Draft Day

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Draft Day Movie Poster Image
Sports fans will cheer for intense football drama.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 109 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie is about how football requires heart, not just talent -- and how even the best player on paper can be a letdown in real life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ali is a smart woman who knows as much about football as any of the male NFL staffers. She explains how much harder it is for women to be taken seriously in professional sports, and she's usually the voice of reason. Sonny is dedicated to football, to his team, and to drafting a player based on his character -- not just his marketability.


An upset quarterback trashes his general manager's office, and Sonny angrily throws a laptop on the floor.


The movie starts with a "morning after" scene of a woman (who has obviously spent the night) taking a shower (her back is seen) while her lover gets up to dress and make breakfast. Some kissing and references to sex, especially a popular handsome quarterback who has a website of all "the girls he's smashed."


Adults curse frequently throughout the movie, usually in anger, frustration, or as an insult. Words include "s--t," "f--k," "a--hole," "bitch," "damn," and exclamations like "Jesus Christ!," "Chrissakes!," "goddamn!" and "Christ!"


American cars, particularly GMC trucks/SUVs, Dodge Challenger; Sierra Mist; Sunoco; and, of course, ESPN.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some adult drinking and references to a 21-year-old football player's birthday party, where everyone got drunk and disorderly and cops were called.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Draft Day is a drama about the behind-the-scenes negotiations that go into football's annual big recruitment day. Although the movie is all about football, hardly any scenes actually take place on the field, so it will primarily appeal to die-hard NFL fans who know or are curious about the inner workings (however fictional) about the draft process. The movie, which was originally rated R until the MPAA overturned its decision on appeal, features lots of strong language (particularly "s--t," "a--hole," and "bitch," but also "f--k" a time or two). There are some references to sex, some kisses, and a brief shot of a woman's back as she's showering at her boyfriend's house, but nothing too risque. If the language isn't an issue for you, and your teen can handle that this football movie takes place mostly in an office (with general managers on the phone!), Draft Day is fine sports drama.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byexa121RC April 11, 2014


Puzzling. It is only a PG-13 rating, the reviewer clearly states it's appropriate for teens (especially sports fans) yet it is labeled with a harsh NOT FOR... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old May 14, 2015

Boring drama about football has tons of swearing and sports action.

My rating PG-13 for: language, violence, and brief nudity.

What's the story?

DRAFT DAY is a behind-the-scenes look at how the NFL's biggest day (besides the Super Bowl) works, from the perspective of Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner). Weaver is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, the team with the No. 7 draft pick that needs a great player to turn things around. He's got his eye on stellar defensive player Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman), but the team's owner (Frank Langella) forces Sonny to pick bankable, Heisman-winning QB Bo Callahan (Josh Pence) to fill the stadium with fans. So Sonny makes a trade with the Seattle Seahawks' GM for their No. 1 pick in exchange for three years of future first- and second-round picks. The swap angers the team's new head coach (Denis Leary), and, as the big moment approaches, Sonny realizes that he needs to decide whether to go with his gut or his job security.

Is it any good?

If you've never watched or paid attention to the NFL's annual Draft Day, it would be easy to dismiss this sports drama as likely to be uninteresting; but that's not the truth. Like Moneyball was to baseball, Draft Day is about how a team's general managers, coaches, and owners (not to mention the players) have competing interests that make their sport much more complicated than what the fans see on any given Sunday. Both football and non-football fans will be compelled by this fascinating (if predictable) look behind the curtain.

One of the best parts of the film is the way that Ali (Jennifer Garner), the team's finance officer, proves that she knows just as much about the sport as all the men around her. Boseman also gives a stand-out performance as Vontae, who has two young orphaned nephews to raise and can't really afford to be too low of a draft pick. His grounded, authentic charm and surprising honesty are the perfect counterpoints to Bo's Tom Brady-meets-Tim Tebow golden-boy polish. As for Costner, he might be aging, but he can still muster the intensity of sports office politics: a fraught phone call, an angry meeting, or an uncomfortably tense conversation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Draft Day compares to other football-themed films. Were you surprised that little of the movie involved actually seeing any football? What are some of your favorite football movies?

  • What's the movie saying about the world of professional football? Compare and contrast the interests of the owners, general managers, coaches, and players. Whose interests have the game at heart, and whose interests are more about business?

  • The general managers take a lot of risks on draft day. What are some of the unknowns that can affect how well a player ends up doing in the NFL? Why is draft day such a high-stakes event?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

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Themes & Topics

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