A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While the main character starts out as a hard-drinking, self-centered hotshot on and off the field (and in jail), he evolves to embrace higher principles ofÂ "honor," forgiveness, sobriety, and sportsmanship/spirituality. With no denomination specifically mentioned but references to the "Father in Heaven," the Highland team are a prayerful group; pre-game ceremonies even invoke blessings and respect for opposing teams, and they participate in community charities and good-Samaritanship. Multiculturalism prevails on the ethnically mixed team, with particular attention to Pacific islanders and Maori of New Zealand.
Violence & Scariness
Rugby action and tackles sometimes result in bloody noses and wounds. Off-field scuffling. Brief, non-explicit shot of drunken car accidents, one fatal.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief scenes of affectionate teens in bikinis and swimsuits around the pool. Mild sex innuendo ("Rugby's not the only thing I'm good at").
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No verbal profanity, but characters make middle-finger gestures.
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Products & Purchases
Mostly product labels of rugby-gear manufacturers.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens raucously drink and party, including the bad-boy hero; when he sobers up, his former friends turn against him. Consequences shown in more than one drunk-driving tragedy. Athlete Rick takes narcotics. A laundry-list of jailhouse drugs is recited.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this bad-boy-makes-good-on-the-team drama includes scenes of alcohol- and drug-fueled partying, and consequences (one fatality) occur because of drunken driving. There is some blood in the roughhouse rugby action. A juvenile prison environment includes fistfights and references to drugs. Though the bad-boy main character reforms his errant ways, he gets persecuted by his former friends and teammates for doing so. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This sort of formulaic sports-redemption drama has been told before, and probably will be again (and it's been parodied in comedies like The Comebacks and Dodgeball). Even with the based-on-actual-events qualifier, practically everything here will be formula-familiar and predictable, right down to the slow-motion in the championship game finale.
On the plus side of the scorecard, families, especially in religious households, can watch without particular penalties. There's no strong reason for the PG-13 rating; filmmakers bench all swearing from the dialogue, but still manage to convey the atmosphere of a rough, tough sport thanks to the hardworking actors. Rugby, high school or otherwise, is relatively underexposed in American jock flicks, and this is a sturdy promo, and points about unity and respecting one's opponents -- even honoring long-gone team members whose jersey numbers you've inherited -- are well made. The prison subplot would normally seem an unexpectedly harsh milieu, but the wayward hero spends so little time there it really doesn't carry much impact.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.