The Mighty Macs

  • Review Date: October 21, 2011
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Tame girls' basketball tale is sentimental but inspiring.
  • Review Date: October 21, 2011
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

It's educational for young viewers, especially girls, to realize that it wasn't always a priority for girls' athletic teams to exist, much less compete nationally.

Positive messages

Several positive messages, particularly for girls. The fact that Cathy, despite being married, chooses to take a coaching job to pursue her passion for basketball shows that women don't need to rely on a husband to fulfill all their dreams. Cathy's perseverance in the face of difficulty is also an example that you should never give up, even when things aren't going your way. The girls' commitment to the Macs is an important lesson in teamwork and collaboration. The fact they're willing to wake up early, sweat, and give it their all is what sports -- and discipline -- should be about for kids.

Positive role models

Coach Rush is an amazing example of an educator who inspires and makes a huge difference in her team's lives. Without Coach Rush and Sister Sunday's dedication to the Macs, those girls never would have won a national championship or gone on to become famous college and WNBA and high school coaches themselves. The girls each learn the value of belonging to a team, even an underdog team.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

A few hugs and one quick kiss between a married couple, and a tame discussion about marriage and weddings. One character has her heart broken, but her boyfriend is never seen in the film. A nun out of her habit accepts a beer from an interested pub patron.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cathy and Sister Sunday each have a pint at a pub.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this family-friendly sports tale is based on the true story of Cathy Rush, who coached the basketball team of a tiny Catholic women's college near Philadelphia to national glory. There's nothing objectionable in this G-rated drama, but there are a couple of themes that may go over the head of very young viewers, like the mentions of feminism and marriage and college financing. But the actual story of the girls' practicing, becoming a cohesive team, and competing against area rivals should inspire kids to keep working hard to achieve their own athletic and personal goals, even if the odds don't seem in their favor.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Former collegiate basketball player Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino) takes a job building and coaching the basketball team of Immaculata, a tiny Catholic women's college near Philadelphia. As she begins to train the "Macs" for competition, Coach Rush receives invaluable help from a young nun, Sister Sunday (Marley Shelton), although the college's head nun, Mother St. John (Ellen Burstyn), is preoccupied with the college's dire finances. As the Macs go on a miraculous winning streak, they gain support from the administration and even Rush's husband, a professional NBA ref (David Boreanaz).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Most sports movies are both inspirational and overly sentimental, and THE MIGHTY MACS is no exception on either count. In some ways, it's yet another example of the way that women in sports are relegated to the second string. If this story were about a pioneering men's team, chances are it would have had a major studio backing it, a considerable budget, and a period soundtrack filled with memorable tunes. Instead, Gugino has to carry the weight of the film accompanied by mostly unknown young actresses and a maudlin script of over-the-top pep talks.

 

But despite the constant and effusive "we're No. 1!" speeches, there's a definite charm and a powerful message to this movie that's good for girls to witness. What's more, it's refreshing to see nuns who aren't played for laughs or portrayed as unflinchingly stern instructors; instead, they're kind cheerleaders who genuinely care for the young women at their college. No, this isn't the equivalent of Hoosiers or Remember the Titans, but Gugino and her team are the kind of typically irresistible underdogs that you can't help but root for.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about women in sports. Why do you think there are more movies about men's teams than women's teams?

  • How far have women come since the early 1970s? How are women athletes more commonly accepted today?

  • Which characters in this movie are role models? How can you tell?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 21, 2011
DVD release date:February 21, 2012
Cast:Carla Gugino, Ellen Burstyn, Marley Shelton
Director:Tim Chambers
Studio:Freestyle Releasing
Genre:Drama
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Great girl role models, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Mighty Macs was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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Educator Written bymilowicki1 October 23, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Mighty macs R the best!!!!!!!

This is a very good. you have to have hope that this girls basketball team is wonderful. they are loosing and the nuns cheer them on. if you have hope and love basketball see this movie!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 8 year old Written byhappymom9 November 17, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Mighty Mac-nificent!

We took our eight-year-old daughter to see "The Mighty Macs" and we all loved it. There were quite a few of us in the theater who cheered out loud for this team of young women who believed in themselves and achieved their goal even though everyone considered them the long-shot underdog! You don't find many films with positive role models for girls. "The Mighty Macs" delivers and you won't be disappointed. Nothing objectionable at all in this true story that will find a place in our DVD collection!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old October 23, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

amazing catholic movie

a few kisses but thats it THE BEST MOVIES!!!!!!!! great catholic movie

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