Field of Dreams

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Field of Dreams Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Baseball crowd pleaser with a supernatural twist.
  • PG
  • 1989
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This is a story about following your dreams, even if everyone thinks you're crazy. Reconnect with loved ones any way you can.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ray and his wife are under a lot of financial stress, but they take the time to listen to their young daughter when she suggests what they should do to earn income. Annie speaks out against closed-mindedness and censorship, and is not afraid to ruffle some feathers in the process.

Violence

Main character hears ghostly voices and sees things that other people cannot see. Terry threatens to beat Ray if he does not leave Terry's house. A child falls from the top of a bandstand and is knocked unconscious. She recovers without any injury. No fighting, no blood.

Sex

Adults kiss in bed.

Language

Moderate use of words like "ass," "hell," "damn," "piss off." Infrequent use of "s--t," "son of a bitch"

Consumerism

Signs that advertise Coca-Cola, Polaroid, Michelin, and Citgo. Some Coca-Cola products are used.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Ray talks about how he "smoked some grass" during the '60s in college. When his wife suggests he is having an acid flashback, Ray responds: "But I never took acid." Men drink beer at a baseball game

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this story about following your dreams and reconciling relationships could appeal to young teens, older teens, and adults, especially families who like baseball. Some positive messages about tolerance and believing in yourself go along with a bit of strong language ("s--t" and "son of a bitch"). There are a couple references to past drug use, as well as a couple tense scenes.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytmahoney June 23, 2019

Potential home run “flies out” due to swearing + drug references

I love Field of Dreams. I grew up in Iowa. But I have to review this movie through the lens of a parent trying to bring up kids in a coarse culture. I cring... Continue reading
Adult Written byRarityfan March 4, 2019

A dream come true

Baseball nostalgia for the whole family in remote dream like fields. Not to forget the hot dog scene and a certain quote. There is an actual Field of Dreams mus... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bySmartTeen16 June 4, 2019

Baseball movie with nothing to do with baseball

This is a very strange, confusing movie with next to no plot, but it did keep me entertained. A dull movie interspersed with sweet moments and an inspirational... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byBrigidArmbrust November 26, 2018

What's the story?

In FIELD OF DREAMS, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) stands in the middle of his first Iowa corn crop and hears a voice say, "If you build it, he will come." He begins to understand that this means he must plow under the corn crop and build a baseball field so that Shoeless Joe Jackson, barred from baseball since 1919 and dead for years, can play on it. Ray and his wife (Amy Madigan) know this is a crazy thing to do, but they do it. And Jackson does show up, with his teammates. Jackson was the hero of Ray's father, a former minor leaguer, with whom Ray had never been able to connect. The voice speaks again: "Ease his pain." Ray comes to understand that this refers to an iconoclastic author of the 1960s named Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones), now a recluse. Ray finds him, and together they hear the voice say "Go the distance." This leads them back in time to find an elderly doctor (Burt Lancaster), who had a brief career in baseball but never got a chance at bat and they set out to find Mann.

Is it any good?

The themes of this pleasantly satisfying movie are dreams, family, and baseball. There are echoes of Ray's father throughout the movie. It begins with Ray's description of growing up, using his refusal to play baseball as his teenage rebellion, and as a way to test his father's love. Ray tells Mann that his father's name was used for a character in one of Mann's books. Ray builds the field to bring back Shoeless Joe, his father's hero, the hero Ray accused of being corrupt because he knew that would hurt his father.

And of course at the end, it turns out that the dream all along was not bringing back the greats of baseball, but of a reconciliation with his father that was not possible before he died. "I only saw him when he was worn down by life," Ray says. His own understanding and maturity are what enable him to see his father as he really was, even before he reappears on the baseball field. Ray asks his father, "Is there a heaven?" and his father answers, "Oh yeah. It's the place dreams come true."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dreams. How do you know when to follow a dream that seems crazy or foolish? What thoughts go into weighing the risks of certain choices? Is there a way to know for sure whether an idea is a good one?

  • How did Ray's experience with the baseball field help him heal his pain related to his relationship with his father? What could you do to mend some family wounds?

  • What kinds of stereotypes are discussed or displayed in this movie?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love baseball

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