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Here Comes the Boom

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Here Comes the Boom Movie Poster Image
Teacher turns MMA fighter in tween-friendly comedy.
  • PG
  • 2012
  • 105 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This is a movie about teachers recapturing what inspires them about educating -- and the idea that one person can make a difference. There's also a positive message about the importance of music education in public schools. And, of course, to always follow your dreams.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mr. Streb is a fabulous music teacher who's invested in his students, repairs instruments for lower-income students, and is generally known as a superstar teacher. Mr. Voss starts out uninterested in his teaching career but ends up recommitting himself to his students and to what motivated him to become a teacher in the first place.


The Mixed Martial Arts training sessions and competitions are realistically brutal. Although they're occasionally comedic, they definitely leave Mr. Voss (and his opponents) punched, scraped, bruised, and injured (sometimes with blood). MMA is up close and hand-to-hand, and there's lots of kicking and punching. Two incidents of vomiting -- which is gross but then becomes comedic.


Mr. Voss flirts with Mrs. Flores every chance he gets, and at the very end he gets his kiss. Salma Hayek wears a couple of cleavage-revealing but not overly risque tops.


A couple of uses of "ass," "hell," "crap," and "oh my God," plus some scatological humor (the vomiting) and mild insults: "stupid," "sucks," "loser," etc.


A few product placements, like Wise potato chips, World's Deadliest Car Chases, Triumph motorcycle, Affliction clothing, Columbia fleece jacket, Diet Coke.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Here Comes the Boom is an action comedy about a teacher who decides to compete in MMA matches to save his school's music department. Even though it deals with a violent sport, there's not too much blood, although there are plenty of bruises, injuries, and hand-to-hand (and foot!) combat. Language and romance are tame (sparing use of words like "ass" and "hell" for the former; some flirting, a date, and one kiss for the latter ), and the messages support the importance of arts education and standing up for what you believe in.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRetired Grandfather October 15, 2012

rabid, face bashing fights

You really have to wonder about folks exposing their kids (and grand-kids) to the rabid, face bashing fights in this movie. I was shocked with the lengthy scene... Continue reading
Adult Written bymadnbaysmom February 24, 2013

Modern Day Rocky for Kids

Hysterical! As picky movie parents (particularly with sexuality)My husband and I absolutely loved this movie. Our girls (10& 13) thought it was one of t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bykobe2487393847 June 13, 2013

really funny, kids would love it

This Kevin James movie was funny, a lot of mma violence, a lot of flirting, and language, and you could do anything with a little courage
Teen, 14 years old Written byCritic2014 February 23, 2014

love it

i like this movie. Watched at age 11. This movie tells us that you should never give up even if the situation is bad. But unfortunately, there was a lot of viol... Continue reading

What's the story?

Scott Voss (Kevin James) is a lackluster high school science teacher who sits around and reads the newspaper instead of instructing his kids. But when the principal (Greg Germann) announces that the school's inspirational music and band teacher, Marty Streb (Henry Winkler), is going to be laid off, Mr. Voss commits to finding a way to raise the $48,000 to save the music program. With the help of one of his citizenship class students, Dutch personal trainer Neko (Bas Rutten), Mr. Voss -- a former high school wrestler -- decides to try his luck in the "cage" of Mixed Martial Arts competitions.

Is it any good?

This movie is just a fun little confection that's got some Octagon action, high school laughs, and odd-couple appeal. James is a likeable comedian, though not all of his movies can be saved by his innately relatable charisma. Zookeeper, for example, was one of 2011's biggest duds. But HERE COMES THE BOOM is like Mr. Holland's Opus meets Warrior, minus all the sentimentality of the former and the gritty drama of the latter. The training sequences with retired MMA star Rutten are particularly amusing, as is the way Winkler's goody-goody music teacher interacts with James' burned-out science teacher.

As in all of James' movies, the object of his attention is a drop-dead gorgeous character, here a sexy school nurse played by Salma Hayek. But their flirtation-turned-romance is at least acknowledged as somewhat far-fetched (she jokes about how many years he's tried to lure her on a date). And the relationship stuff takes a definite back seat to the high school subplot and the MMA action, which is entertaining without being overly bloody or intense. (After all, it's pretty funny to see James walk out to Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy" instead of the new metal "Boom" song he wanted as his signature anthem.) Glee fans, take note: Petite Charice plays one of music department's star students, and she (obviously) gets to belt out a song during a climactic scene.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movies about teachers. Why are public school teachers usually portrayed as either terrible or amazing? Is that realistic?

  • Mr. Voss and Mr. Streb are an unlikely pair. What do they each teach the other? Why do they each consider the other a "hero"?

  • How does Here Comes the Boom compare to other films about high school teachers?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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