Full Out

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Full Out Movie Poster Image
True story of gymnast who overcame multiple obstacles.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Don't give up even when odds against triumph are slim. Do the things you think you cannot do.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ariana Berlin took her aching, broken body and, ignoring discouraging words from doctors, worked her way back into competitive shape to perform winning high-level college gymnastics against all odds. For a brief moment, when gymnast friends refer to Ariana's new hip-hop group as "lowlifes," sentiments seem uncomfortably like racist stereotyping, but later the groups merge in friendship and respect.

Violence & Scariness

A girl and her mom are in a car accident that results in major leg and other injuries for a gymnast.

Sexy Stuff

Two dancers look like they might kiss, but don't.

 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Full Out is an entertaining and uplifting account of real-life competitive gymnast Ariana Berlin, who came back from a debilitating, seemingly career-ending car accident to compete for UCLA's legendary women's gymnastics team. In her recovery she works with a group of hip-hop dancers to help them refine their techniques, and in turn they teach her how to get back to her life. For those who suffer great setbacks, especially young people, this will be an inspiring demonstration of how much is possible if you commit to the pain and hard work that achievement requires.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRandomnessisran... April 2, 2021

Great movie for teens who love gymnastics and sports

This is one of the best true stories I’ve ever seen besides dolphin tale, soul surfer and other true stories
It has a great plot, and Ariana is amazing
There is... Continue reading
Parent Written bysshanahan000 March 29, 2021

Inspiring True Story

This movie is very inspiring and a great pick for families who love gymnastics. I recommend this.
Kid, 12 years old January 25, 2021

Inspiring gymnastics tale

This movie was one of the ones constantly playing throughout my house when I was nine. Although characters may have some unrealistic elements, it is a good stor... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylaer5497 June 17, 2020

What's the story?

FULL OUT is based on the true story of high schooler and competitive gymnast Ariana Berlin (Ana Golji of TV's Degrassi), who suffered two broken legs, broken ribs, a broken wrist, and punctured lungs, as well as a collar bone injury, in a major car accident and was told by doctors that gymnastics would probably be off the table for her even after recovery. Grueling rehab, depression, and continuing pain didn't stop her from trying. In the film, her supportive physical therapist Michelle (Asha Bromfield) is a hip-hop dancer in her spare time, and to lift Ariana's spirits and give her a sense of purpose, she invites the gymnast to help her dance group improve their techniques. Strong bonds form. Ariana's best friend, Isla (Sarah Fisher), is accepted onto the famed UCLA women's gymnastics team and also makes the Olympic team, two of Ariana's personal goals, which causes a rift between them. Will Ariana have the strength to keep working hard to reach her goals?

Is it any good?

Originally a Lifetime film, this follows the worn path of other movies about athletes overcoming debilitating obstacles, but, like many such offerings, it's surprisingly fun to watch. Ana Golja is a pert and engaging dancer, and her performances with a great troupe of hip-hop dancers are nicely choreographed and pleasing. In a lovely touch, the filmmakers of Full Out enlisted Berlin to play herself, doubling for Golja in all the gymnastics routines. It's also fun to see outtakes of scenes in which the actual UCLA coach Valorie Kondos Field (played by the far-too-tall Jennifer Beals) is a judge, and three Olympic medalists make cameos. "Tall" and "gymnast" don't usually go together, so gymnasts watching will probably find such casual casting puzzling.   

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it takes to overcome setbacks. What are some character strengths Ariana displayed in her return to gymnastics after her accident?

  • Full Out suggests that going outside your discipline to learn from others can help enrich your expertise in your own area. How do you think injection of hip-hop dance elements changed Ariana's gymnastics performances?

  • What did you think of the UCLA coach? Did she seem harsh? Did she also seem supportive? What are the best ways coaches can motivate their athletes to perform at the highest level?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate