A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Never back down or give up trying to achieve your dreams. Hard work and perseverance pay off. Sometimes you have to take a chance. Generosity reaps rewards.
Positive Role Models
Sugerman and Cruz both demonstrate perseverance, pushing through physical, financial, and emotional obstacles to pursue their dreams. Sugerman is very generous with Cruz. Both men's families support their dreams.
The sport of professional (and street) basketball is very diverse, and Sugerman scouts talent from around the world. Cruz is from Spain. Sugerman is White; his wife and daughter are Black.
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Violence & Scariness
Lots of pushing, fighting, and mean-spirited taunts between players on and off the court. A character has a scar from a drunk-driving accident. Another has an assault charge on his record.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mention of "t-tties," compliments that sound "dirty," mentions of "whacking off" and watching pornography. A teen ogles a shirtless man, and a man talks about the topless women at a pool. A man says he can't even look at a Victoria's Secret mannequin without his wife getting angry.
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Extremely strong language, including "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "ass," "dumbass," "hell," "bitch," "goddamn," "damn," "hell," "suck," "cocky bastard," "whore," "t-tties," "balls," "idiot," "stupid," "heck." "Jesus Christ" and "God" as exclamations. Some swear words in Spanish.
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Products & Purchases
Basketball teams, sports brands, sports sponsors.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hustle stars Adam Sandler and is set in the world of professional basketball. It has tons of strong language and on- and off-court tussles and taunting, but the main characters are kind, generous, and hardworking. There's diversity in the cast, and men are portrayed as loving fathers and spouses. Characters demonstrate perseverance, pushing through physical, financial, and emotional obstacles to pursue their dreams and goals. Still, expect pushing, fighting, and mean-spirited taunts between players on and off the court, as well as references to drunk driving and an assault charge. Swearing includes constant use of words like "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "ass," "hell," "bitch," "goddamn," "hell," "suck," "cocky bastard," "whore," "Jesus Christ" (used as an exclamation), "t-tties," "balls," "idiot," "stupid," "heck," and more. 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 sports film will delight basketball fans, but at heart, it's a tender relationship tale about two men and their journey to finally live up to their full potential. Sugerman and Cruz also discover a father/son-like bond in Hustle, which is underscored in a moving scene in which Bo's mother advises him not to ignore the love and dedication that Sugerman has shown him -- and again in a symbolic tattoo that one character gets. The film soars thanks to Sandler's star performance: He toggles seamlessly between drama and comedy (the latter thankfully understated here). As an actor, mature roles like this are where Sandler does his best work. As a character, Sugerman has settled into middle age. "Guys in their fifties don't have dreams -- they have nightmares and eczema," he says, but he does still have a dream -- and Bo embodies it. Pro player Hernangomez is excellent as a talented ingenue with both a temper and a heart of gold.
There are so many cameos by current and veteran players in this film that you have to wonder how much hustling Sandler and his co-producers (including LeBron James) had to do themselves to round up the star-studded crew. Philly fans, affectionately mocked as "the best because they're the worst," will love this tribute (much has already been made about a local donut shirt that Sandler sports). The film rests on its performances (Queen Latifah is a great choice as Sugerman's wife) and story, with the anticipated highs and lows of any good sports movie. There are occasionally perplexing jolts of the camera, Cruz's English goes from basic to fluent in a heartbeat, and Foster's villain is a little over the top, but that's all nitpicking in a movie with this much well-timed humor and genuine heart.
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.