The Final Season

 
Heartwarming but trite drama for baseball fans.
  • Review Date: April 14, 2008
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Overall, the movie's message is that finding a hobby and doing something you love can help heal pain. Mitch takes his grandfather's truck without permission and flips Patrick off. Two reporters gamble on a game.

Violence

Some baseball-related injuries: A ball hits a catcher's wrist, and Sammy gets hit on the back by a 90-mph fastball. Patrick beats Sammy up (punches, threats). Mitch and Patrick scuffle, and Mitch punches Patrick. The team is involved in a bus accident, but no one is injured.

Sex

Kent is shown just in a towel. Patrick is shown just in jeans. Kent and Polly kiss.

Language

Some swearing, including "bulls--t," "hell," "damn," "s--t," "half-assed," and "chicken s--t."

Consumerism

Billboards at the baseball diamond advertise Pella Windows, Quaker Oats products, Jolly-Time popcorn, Hy-Vee, and Transamerica. The team wears Nike cleats, and Stock wears a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Underage Mitch smokes cigarettes, and his grandfather smokes a cigar -- but both are repeatedly told not to and how bad it is for them. Mitch asks where he can get pot. Polly (an adult) drinks a glass of wine. Roger (also an adult) drinks from a flask.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Final Season has some inappropriate content for the movie's target market -- 8-10-year-olds. One of the movie's central characters, high school student Mitch, acts out because of his mother's recent death. He smokes cigarettes, tries to get some pot, and steals his grandfather's truck. But baseball eventually helps set him back on the right path. There are some intense moments when the team's bus goes off the road in an accident, kids get injured by baseballs, and there's some fighting among the boys. Language includes some fairly strong terms, including "s--t."

What's the story?

A heartwarming underdog tale based on a true story, THE FINAL SEASON is set in small town of Norway, Iowa, where baseball is more than a tradition. It's even more than a religion. It's everything to these people: The whole town turns out for the high school team's practices, and the town sign features a baseball diamond. "Baseball is as rich as Iowa soil," explains head coach Jim Van Scoyoc (Powers Boothe). "We grow ball players here like we grow corn." With 19 state championships to its credit, the Norway High team is hoping for an even 20 when the axe comes down. The school district is merging with the district next door, where, parents fear, their star players won't even make the team. And without baseball, the town could die out. Given one last season to make their mark and seal their legacy, smarmy school district chief Harvey Makepeace (Marshall Bell) fires multi-award-winning Van Scoyoc and replaces him with former girls volleyball coach Kent Stock (Sean Astin). Can Stock motivate the dejected team and lead them to their final, glorious win?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

What The Final Season does well is remind viewers why they love the game so much. It's not just that it's fun to watch and takes courage, tenacity, and endurance. It's that baseball -- and other sports -- have saved legions of kids from self-destructive behavior by giving them a place to put their energy and loving support for what they do. It's Field of Dreams goes to high school -- or Friday Night Lights about baseball.

The final game is likely to leave both kid and adult baseball fans screaming at the screen -- much like they do at playoff games. And zany newspaper reporter Roger Dempsey (the incorrigible Larry Miller) lightens what could easily be a far too schlocky and serious film. All of that said, if you're not a baseball fan, The Final Season probably isn't for you. The jargon and heavy-handed sentimentality can be too much, and you get the feeling that the story might have been white-washed just a bit (the real-life Van Scoyoc and Stock both consulted on the film). The movie insists that everything bad comes from the big city and that small-town life is free of drugs, violence, and alienation. For anyone who's ever been bullied by a jock or lived the not-so-rosy parts of small-town life, this depiction is likely to come off as naïve at best.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that this particular tale was based on a true story -- how much of what you see on screen do you think actually happened the way it's portrayed?

  • Talk about Mitch's reaction to his mother's death. Do your kids know anyone whose parents have died? How did they respond? You can use this as an opportunity to allay their fears.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 11, 2007
DVD release date:April 14, 2008
Cast:Michael Angarano, Sean Astin, Tom Arnold
Director:David M. Evans
Studio:Yari Film Group
Genre:Drama
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language, thematic elements and some teen smoking.

This review of The Final Season was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 14 and 15 year old Written byLiz Perle April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byred11 November 14, 2011
age 9+
 

The last chance.

The final season. I love it, how this movie tells the story of a small town and the way they fight for there school that holds the town together. A young man is sent to his grandparents because his dad doses not know what to with his him. The world view message is about father son relationship, doing something with your life, and the in portends of having a group of people working together to save and accomplish a big goal. This movie has langue, smoking, and tock about alcohol but it is all over looked by the advents that happen. I loved it and I think your family will to.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old November 14, 2011
age 8+
 

A Fantastic Baseball Movie

The Final Season is a great movie about a boy who had lost his mom and and needed to get a hobby. He found a baseball coach in his new school and he played and it turned out to change his life. The boy was very disrespectful to his dad but staying with his grandparents theaches him the ways of life. I think this movie has good worlveiw and good role models. It has smoking, a little violence, and cussing but i think this a very good movie and reccomend you watch it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass