Parents' Guide to

Hustle

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Heartwarming basketball dramedy has tons of language.

Movie NR 2022 118 minutes
Hustle Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 15+

Preview it before kids see it

I recommend previewing it if you are considering letting someone younger than 15 see this movie. Our 12-yr-olds have been begging to see it, so I previewed it hoping I could maybe sensor the “bad” parts and let them see the rest, but the difficult language is so pervasive we are going to have to wait until they’re older (and I would still have to mute several scenes). …….. It’s not just the swearing (I’m not under any illusion that they haven’t heard that language at school and on YouTube), it’s the way things are said. E.g., one player tries to get in the main character’s head by saying he (main character) slept with his own mother and that his daughter is a product of that s*xual relationship. In another similar scenario, someone calls the main character’s mother a “wh*re” and then follows it up with a comment about her not even being a wh*re “because wh*res get paid.” ……… The p*rn references are in multiple scenes and more than brief mentions (e.g., included in a discussion about someone ordering it on a hotel TV and that being wasteful because “it’s free on the internet”). …….. I wish there were a cleaner version of the movie, because aside from all the stuff that earned it the R rating, the story is good and even inspiring in parts.
age 15+

Kind role models. Work for your dreams

We liked the positive bond between Bo and Sugarman. The perseverance to work for their dreams. Bo is depicted as a great father to Lucia and Steve is too to his daughter. The best part or potential of social media is portrayed by being used as a tool to bring awareness to Bo’s career Friendship is dearly shown. Both characters have faced the consequences of their actions (assault and drunk driving) and they talk about what they have learnt about.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (11 ):

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.

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