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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Be true to yourself, even if people in authority are trying to steer you in another direction. Hard work pays off.
Positive Role Models
Pele faces an uphill climb from his childhood in poverty. Success doesn't come easily; he has to work hard to master his sport and learn what it takes to succeed.
Violence & Scariness
A young boy dies in a freak accident, emotionally scarring the main character. Pele also faces taunting and bullying growing up but eventually learns to overcome them.
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Infrequent use of words such as "damn" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pele: Birth of a Legend focuses on the childhood and early career of the famed Brazilian soccer star, who's often called the greatest of all time. Shot entirely in Pele's homeland, the movie is an American-produced biopic that explains how he brought his country's unique playing style to the world stage. It's a rags-to-riches story with lots of on-the-field action that will be fun for tween soccer fans and up (even if the story isn't that surprising). There's a little bit of language (along the lines of "damn") and smoking, as well as some bullying and a tragic accident that impacts the main character. But there's also plenty of wholesome athletic joy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Pele was a true soccer phenomenon, a joy to watch on the field -- and this movie brings some of that excitement to the screen. Watching Pele move the ball -- really, it looks more like he's dancing with it -- is perhaps the best part of the movie. But off the field, the story, as told on screen, becomes less vibrant, even though the real-life Pele overcame great adversity, faced down the doubters, and showed everyone what he had.
Like the staid techniques Pele struggled to break free of, PELE BIRTH OF A LEGEND feels far too predictable at times as it moves through the standard formula of a rising star no one saw coming. Even the action scenes aren't as good as they could be -- they tend to focus very tightly on the athlete's body, making it hard to see his most acrobatic moves. Young soccer players may find the story inspiring, but for most viewers it will probably feel formulaic.
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.