A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You don’t need forgiveness from people as much as you need forgiveness from God, and all you have to do to be forgiven is ask for it. Your past mistakes don’t define you. If you work hard, have a plan, and put your whole heart into it, you can reach your goal.
Positive Role Models
John made a terrible mistake in the past that cost him dearly. Since then, he’s just tried to move on from it and do the best he can. Ultimately he’s able to apologize to those he hurt and ask for forgiveness. In the present he commits a serious sin of omission, and drinks alcohol excessively. Eventually he receives divine forgiveness, stops drinking, and becomes a good mentor and role model. Michael is a good role model for a teen in tough circumstances who works hard to pursue his dreams. The high school student body includes a few people of color. All the adult townsfolk are white except for one African American woman who represents positive contributions to the community.
Violence & Scariness
A group of teens viciously beat another. Punching and kicking are shown as well as coughing out blood, bloody injuries to the face, and bruising afterward. A man is shown having chest pain and collapsing, which then cuts to a post-funeral gathering. Teens humiliate a classmate because of food insecurity.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some romantic dynamics from a teen couple and an adult couple. The adults kiss once.
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Products & Purchases
A few incidental brands visible like Ford, Jack Daniels, and Diet Coke.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An adult is always drunk and smokes heavily. She asks her teen daughter to bring her a drink. A scene in a bar shows adults drinking shots and acting drunk. A man drinks heavily, stumbles around, and passes out. The next morning he puts bourbon in his coffee. A past scandal involves an athlete who used steroids illegally in competition. A firefighter smokes in the fire house.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Champion is a sports drama centered on a high-school wrestling team. There's an overt religious message about asking God for forgiveness, but other religious content is mild, like church and community activities or praying to the sky, and doesn't present any specific messages. The only violence is a vicious beating that shows punching, kicking, and a very bloody face afterward. Teens humiliate a classmate because of food insecurity. Sadness from loss is briefly touched on. There are some romantic dynamics and an adult couple kisses once. Two characters drink alcohol heavily. One drinks all the time, the other stops drinking after a serious binge. Past illegal steroid use is an important theme, but no use is shown. One character smokes frequently. "Ass" is used once or twice, and the ethnic slur "gyp" is used once. 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 quiet, low-key sports drama is a cut above most faith-based movies, but suffers from a split personality. The first hour plays like a character study of a disgraced Olympic athlete, and the second hour plays like a fairly typical high-school sports movie. The outcome of both storylines is pretty predictable, but there is genuine suspense and uncertainty during the championship match sequences.
The emotional tone stays pretty even throughout, contributing to the sense that nothing's explored in any very deep or meaningful way. Teens will especially enjoy the second half, with the charismatic cast of young actors coming to the forefront. A beating with bloody injuries shown and mature themes make it best for teens and up.
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.