A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie contains positive messages about the transformative power of forgiveness, the importance of knowing your parents, and the idea that age shouldn't keep you from doing what you've been called to do. Every character seems to have father issues they work out in the course of the movie.
Positive Role Models
Razor is hardworking and generous, but he's also unforgiving for most of the movie. He realizes that if he'd forgiven and moved forward as a younger man, he wouldn't have wasted so much time being lonely and unable to do the sport he loves. Billy realizes he's made some huge mistakes as well and wants to get to know his biological adult son.
Violence & Scariness
It's a movie about boxing, and that's a violent sport. De Niro and Stallone get into a couple of brawls with each other and in one scene with an MMA fighter. The boxing match includes close ups of bloody eyes and bruises. A man is extremely upset when he realizes his son was left alone in a bar. A tasteless joke: "somebody rape this guy already" when two men are jailed for the night.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several references to a tryst that results in an unplanned pregnancy; a few kisses and embraces between Razor and Sally. There are jokes about age (the two men are supposed to be around 60), as well as sex/ oral sex, because a man's nickname is B.J. A boy asks what a B.J. is, and a man says "butterscotch jellybeans" and then goes on to make a innuendo-filled comments about how men "love butterscotch jellybeans." A woman comes on to a man and encourages him to leave a bar with her. They are later caught in the back of an SUV with their shirts off (her bare shoulders are visible).
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Language includes uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "chickens--t," "a--hole," "bitches," "damn," plus exclamations like "Goddamn it" and "Jesus!" coarse euphemisms and colloquialisms for sex (BJs, banging, screwing, etc.), and insults like "loser," "jackass," "moron," "coward," "Webster" (in reference to a short black man), various ways to say "fat" and more.
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Products & Purchases
Lots of product placements, mostly car companies: Dodge, Cadillac Escalade, Mustang, Audi, Nokia Lumia phone, AT&T, ESPN, HBO (HBO Boxing), Target, Adidas, Dancing with the Stars, Apple iPad, Carhartt, Under Armour, Us Weekly, Geritol, and more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Billy owns a bar and adults are shown drinking a lot (Billy to excess). Billy drinks Scotch for breakfast. A young boy is left without supervision at a bar and watches adults drink, dance, and then he even plays quarters (without actually drinking).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Grudge Match is a boxing comedy starring two actors legendary for their on-screen boxers: Robert De Niro (Raging Bull) and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky). As one would expect from a boxing film starring older actors, there are a ton of age jokes as well as fights in and out of the ring (the two men are shown bloody and bruised by the end of the fight). There are a lot of references to weight, age, race, height, and sex (one character's name is B.J., which leads to a lengthy discussion of how much men like to "get" his name). One character is a borderline alcoholic, and the other can't let go of old hurts, but audiences will definitely cheer as the two epic actors get back in the ring. 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 movie's pretty disappointing overall. There is a sort of movie magic in seeing two screen legends go toe to toe, like when De Niro and Pacino played a master thief and dogged detective in Heat -- but of course, Sylvester is no Pacino, and this is no Heat. Neither is it Rocky (despite the various references) or Raging Bull starring sexagenarians. As it is, neither man is particularly likable, and elements of the film (two different men drive rusted, beat-up cars in an age when cars are rust-proof; a man allows his newly met grandson to stay in the care of a bartender) are rather ridiculous.
But if you can keep in good spirits from the novelty of seeing De Niro and Stallone play 60-something boxing rivals, you will laugh a few times, particularly at the supporting characters played by Hart and Arkin, who are both genuinely funny actors. The boxing scenes are pretty uninspired, but given the actors' ages, that might have been for the best. Kim Basinger, still lovely at 60, co-stars as Razor's ex-girlfriend Sally, and Bernthal -- best known for his stint on The Walking Dead -- does his best as Sally and Billy's adult son. Are you going to sing "Eye of the Tiger" afterward? No. But if you stick it out through the credits, you will get a kick out of a cameo featuring real boxing rivals.
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.