Draft Day

 
(i)

 

Sports fans will cheer for intense football drama.
  • Review Date: April 11, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 109 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence

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

Sex

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."

Language

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!"

Consumerism

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.

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.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:April 11, 2014
DVD release date:September 2, 2014
Cast:Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Tom Welling
Director:Ivan Reitman
Studio:Summit Entertainment
Genre:Drama
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:109 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:brief strong language and sexual references

This review of Draft Day was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Inspiring sports film about a real-life underdog.
  • Inspiring football drama brings history to life.
  • Feel-good Cruise flick; racier than you remember.
  • Fantastic, inspiring baseball drama covers all its bases.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byexa121RC April 11, 2014
 

...NO FOR KIDS?

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 KIDS rating, which basically translates to 18+. I assume that it is an error, that the reviewer forgot to put the final wraps on this review but it would be fair of him to get back to me on the issue if he can at all. No pressure.
Kid, 11 years old April 14, 2014
 

Great for football fans!

As a huge NFL football fan, I give this 5 out of 5 stars. It does contain some frequent strong language, and a few sexual references. I think that this movie appeals more to football fans. Non-football fans may get lost in some parts of the movie.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byiPunk April 13, 2014
 

Okay movie, but I'm not a football fan

The story was counting down for draft day, and the majority of it is on a stage in front of an audience. The interesting part was, there has never been a women's football team. All professional football teams are males. Some may say its weird for women to play football, or any sport. In fact some say a woman liking sports is a sign of them being a lesbian. The movie was overall okay, but I'm not a football fan.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass