? Which are some of the best horse films, and how does Cowgirls n' Angels compare?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 25, 2012
DVD release date:October 2, 2012
Cast:Bailee Madison, Jackson Rathbone, James Cromwell
Director:Timothy Armstrong
Studio:Samuel Goldwyn Company
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Horses and farm animals
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild thematic elements and brief language

This review of Cowgirls n' Angels was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous September 19, 2014
age 8+
 

Great family movie!!!

I LOVE this movie!!! There is some "kissy kissy" though between Kansas and a cowboy. There is also a part where a man goes to the hospital because he has cancer but overall it's perfect for families and there is a bunch of great songs too.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written bysenseandsense June 26, 2012
age 6+
 

contemporary classic

really good film and really good repeat viewing via dvd
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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