The Bad News Bears

Movie review by TS Yellin, Common Sense Media
The Bad News Bears Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Edgy '70s baseball comedy has lots of cursing, drinking.

PG 1976 102 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 25 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 12+

Outdated rolling add for beer brands and pizza hut

I should have paid more attention to the reviews before watching with my 9 year old. The movie meanders through Walter Matthau character's alcoholic haze - conveniently armed with a beer can in nearly every shot - brands proudly facing the camera for maximum product placement value. The humor is cringe worthingly outdated - the punchline for the 10 year old girl is her bra size, the punchline for the Mexican kids is they don't speak English. I understand this is considered a "classic" by my cohort who watched this as children themselves, laughing at the racist, misogynistic, drunken humor that perhaps we remember to be more carefree than it actually was. As the movie ends the kids crack open their own name brand beers in "victory"- surely taking instruction from their sponsors to muddy alcohol's sad role in the story and reframe along the commercial celebration of alcohol as a mechanism of celebration. Yuck. Hard pass on this.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 13+

classic, timeless, and worth watching

I read the other reviews and decided that in addition to rolling my eyes, I would create an account with Common Sense Media and share mine. I watched this movie last night with my husband and two kids, ages 13 and 16. And yes, it was crazy to see how much society has changed from 1976 to the present time. My kids were able to recognize that driving with open containers, driving drunk, drinking during little league practice, teaching kids how to make a good martini, kids smoking, are all not ok. Also not ok, the Yankees coach and dad to the pitcher, literally hitting in the middle of the last inning b/c he ignored his directive to hit it outside and low. This movie is not teaching kids to do these things! It's real message comes at the very end--Walter Mathieu (BNBears coach) and others learn that winning isn't everything and the pay-off is AWESOME. For kids used to 2000-era movies that are faster paced, my kids did fine with this movie and really liked it. Give kids some credit and let them watch this hilarious movie. Also, I am quite annoyed and sensitive to racial slurs and language like "retarded", "moron", etc. Again, unless you are watching with little kids, give your kids some credit. They will recognize quite easily what is ok and what isn't.

Movie Details

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