Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A young man works around the clock to support his family and achieve his dreams of motocross victory. It's not always easy, but he soldiers on and learns some important lessons.
Positive Role Models
The main character, Cale, is a hardworking teen who's genuinely supportive of his mom and sister. He carries a load that’s probably heavier than most other teens, working long hours to help pay the bills and barely having time for his motocross passion. Other role models are a more mixed bag -- Cale's mother, though devoted, may have lied about something big, and his father is MIA. And Cale's steady girlfriend seems to look down on him for not having a clear path to financial success.
Violence & Scariness
Two friends have a shoving fight, and rivals on the track perform dangerous stunts to outrace each other. A teen damages another person's car in a moment of rage and gets in trouble with the cops. Also some taunting between competitors.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couples kiss. Some close dancing at a teen party. Lots of flirting.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
A few words like “dumba--“ come up, but otherwise it’s fairly clean.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Lots of motocross logos prominently featured, including Kawasaki and Honda.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There's some underage drinking at a party the main character delivers pizza to (and then proceeds to walk around while looking for someone), but he doesn't partake.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that coming-of-age sports drama Free Style is grittier than what tweens and teens who "met" star Corbin Bleu through the hit High School Musical movies might expect. Although there's little swearing ("dumba--" is as strong as it gets) and the romance is pretty tame (expect a bit of kissing and flirting), there's a brief scene of underage drinking, and the themes are more mature than tween-targeted Disney fare -- including financial struggles, family and friendship stress, and the challenges that can come with being biracial. The motocross races have a fair bit of action, with the main character and his rival performing some dangerous stunts in an effort to outdo each other. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's nothing seriously wrong with FREE STYLE, but there's nothing great about it, either. Its simplistic plot seems better suited for an after-school special than a big-screen treatment. That said, it's entertaining enough for Bleu fans who simply want to enjoy their idol's talents. (We know he can sing and dance, but he can apparently ride motocross bikes pretty solidly, too.) He does fairly well with the film's heavier themes; his scenes with Madison Pettis, who plays his younger sister, are especially poignant.
The racing scenes are thrilling enough, and the fact that the film explores the challenges of being biracial is admirable -- though it just scratches the surface of the issue. Actually, that's pretty much all Free Style does with most of its plot points, including motocross: It sputters and doesn't quite go full throttle. And there's the rub.
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.