Parents' Guide to

The Last Whistle

By Lynnette Nicholas, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Compassion and teamwork beat pride and ego in sports drama.

Movie PG 2019 88 minutes
The Last Whistle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Classic football movie; ungodly

It's like any other football movie where the coach starts to have a tough time but then gets his life together. Way too many uses of the Lord's name in vain.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

While there are obvious budget restraints in effect here, the characters' emotional arcs and the screenwriting by director/writer Rob Smat save the film. Leland, who's been in other sports dramas (including Friday Night Lights), does a good job as Coach Vick, showing that it's never too late to take ownership of your character or personality flaws. As Benny, Tolliver Jr. is both aspirational and endearing, and his role clearly depicts that, for many young men, a "father figure" doesn't necessarily live at home. His respect for Coach Vick is admirable. And as Theresa, Lauvin deftly personifies the role of a strong black mother who loses her only child. Her anger isn't depicted in a stereotypical manner, and her subtle shift toward empathy for Coach Vick at the end of the film could spark great conversations on forgiveness with preteens and young adults.

While Coach Vick centers the film, The Last Whistle would have benefited from more interconnectedness with the other supporting characters and subplots. It would have been nice to see more interaction and scenes with the story's athletes and young adults; Coach Vick's many solo bar scenes get redundant after a while. And the ending is overly abrupt: There's really no closure regarding what will become of Coach Vick's life after he gets past this challenge. But the movie positively highlights Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in young athletes, a serious real-life condition that affects youth in sports including football, soccer, basketball, and more.

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