A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Brief war scenes, character threatened with a gun.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief reference to out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie includes brief flashbacks to WWI battle scenes, including the death of civilians. A character has an amputated leg and another has epilepsy. There are sad deaths. There are also intense scenes of prejudice and cruelty that may be upsetting to children. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an ambitious, complicated, thoughtful, and meaningful story of fear, loss, love, opera, and basketball. The term "family movie" tends to evoke eye-rolling and sighs from all but the youngest kids, calling up memories of sugary stories about adorable children, cute pets, and bouncy songs; what it should evoke is a movie like this one.
The movie's low budget shows, but the passion and commitment that went into making it are even more evident. Some of it is formulaic -- we know the German kids will prove their value to the community and there will be surprises in the big game -- but the appeal of the characters and the integrity of the production hold the interest of the audience. Peter Coyote is fine as the teacher who must grapple with the demons of his own past as he tries to help his students. Karen Allen is very moving as the loving mother who loses her son and then almost loses her husband to isolation and guilt. Her expressions as she listens to the music and as she begins to speak about what she wants are eloquent beyond words.
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.