Jerry Maguire Movie Poster Image

Jerry Maguire

Feel-good Cruise flick; racier than you remember.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1996
  • Running Time: 139 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some characters are superficial, shallow, and conniving, but they don't necessarily win in the end.

Positive role models

Sports agents are depicted as callous, ruthless, and backstabbing businesspeople who will do anything to sign players. One man, however, develops a conscience and tries to care more about the people in his professional and personal life. A single mother is obviously a good person who dotes on her son, but she struggles to make the right choices for the right reasons. Some professional athletes are shown as superficial, reckless, and spoiled, although a main character -- a football player -- demonstrates genuine love for his family and friends and rediscovers his passion for the sport.


A woman punches and kicks her fiancé after he breaks up with her. A football player gets injured during a game and is unconscious on the field for several tense moments. A woman slaps and kicks her brother-in-law.


A man and woman are shown having loud, vigorous sex. Although the woman's bare back is to the camera, her breasts are briefly glimpsed. The couple is later shown sitting naked at a table, eating strawberries. A woman and man are shown passionately kissing and touching; they are later shown in bed together. An intoxicated man kisses a woman and fondles her breast. Locker-room scenes show male athletes in various stages of undress, including several shots of naked behinds.


Cursing throughout, such as "motherf--ker" and "bulls--t."


Athletes are shown endorsing various products and companies; brands such as Chevrolet and Reebok are mentioned. A woman is shown drinking a Coke.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes and cigars. A woman smokes what appears to be a joint. A main character is shown visibly drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie handles many grown-up themes, such as professional ethics, moral crises, romantic relationships, intimacy issues, and single motherhood. A raucous sex scene opens the movie, but is usually cut out when shown on TV. There's still plenty of locker-room nudity the audience almost sees, and more sex later in the movie. Some characters are superficial, shallow, and conniving, but they don't necessarily win in the end.

What's the story?

Jerry (Tom Cruise), a sports agent, lives for the deal -- that is, getting money and fame for the professional athletes he represents. But one day he has an awakening. It comes after he visits a football player who's just suffered his fourth concussion and whose family is sick with worry. Disillusioned with his cutthroat industry, Jerry composes an idealistic memo -- or "mission statement," as he repeatedly calls it -- in which he urges colleagues to have a heart, to start caring more about people and less about profits. He distributes it at an industry convention, and his boss promptly fires him for going soft. With only one client who sticks with him, Jerry must start all over again as an independent agent. In the process, he learns about himself, discovers the importance of loyalty, and ultimately comes to value the people in his life much more.

Is it any good?


JERRY MAGUIRE is a feel-good movie, the kind that has viewers rooting for an everyman who struggles to do the right thing in a world where it's much easier to do the opposite. The movie is both touching and funny. Cuba Gooding Jr. is not only hilarious as Jerry's sole client, but he gives his football-player character depth and compassion. The friendship that develops between him and Jerry is humorous and believable. Meanwhile, Renée Zellweger holds her own in her first major role as Dorothy, Jerry's loyal co-worker, his love interest, and the mother of an adorable son (played by Jonathan Lipnicki). Bonnie Hunt is solid as Dorothy's wary but well-meaning sister.

Director Cameron Crowe and his cast create several scenes that have become well known and spoofed often. The amped-up "show me the money" exchange between Gooding and Cruise is particularly memorable. And phrases like "you complete me" and "you had me at hello" are practically part of American vernacular. Although it occasionally gets sidelined by schmaltz, Jerry Maguire ultimately hits the right balance between satisfying chick flick and thumbs-up sports cinema.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays the world of professional sports: How are the players and people behind the scenes represented? Are they interested in the sport itself and each other, or are they driven more by dollar signs? What does Jerry Maguire do to make a positive difference?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 13, 1996
DVD/Streaming release date:June 25, 1997
Cast:Cuba Gooding Jr., Renee Zellweger, Tom Cruise
Director:Cameron Crowe
Studio:Sony Pictures
Run time:139 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and sexuality

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byREDSKINSFAN November 29, 2009
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byDee R. November 4, 2009


What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bylelexy2000 October 24, 2009
i thought the movie jerry maguire was an excellent sports movie. i love Cameron Crowe as a director. Jerry maguire was ok for 15 and up
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models