Crooked Arrows

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Crooked Arrows Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Inspiring sports drama about Native Americans, lacrosse.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie celebrates community, family, and teamwork above greed and selfishness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character learns to set aside his greedy, scoffing, disaffected ways and begins to embrace his heritage and his community. He learns how to connect and work with others.


Sports-related hitting, pushing, slamming, and body-checking on the lacrosse field. Some teens are injured, with dislocated shoulders and broken ankles. Very little blood is shown.


The hero mistranslates a Native term, and it comes out "vagina." The teens have a lot of fun yelling this to each other (seen in subtitles) on the field. Also images of sexy, clothed girls dancing on bar tops in a casino, a male character is shown shirtless, and there's some mild innuendo.


"Vagina" is used fairly often but is only seen in subtitles. Also infrequent uses of "ass," "moron," "suck," "frickin'," and "wussy."


Characters occasionally mention brands like Google and iPad. A character also references "CrackBerry," the nickname for BlackBerry.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters are seen with glasses of whisky in a business meeting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crooked Arrows is an inspirational sports drama about a ragtag team of Native American teen lacrosse players and their reluctant new coach. It received its PG-13 rating primarily for comedic use of the word "vagina" (seen only in subtitles), but other than that, there's not much that's iffy for younger viewers. Violence is restricted to the lacrosse field, with pushes, slams, body-checks, and falls. Some teens are injured, but very little blood is shown. There's some mild innuendo and images of sexy (but clothed) girls dancing on a bar top in a casino. Adult characters are seen with whisky in one scene. Kids and teens will learn about Native American culture, including the fact that Native Americans invented lacrosse more than 1,000 years ago.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDusty Fortyfives B. May 17, 2018
With little competition, this is currently the best lacrosse film out there. There are plenty of documentaries for fans of the sport that are superior though.... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 9-year-old Written byH2Clark October 30, 2012

Good-Family-Movie-Night Movie

My family of almost 10 and 8yo boys watched this for family movie night. They loved it, and wanted to know where the local lacrosse teams were. In subscript it... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old December 5, 2013

VERY VERY good movie

I think this movie was very good. The movie was very funny but it had lots of swearing.
At one point in the movie you could see someone's butt. I... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byQB Swag June 9, 2012

not great

It seems that in every single scene you could see something that was made by reebok. In one scene he gives the whole team reebok gear and says that "it... Continue reading

What's the story?

Mixed-blood Native American Joe Logan (Brandon Routh) runs a successful casino and is negotiating to sell off part of his ancestral land to build an even bigger one. But before the elders approve the sale, they have a condition: Joe must "examine his spirit" by coaching the ragtag lacrosse team. At first Joe doesn't take the job seriously, but he soon becomes involved with the lost, unfocused teens. Before long, he's gone back to his roots and discovered how to make the team really work together. But can they defeat a team of wealthy white kids in the championship game?

Is it any good?

Director Steve Rash has made ultra-lowbrow comedies in Hollywood for three decades, and this attempt at a drama is pretty routine, but it demonstrates why some clichés became clichés: they work. CROOKED ARROWS is basically The Bad News Bears without all of the humor, though the tone is still fairly light. What gives it a new twist is the natural heroic, underdog status of the Native American characters, as well as the historical and technical information on the sport of lacrosse.

Routh also helps a great deal; when he played Superman, he was fairly bland onscreen, but since then he's learned how to bring humanity and humility to his characters. Joe is hugely appealing, and his journey is believable, even when the script rushes it. It's too bad Crooked Arrows didn't have time for more interaction with individual players or a more memorable team of bad guys. But by the end, it's difficult not to cheer for the good guys.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Crooked Arrows' themes. How does lacrosse help the main character "explore his spirit"? What does he learn? Is it better to have a strong spirit than a lot of money?

  • Does the movie have a realistic standard for boys' body image? Are there any lacrosse players with less-than-perfect bodies?

  • Are the games violent? Is this kind of violence necessary in lacrosse?

  • How are Native Americans depicted in this movie? Is there any stereotyping?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

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