Crooked Arrows Movie Poster Image

Crooked Arrows



Inspiring sports drama about Native Americans, lacrosse.
  • Review Date: May 23, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Positive role models

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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:May 18, 2012
DVD release date:October 23, 2012
Cast:Brandon Routh, Chelsea Ricketts, Crystal Allen
Director:Steve Rash
Studios:Branded Pictures Entertainment, Peck Entertainment
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Great boy role models, High school
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some suggestive references

This review of Crooked Arrows was written by

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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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What parents and kids say

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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 does have the word "vagina" and I did have to explain it. As the review says, a good cliche movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
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 think your kids will enjoy this movie if your kids are 10.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
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's the best stuff on the market." The movie was also extremely stereotypical. The same thing happens that happens in every sports movie SPOILER ALERT***!!! 1. they start off losing 2. a new coach comes in and they do better 3. the team starts bonding 4. coach messes up 5. they play in the championship game and the coach makes it up at halftime 6. the star player gets hurt 7. he goes back in and scores the winning goal
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much consumerism


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