A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While not specifically educational, positive messages abound in this movie, and families can relate many of them to their own issues with sibling rivalry, communication barriers between parents and kids, and adherence to family values. The concept of fair play is also key to the story, which is a great lead-in to talks about sportsmanship for all ages.
The story's themes include forgiveness, honesty, social responsibility, teamwork, and community-mindedness. A family overcomes years of misunderstanding and animosity to emerge stronger, thanks to everyone's willingness to communicate their feelings and see things from another perspective. Jake comes to appreciate family and friends over fame and fortune, and when he faces a choice between personal motivation and honesty, he sticks to his values despite pressure to compromise them.
Positive Role Models
Jake learns to use his fame to inspire those around him to succeed both in football and in life by playing fair, respecting others, and working as a team. He comes to terms with his past mistakes and finds forgiveness from his family and himself by communicating his feelings and committing himself to a more selfless life. He finds strength in his family's adherence to fairness, perseverance, and responsibility. The film lacks racial diversity.
Violence & Scariness
A father suffers a heart attack and is in the hospital. Some football-game physicality.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A sweet romance develops between adults, culminating in one kiss.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The movie is sponsored by Walmart and Procter & Gamble, and products like Lay's potato chips and PlaysStation appear in a couple of scenes without disruption to the story.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this touching movie from Walmart and Procter & Gamble's Family Movie Night ensemble is a sure hit for families. The story follows a family's efforts to reconnect after a long-held rift, and the process could well inspire viewers who identify with the characters' struggles to find forgiveness. Relationships between siblings and between parents and adult children are explored, and there are great messages about tolerance and love. Teamwork, integrity, and emotional fulfillment are also major themes, and much of the story investigates what defines a role model and how that role model inspires those who revere him, so there's plenty to discuss as a family at the movie's end. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
GAME TIME: TACKLING THE PAST is an inspiring story of forgiveness and perseverance that will have families cheering from the sidelines -- or at least from their living rooms. You don't have to be a sports fan to get wrapped up in how the drama plays out on the football field as well as in Jake's family's home, and the movie's messages about integrity, respect, fair play, and teamwork are illustrated simultaneously in both venues, giving families many opportunities to draw parallels between the characters' experiences and their own. And if your kids do like to watch or play sports, then there's even more value to the lessons in sportsmanship and teamwork that are woven through this tale.
Although the movie is fictional, it does offer an intriguing glimpse of the life of media heroes when they're away from the cameras. The story explores Jake's personal insecurities, which are rooted in long-unresolved misunderstandings with his family; this vulnerability, coupled with his willingness to communicate his feelings and make amends for his past mistakes, makes him an endearing and relatable character. In addition to the wonderful lessons of integrity and family relationships that the story offers, it provides a good chance to talk to your kids about their own role models and the media's role in perpetuating celebrities' image.
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.