The Blind Side

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Blind Side Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Syrupy sports drama uplifts but glosses over deep issues.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 128 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 67 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 218 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie's message is one of inclusion -- that no barrier, including race or income, should get in the way of doing right by others. But there’s a hint of condescension in its approach to the topic. Another lesson: Hard work does pay off.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Leigh Anne sets a good example as an affluent socialite who lends a helping hand to a child and doesn’t let go (her entire family is helpful, as are the teachers). Michael is also a lesson in fortitude, rarely giving in to the aggression he must feel from having been neglected as a child. But on the downside, nearly all of the movie's African-American characters are portrayed as either impoverished, drug-addicted, or both, which reinforces certain stereotypes. And some characters freely indulge in racism.


A fight in a drug den nearly leads to gunfire. A gun is brandished, and another character alludes to “packing” a weapon. Some jaw-breaking action on the football field. Flashback scenes show children being wrested from their mother without her consent, which is mildly traumatic to watch.


A husband and wife lovingly kiss and make out; references to “tapping that.” Some ogling.


Relatively few uses of words like "ass" (which a woman points out as being inappropriate), "hell," "damn," "tits," and "oh my God."


BMW logo is visible; one character owns a number of Taco Bell franchises, and that company and other fast-food restaurants are mentioned by name.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some beer drinking in a social context. One scene has an adult offering a teenager beer; he takes one sip. Drug paraphernalia is clearly visible, and a woman’s drug habit is discussed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Blind Side is a formulaic but uplifting family sports drama based on the true story of football player Michael Oher. It centers on messages about inclusion, the benefits of hard work, and the importance of family. That said, it sometimes feels as if it glosses over many of the challenges that Oher and his "rescuer" (socialite Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock) must have faced. And while it alludes to the prejudice that exists in certain situations, aside from a scene or two, it skirts the topic instead of truly tackling it, and some scenes depict characters who are blatantly racist. Still, Oher's life story in inarguably encouraging. While language and sexual content are quite mild, you can expect a couple of brief violent scenes, references to drug use, and social drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11 and 16-year-old Written byVLM January 11, 2010
I loved the movie and so did my family--husband and kids (16 and 11). I consider myself strict when it comes to deciding the appropriateness of movies I take my... Continue reading
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byAsfmlycnr January 31, 2010

A Must See For Everyone

The first thing that hit me about this movie was how we can be so self absorbed in the little drama's within our own lives, that we often forget to appreci... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byladybug1234567891011 September 17, 2019

The religious people

i think that you should help out other people even though they are different from you but they are people just like you and they are gods people it doesn't... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheviking2020 September 7, 2019


In my honest opinion, i find this movie heartfelt and meaningful.

What's the story?

Before he became an All-American college football star and an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) was a brawny-but-tender teen attending a Christian school in Memphis with no roof over his head or family to support him. In THE BLIND SIDE, he's soon befriended by S.J. and Collins Tuohy (Jae Head and Lily Collins), children of wealthy fast-food franchise owner Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw) and his decorator wife Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock). Leigh Anne makes it her mission to remake Michael's life, inviting him into the Tuohys' home and, later, into the family itself. A real future for Michael appears on the horizon in the form of football, a sport for which his build and protective instincts seem perfectly suited. But first he needs to get his grades up -- and his head in the game.

Is it any good?

Based on a book by journalist Michael Lewis chronicling the real Oher's experiences, this film manages to inspire despite its broad-strokes approach to characterization. Bullock's winning effort paves the way; her Leigh Anne disarms both Oher and audiences despite a sassiness that edges on caricature -- there's real vulnerability behind Leigh Anne's type-A façade. Aaron's take on Oher is a little bit more textbook, but when he smiles, you forget for a moment that he's playing a role and really imagine him as the young Oher, abandoned but not lost.

Director John Lee Hancock could have explored the challenges that Leigh Anne and Michael faced as they tried to meld their divergent backgrounds with more complexity. Did Oher have any doubts? Was everyone at the school really that embracing? Instead, Hancock goes for the superficial. But The Blind Side has plenty of heart, something Hancock appears to have a knack for (he also helmed The Rookie, an even more heartwarming drama based on a real-life athlete). Still, he's in danger of too much sentimentality here -- that and condescension. The result is a straightforward and entertaining film, if you can ignore, yes, the blind spots.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what motivates Leigh Ann to welcome Michael into her home in The Blind Side. Was it a purely selfless move? Why does she later say that he changed her life (and not the other way around)?

  • Why does Michael trust the Tuohys? What appeals to him about them? Does the movie adequately address the skepticism and prejudice that Michael and the Tuohys faced when they became a family?

  • How accurate do you think the movie is? Why might filmmakers have changed certain parts of the story?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love football

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