From the Rough

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
From the Rough Movie Poster Image
Solid sports tale has positive messages, feel-good themes.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 97 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Positive sports-themed messages about all you can achieve when you believe in yourself, work hard, stay focused, and work as a team.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Coach Starks, the first woman to coach a men's golf team, is tough but fair, holds her team and herself to high standards in sports and academics, and won't let anything stand in her way. The members of the golf team model clean-cut behavior for college kids, learn to pull together, and support one another on and off the field. Lots of African-Americans in leadership and authority-figure roles; college kids model academic, professional, and athletic excellence. 

Violence

A fight with a punch or two thrown; consequences show a bruised face and risk of expulsion from the team. A few shoving matches with people knocked to the ground.

Sex
Language

"Knob," a British slang term for "penis," is used once.

Consumerism

Ping, a few Nike logos visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinks in red plastic cups at a frat party are not identifiable.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that From the Rough is based on the true story of Catana Starks, the first female coach of a men's college golf team. The movie offers a lot of inspirational and admirable characters, from students to administrators, who model academic, professional, and athletic excellence. One punch is thrown and there are a couple of shoving matches. "Knob," a British slang term for "penis," is used once. The film is full of positive role models of African-Americans in leadership roles on the field and in the board room. There also are plenty of positive sports-themed messages about working hard, staying focused, believing in yourself, and being a supportive, cohesive team.

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What's the story?

Catana Starks (Taraji P. Henson) is coaching the women's swim team at Tennessee State University when the new athletic director (Henry Simmons) wants to start a men's golf program there. Coach Starks sees the opportunity to get back to the sport she loves best and lands the job as the new program's coach. On a shoestring budget and at first unable even to offer scholarships, Starks manages to assemble a group of international golfing misfits. With her job on the line, she'll have to mold them not only into a group of winners but also into a winning team.

Is it any good?

FROM THE ROUGH is a feel-good sports story about a lovable bunch of misfits and the coach who helps them triumph against the odds. There's a lot to admire about Coach Starks, and the movie's heart is in the right place with lots of positive role models, especially for African Americans, and lots of positive you-can-do-it messages. The cast is solid, and the characters are colorful and relatable, but no one really shines. The story's laid out in fairly broad strokes that lack subtlety; drama and suspense also are in short supply as it moves toward the inevitable conclusion. But kids should find it's an enjoyable and inspirational ride, even if you already know exactly where it ends up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about people's reactions to Coach Starks. Why was it hard for some people to believe she was the coach of the men's team?

  • Kendrick Paulsen, the athletic director, called Coach Starks smug and arrogant. Do you agree? How do you think he would have described a male coach who did the same things?

  • Which sports do you enjoy? Does this movie make golf seem more interesting to you? Do you think you'd like to try it?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love sports

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