Invincible

 
Inspiring sports-underdog story for tweens and up.
  • Review Date: December 18, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

People hang around bars and gripe about their lives. A bar pal is jealous and worries about losing Vince to fame. Vince's wife dumps him and takes all their stuff. Team members get chewed out at various times, and they resent Vince's positive attitude. But overall, this is an inspiring movie about working hard and not giving up.

Violence

Football and sports violence -- you can almost hear bones breaking! Scuffles break out among the fans during a game. Furniture is thrown in one scene, causing damage to a house.

Sex

Mild romance and one passionate kiss between a couple.

Language

Some profanities from teammates and bar buddies.

Consumerism

Lots of stuff from the 1970s: fashion, cars, decor.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of drinking and smoking. Characters are shown drunk; one urinates outside a bar.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes gritty scenes of South Philly in the 1970s, when jobs were scarce, strikes were rampant, and times were desperate. There are also references to the death of Frank's wife. There's some mild profanity, smoking, drinking, and sports violence.

What's the story?

The year is 1976, and things look grim for Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg). After his wife dumps him and he loses his teaching job, the 30-year-old Philly resident learns that the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear), is having open tryouts for the city's pro football team. He has nothing to lose, so he joins dozens of other hopefuls with big dreams. Amazingly, Papale makes the team and goes from fan to player in one fell swoop. Against the wishes of the other coaches and trainers, Vermeil decides to let Papale play. Pretty soon, Papale's a true hometown hero -– an everyman who has the whole town standing behind him, including his working-stiff dad (Kevin Conway), and the attractive Janet Cantwell (Elizabeth Banks). But Vince's sandlot football mates have mixed reactions—a few live vicariously through him, another is jealous and worries about losing Vince to fame and fortune.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sure, it's the classic sports-underdog-defying-the-odds movie that's been done a million times. But it works, which is why studios keep churning them out and why we keep flocking to see them. This one has the added benefit of true life –- Vince Papale is a real person, and this story really happened. And like prize-fighter Jim Braddock in Cinderella Man, Vince gave hope to a lot of people struggling through tough times. They needed something –- and someone –- to cheer for.

The film captures the gritty, financially-pressed times of south Philly in the mid-1970s. Lots of wood paneling, shag carpet, and cheesy garage-band music give it an authentic feel. The football scenes, filmed in cooperation with the NFL and real football players, are intense –- you can almost hear bones breaking. Not only that, Wahlberg is an awesome athlete who did all his own stunts, so those bruises and welts are the real deal. And Vince is a likeable guy. You really want him to succeed -– from the first scenes where his wife dumps him to the local-guy-makes-good ending. Greg Kinnear scores a touchdown as Coach Vermeil, and Elizabeth Banks is surely destined to be a big star. With an inspiring story, snappy dialogue, true-to-life characters, and plenty of goosebump scenes, this movie's a winner.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how our spirit and determination can get us through the rough patches. How do you handle it when it seems like the world is plotting against you? Should you give up when things aren't looking good? Should you let others give up? How did playing on the Eagles help Vince overcome his doubts about his own abilities?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 25, 2006
DVD release date:December 19, 2006
Cast:Elizabeth Banks, Greg Kinnear, Kevin Conway, Mark Wahlberg
Director:Ericson Core
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Drama
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sports action and some mild language

This review of Invincible was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 8 years old April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Great movie for football lovers!

I saw this movie with my Dad. I really like football so I saw it. I play football every day. and also my favorite team are the Eagles so that's another reason I saw it.
Parent of a 5, 8, and 12 year old Written bybeckyhall April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Great family movie

We watched this on New Year's Eve with our boys (11 and 7) and girl (4). It didn't really hold the 4yo's interest, and the 7yo was in and out, but my oldest was enthralled, as we were. Excellent message, well acted, just a good movie! And I don't even like football that much!
Adult Written bysusan paul April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Great family movie

A great story to watch as a family.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass