A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The film shows the importance of setting goals and putting in the time and effort to meet those goals. Also, how teens can take constructive action toward solving social problems, especially by learning self defense.
Positive Role Models
Despite the difficulties of attending a new high school and living in a new home with a new stepfather, Matthew Miller proves himself to be resilient and tough, a fighter not just in the boxing ring. As a mentor and coach, Dan Barnes is a patient instructor, dedicated to helping Matthew realize his full potential.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent bullying and taunting, including one teen knocking down another in a school hallway, a fist fight, and several incidents meant to embarrass -- ultimately met with consequences. Boxing violence including one set-up where Hector goes overboard in the ring, leaving Matthew knocked down, bloody, and with a black eye. During legitimate high school boxing matches and sparring practices in the ring, punches land in characters' faces, heads, and chests. Occasionally, a punch leaves a character knocked down or dazed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A high school freshman boy and girl kiss while on a movie date.
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Frequent taunting. A bully frequently calls others in his high school names like "loser" and "poindexter." Also: "sucks," "butt."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Knockout is a 2011 feel-good sports movie starring teen favorite "Stone Cold" Steve Austin with frequent bullying and taunting between the "jock" Hector and the "new kid" Matthew. Even as Matthew trains and learns to box, he is pushed, shoved, called names, and knocked down almost every time he runs into Hector at school. In the boxing ring, Matthew is beaten up and bloodied by Hector. In spite of the bullying, Matthew learns to box, but more importantly, learns to believe in himself, to set and meet realistic goals, and to persevere through the difficulties of high school and family life -- messages that will ring true to older tweens and teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While not in the same league as other feel-good sports movies like Rocky or The Karate Kid, KNOCKOUT makes full use of its limited budget and delivers a movie with lots of boxing action. Besides this, the movie is unafraid to tackle difficult issues like bullying, high school cliques, the challenges of being the new kid in school, and the issues stepparents and stepchildren face living under the same roof. As an actor, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has a good handle on what he can and cannot do, and turns in an enjoyable performance as a high school janitor and former boxer.
Most of the dialogue -- especially between the outcast kids of the high school -- rings true, and even in spite of the occasional moments of overacting from Daniel Magder (who plays the bullied new kid), the characters are both likeable and believable. The bullying scenes and the blood in the boxing matches might be a bit much for younger or more sensitive viewers, but for boxing fans, and fans of Steve Austin's glory days as a pro wrestler, Knockout is an entertaining movie.
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.