Miles

Movie review by
Nayanika Kapoor, Common Sense Media
Miles Movie Poster Image
Coming-of-age dramedy is mature but has worthy messages.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

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

Positive Messages

Positive messages about courage, working hard to achieve your dreams, and persevering against obstacles. Also emphasizes the importance of a supportive team and standing up for what you believe in. Encourages questioning gender norms and pursuing passions no matter who or what is in your way.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Miles consistently works hard and overcomes several obstacles to achieve his goal. He's ambitious and dedicated. Coach Leslie and team members stand up for Miles in the face of resistance, showing an authority figure and peers taking action against bullying. Miles' mom is supportive of his dreams and makes sacrifices make sure she can help him to the best of her ability.

 
Violence

Brief yelling scene, shouted threats.

 
 
Sex

Graphic sex scene between adult characters; partial nudity. Several references to sexting. Miles uses AOL to chat with strangers, who ask him whether he's "jerking off," at which he point he masturbates. Miles' mother is online, pretending to be Miles, when a boy asks whether he "has his d--k in his hand." A character tells Pam that she "needs to get herself d--k" and she's "rambling on about c--k." She’s encouraged to sleep around after her husband's death. Graphic sex talk. An adult man has an affair with a younger girl.

Language

Swearing is common but not constant; words include "hell," "bulls--t," "horses--t," "c--k," "d--k," "damn," and one use of "f--k." One character says "f-g" and suffers consequences as a result. Insults.

 
Consumerism

AOL is used/mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Miles' mother gets drunk during a date and later tells Miles that she should "lay off the wine." Characters encourage Pam to get a drink with them at the bar.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Miles is a story of perseverance and courage about an LGBTQ teen who dreams of going to college in Chicago. The movie has mature content, including several references to sexting and masturbation, as well as a graphic sex scene (with partial nudity) between adults. Miles talks to strangers online, sharing personal information with no consequences. Swearing is common but not constant; there's one use of "f--k," plus "d--k," "c--k," and "bulls--t." Drinking is infrequent, but one adult character does get drunk. Both adults and Miles' volleyball teammates stand up for him against bullying and backlash from his community. Older teens are likely to appreciate the movie's messages about overcoming adversity, defeating the status quo, and working hard to achieve your dreams.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byXan L March 2, 2018

A good story

Miles learns to face challenges and persevere in the face of intense adversity. The film emphasizes it's ok to be different even when others don't thi... Continue reading

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What's the story?

MILES is the story of a teen from a small town who dreams of escaping to the big city and becoming a filmmaker. After his father passes away and Miles (Tim Boardman) and his mom, Pam (Molly Shannon), realize that he was having an affair, they begin to navigate life on their own -- dealing with money problems, dating, and grief. Miles finds a volleyball scholarship at Loyola University in Chicago, so he joins his high school's girls' volleyball team (there is no boys' team). Despite support from his coach and teammates, Miles is bullied and prevented from playing by his peers and school administrators. Throughout the movie, he chats online with a closeted boy from Chicago. Miles, who's gay, encourages his online friend to come out to his family; in turn , the other boy encourages Miles to fight for his dreams. The movie follows Miles' quest to get to Chicago -- using volleyball, AOL, and eventually his camcorder.

Is it any good?

This feel-good coming-of-age dramedy touches on several important themes: LGBTQ identity, gender equality and stereotypes, loss, and financial issues. But it never dives deep enough into these issues to make them stick. The pace drags at times, and it can feel like Miles is simultaneously trying to do too much and too little. But Miles is a relatable role model for teens. His sexual identity isn't the center of his storyline, and his romantic life isn't the central focus of the film. He never victimizes himself, regardless of the obstacles he faces, and he always believes that hard work will get him where he needs to go. After everything he goes through, he remains a symbol of strength and positivity for his mother.

That said, Boardman's stoic acting sometimes makes Miles seem apathetic rather than strong. And parts of the story seem underdeveloped, leaving viewers wanting more. More insight into Miles’ parents’ marriage, the relationship between the coach and the team, and Miles' LGBTQ identity and his passion for filmmaking would've made the storyline stick. The dialogue also feels a bit forced, especially during points of high tension or conflict. But the movie eventually earns an emotional response from the audience and could very well jumpstart important conversations about ambition, overcoming adversity, and defying norms.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying in Miles. Why does Miles get bullied/made fun of for being on the sports team? Do you agree with what he and the principal and superintendent did?

  • Is it fair for boys to play on girls' teams -- and vice versa -- if there isn't a separate team for their gender? Title IX has generally worked in favor of girls playing on boys' teams -- what about the reverse? What message does this movie send about stereotypes regarding girls' and boys' sports abilities?

  • What are the dangers of sexting and sharing personal information online? What are your family’s rules on online privacy?

  • How do the characters/story demonstrate teamwork and courage? Why are those important character strengths?

  • How do Miles and his mother deal with losing someone close to them? How can people support those who've lost loved ones?

Movie details

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