A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Working hard to achieve your goals. Be your own person. Recognizing that while you should challenge yourself, putting yourself under undue pressure -- or letting others put pressure on you -- can have negative consequences. References and portrayals of physical and emotional abuse.
Positive Role Models
Benjamin is a talented swimmer who works hard and is single-minded in his approach to how he lives his life. Benjamin's mother, Kim, wants the best for him but places him under increasing pressure to dedicate himself to swimming to try and achieve this. Benjamin's father, Rob, is a formerly incarcerated person whose bullying of his children has traumatized both Benjamin and his brothers.
Some gender and ethnic diversity among the main cast, although it is predominantly White and male. Some non-Australian actors in Australian roles.
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Violence & Scariness
Reference to fighting. Punches, slaps, and throws in scuffles. Emotional abuse and bullying re-enacted. Boxing bouts and play fighting. Altercation where a character is punched to the floor resulting in some blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters are routinely seen in just their swimwear. Moments of intimacy between older teens in a relationship. Reference to sexual acts. Kissing and topless kissing both shown. Sex alluded to and partial, non-graphic nudity shown.
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Language used includes "bugger," "s--t," "f---ing," "bloody," "bulls--t," "f--k," "piss," "f--got," and "p---y."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Reference to underage drinking, which is also shown. Characters smoke cigarettes and marijuana joints. Reference to drinking to excess. Unidentified drugs taken at a party.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Streamline is an Australian sporting drama with themes around emotional and physical abuse, strong language, and teen drinking and drug taking. Teenage swimming prodigy Benjamin (Levi Miller) is already beginning to feel the weight of the pressure to qualify for the Olympics team when his abusive father Rob (Jason Isaacs) is released from prison. Although Benjamin works hard, is supported, and dedicated to sporting excellence, both he and those around him struggle to set a good example and behave appropriately at times. The movie does carry a positive message, but it is frequently obscured or questioned because of the trauma that Benjamin and his family live with, which was caused by being terrorized by Rob. Most of this abuse is only referenced, but violence does feature such as when a character is punched to the floor causing some bloodshed. In one scene, two characters are seen kissing while topless, and there is one throwaway reference to a sexual act. Swearing, in contrast, is fairly constant and includes variations of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "f--got" and "p---y." Teens, including Benjamin, are seen drinking, smoking, and taking drugs. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A sports movie without much actual sport in it. Streamline is instead a tense, oppressive family drama about the damage that ripples out of a broken home. Isaac's appearance on the movie's poster is also misleading, as the versatile Brit's role is little more than a cameo, with him appearing in only a handful of scenes. Anyone looking for a tale of obsession in the mold of Whiplash or The Novice, or of parental pressure run amok like in The Phenom, will be disappointed. What we have instead is a rites-of-passage story that seems to pride itself on imitating the messiness of real life.
Miller simmers just below the boil as Benjamin "Boy" Lane, all gym-hardened physique thrust onto an adolescent frame that's clearly not ready to take the weight of the world on his prematurely broad shoulders. He's surrounded by adults who seem to either want too much of him or who are borderline-negligent in their desire just to let him be. Isaac's Rob lingers in the background, no longer a threat but still a reminder of the bad old days. It's an interesting approach, but debut writer-director Tyson Wade Johnston doesn't do enough with his supporting characters. Boy's girlfriend Patti (Tasia Zalar) is the biggest missed opportunity. In a more original script their relationship could've offered a steer on the movie's biggest unanswered question: how much should we let others help us decide what we do with our talents?
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.