Ice Girls

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Ice Girls Movie Poster Image
Competitive skaters soar in wholesome family drama.
  • PG
  • 2016
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Parents should accept their children the way they are. Constant criticism damages a child's sense of self-worth. Parents should encourage kids to do what they love. Showing forgiveness is more important than winning.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Mattie, who is hardworking, focused, and forgiving, loses her temper when her mother's inability to make a living forces the family to move in with an aunt in a new city. Mattie supports a skating rival, encouraging her to compete when she loses her nerve. The rival had stolen Mattie's skates but brought them back in time for the competition. A mother constantly derides her skating daughter for weighing too much and makes the daughter promise to win an important competition. Her father appreciates their daughter just the way she is. 

Violence & Scariness

A skater misses a jump and slams into a wall, sustaining an injury that keeps her off the ice for months. A skater's bruised feet are shown. Thugs threaten a teen whose father owes money.


Sexy Stuff

An old beau helps Kelly find a job as a used car salesperson, then hopes she will date him in return. She lets him down gently. A woman wears extremely short skirts and displays some cleavage. A high school boy and girl hug as friends.



Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A doctor prepares to inject Botox into a woman's face. That woman later suggests that her figure skater daughter have some, too, to give her face a more relaxed and judge-pleasing look while competing. Adults drink wine. A doctor injects a girl's injured knee.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ice Girls is a feel-good movie about competitive girls' figure skating, focusing on good sportsmanship, perseverance in the face of injury, and encouraging versus demoralizing parenting styles. A single mom struggles to raise her two girls when her finances crumble. She's too proud to accept help until generous family and friends reach out with financial and moral support. "Crap" is mentioned. Adults drink wine. Thugs try to shake down a teenager whose dad owes them money. A skater misses a jump and slams into a wall, sustaining an injury that keeps her off the ice for months. A skater's bruised feet are shown. A doctor prepares to inject Botox into a woman's face. That woman later suggests that her figure skater daughter have some, too, to give her face a more relaxed and judge-pleasing look while competing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byZelda333 January 31, 2019
Parent Written byAquestra July 22, 2018

Great movie

The mom of the skater sometimes wears short skirts and v necks, and the other mom is really mean to her daughter, another skater, but besides that, this movie i... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 8, 2021

Amazing for older kids!

The outfits can be slightly immodest, but it isn't that bad. There is a bit of anger,but I didn't think too much of it. Overall, it is really good.

What's the story?

Mattie (competitive figure skater Michaela du Toit) is a talented teen figure skater who suffers the multiple challenges of getting injured during an important competition, losing the chance for a "full ride" scholarship and having to move because of her single mom's financial difficulties. ICE GIRLS makes it clear that figure skating is a sport for tough, competitive kids, but also for kids whose parents can afford to buy them lessons, skates, ice time, costumes, and medical care when necessary. When forced to move from Toronto back to the hometown of Mattie's mom, Kelly (Lara Daans), Mattie meets Mercury (Elvis Stojko, three-time world champion skater and two-time Olympic silver medalist), owner of the local rink and skating coach to Heather (Taylor Hunsley). Heather is a good skater whose mother, Rose (Natasha Henstridge) once pined for the man who eventually married (and divorced) Kelly and fathered Mattie. Mattie and Heather become friends, but Rose, who constantly criticizes Heather, undermines the relationship so severely that Heather tries to sabotage Mattie before they meet in an important competition. Mattie, who has worked hard to rehab her knee with Mercury's generous help, now shows what a decent person she is as she forgives Heather and supports her in a difficult moment.  

Is it any good?

This movie seems to be a labor of love, successfully depicting the grit and behind-the-scenes determination young skaters must bring to the ice day after day, year after year. Director Damian Lee cowrote the script for Ice Girls  with his wife, Lara Daans (Kelly), who was a competitive skater before she turned to acting. Scenes of Hunsley and du Toit executing spectacular moves on the ice are well photographed and the story, though sometimes formulaic, is told with professional precision. Young skating fans will find lots to enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of supportive parents in a child's development. What do you think happens to a teen whose mother constantly tells her she's gaining weight? Are the parents in Ice Girls supportive?

  • Parents who press children to do their best can go too far if they become too wrapped up in the child's success. What do you think that kind of pressure could do to a child?  


  • What does it take to be a successful figure skater, aside from physical talent?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Character Strengths

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