A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Talk of never quitting, always doing your best.
Positive Role Models
Characters too cartoonish to be considered positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
A boy runs into oncoming highway traffic to escape his father, narrowly avoids getting hit, and causes an accident. Fistfights in a bar. Some bullying -- a boy arm-wrestles another on a pinball table and makes verbal threats about ripping his arm off. A boy runs away from his grandfather's mansion and steals a truck; he's underage and drives recklessly. A car chase leads to a crash.
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Occasional profanity, growing in frequency toward the end: "s--t," "a--hole," "hell," "ass." Bullies call a boy a "wimp" and "a girl."
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Products & Purchases
Characters wear hats and T-shirts advertising Budweiser, Alka-Seltzer, Sportscreme, and Duracell.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Beer drinking in a bar. A boy's grandfather drinks alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Over the Top is a 1987 movie in which Sylvester Stallone plays a truck driver trying to make amends with his estranged son while also trying to redeem himself by winning an arm-wrestling tournament. The music, montages, and hair alone make this movie more '80s than the '80s were, and for all its cheese, it still manages to be entertaining. There is violence: fistfights, car chases, and, of course, lots and lots of arm wrestling. A boy is bullied, but the whole situation arises because his father asks the bullies to arm-wrestle the boy; the bullies proceed to call him names like "wimp" and "girl" before the boy finds it within himself to out-arm-wrestle the bullies. There is also some profanity, including "s--t" and "a--hole." Product logos are rampant, especially at the end for the big arm-wrestling championship. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With the Kenny Loggins songs backing up the montages, the fashion, and the hairstyles, this movie is as entertaining as it is cheesy. Everything about Over the Top is ludicrous, but for children of the '80s and even children of the children of the '80s, there's an undeniable charm in the absurdity. They simply don't make movies this good/bad anymore.
Perhaps the biggest absurdity to this movie -- and what makes it enjoyable or not enjoyable according to one's tastes -- is that it's centered on the sport of arm-wrestling. Unlike most sports, where there is considerable body movement and a variety of strategies and moves employed, arm-wrestling is relatively limited to, well, wrestling arms. Not that the filmmakers don't do their best to make it exciting by using every film trick in the book, but there's only so much to be done compared to, say, boxing. Nonetheless, for entertainment for its own sake, Over the Top is great fun.
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.