A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes perseverance, grace under pressure, bravery, close family ties, and striving for excellence: "Being a champion isn't about winning. It's about toughing it out."
Positive Role Models
The real-life Damien Oliver, already a horse-racing star in Australia's sporting world, proves that his ability to win is based on more than athleticism and skill. After a devastating tragedy, he must depend upon his inner strength, resilience, and courage to prevail. Supporting characters are loyal, compassionate, and encouraging and exhibit great faith in Damien. Women appear as courageous and loyal as well; however, they act solely as support for the main characters.
Violence & Scariness
Two disturbing horse-racing accidents occur; one is shown in news footage of an actual event, and the other is reenacted. (Spoiler alert: In both instances, the jockeys suffer fatal injuries.)
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple is shown in bed together. A married couple kisses.
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"Hell" and "crap."
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Products & Purchases
Qantas Airlines and Godolphin Racing and Stables are mentioned, as are numerous Australian products and services including Shannons Insurance, Goldner Transport, and 3AW.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are briefly seen drinking alcoholic beverages both at home and in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Cup is a sports movie based on real events that occurred in 2002. Horse racing is a major sport in Australia; "The Cup" refers to the Melbourne Cup, the country's most important annual horse race. Only a few scenes actually portray specific races; the primary focus is the personal stories of a famed Australian jockey, his family, and the Irish trainer who comes to Melbourne for the big race. Heavy dialects may trip up some viewers. The film, which is sometimes sad, contains actual footage of a racing tragedy and one disturbing on-camera racing accident. (Spoiler alert: Deaths occur, as do a funeral and a lengthy hospital sequence in which a life hangs in the balance). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Cup was shot with skill by Simon Wincer, a noted Australian director, with stirring music, beautiful horses, and fine performances. It will delight horse lovers and other sports fans who enjoy a rousing competition laced with tragedy, even though the outcome will not come as much of a surprise. The movie moves from great joy to great sadness and back. There are no villains here. Even the Arab sheik whose horse may defeat our hero is sympathetic and pleasant. Because much of the film's plot deals with death and its aftermath, this is a safe bet for mature kids only.
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.