Parents' Guide to

The Ringer

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Edgy Johnny Knoxville comedy - not for everyone.

Movie PG-13 2005 94 minutes
The Ringer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 12+

Fun Film

The Ringer is filled with positive messages and role models. The Special Olympics endorsed this movie and even had final say in the script. If nothing else it has helped me take more compassion to efforts towards the mentally challenged communities and laugh-out-loud while doing so because of the hilarious jokes and antics brought together to make a spectacular movie. Positive Message- 5/5 Respect for Special Olympics participants is a reoccurring theme throughout the film. Consequences for actions (good and bad) are demonstrated. Forgiveness, friendship, and doing what's right even when others are against you are all elements shown in this movie. Positive Role Models- 5/5 Messages of right/wrong in character's actions are clearly distinguished. Main character Steve is pressured into pretending to be mentally handicapped to fix the Special Olympics in order to help his friend- he regrets this decision the entire movie and confesses his wrongdoing even though it costs him greatly. Lynn shows a very caring heart for all participants and treats them with love and patience. Some characters' actions (Uncle Gary, David, Jimmy) are very wrong- this is also clear to the storyline and not glorified in the least. Violence- 2/5 Slapstick humor is seen throughout the film but no one is injured, murdered, or suffering. Stavi accidentally whacks off his fingers doing lawn work at the start of the film which sets the premise for the film and his fingers are shown at the hospital for humor (there is no blood or gore and the fingers look incredibly fake). Language- 3/5 Several foul words are used for humor's sake. Any derogatory words or phrases against the mentally handicapped in this movie are sorely frowned upon, rebuked, or seen in stern negative light. Sexual references are limited. Drinking, Drugs, and Smoking- 3/5 Uncle Gary drinks and smokes.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 12+

Good Message with a Funny Delivery

Knoxville who plays the main character, Steve Barker, a guy who for good reasons; if that's possible fakes being "handicapped" and enters The Special Olympics. He hopes to win the big monetary prize in order to pay off a surgery that he unintentionally caused due to prior circumstances and to help out his addicted uncle who could be killed if he doesn't pay gamblers the money he owes. A funny movie in which every role is intricately played to enhance the movie Can I have a hug, one of the best lines from the movie. What is meant to be a simple gesture backed by a not so simple motive. This also displays the well thought out script in and behind the acting of the movie. I really think that script was written excellently in every little detail about it from Stavi to Uncle Gary, to Thomas and Glen, every actor perfectly played out and the interaction of the cast as a whole really amplifies the movie. The plot however unrealistic it might be is a great story line that can be spun in any direction and you never know where the movie is going to go, just when you think Steve is going to get caught he doesn't, and instead of turning him in the athletes help him. The special effects and background music, as minute as they are really add oomph. The music that plays in the background fits extremely well with the scenarios they actors find themselves in. It's hard to say that a movie about rigging the Special Olympics is actually a great movie and has a good message behind it but it does. The ringer is a great movie that shows what true friends are for, and how when a group of people pulls together any and everything can be accomplished. Through many funny jokes and one-liners the audience is always engaged and there's never a dull moment when watching.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Like other Farrelly brothers films (they produced this one), The Ringer has obnoxious, cringe-inducing jokes framed within a conventional romance. The film's fundamental lesson is that the "intellectually challenged" and the supposedly unchallenged are only differentiated by dominant perception and beliefs, that "normal" is measurable and desirable.

The movie draws attention to differences in perceptions by special and non-special characters, with the former consistently more insightful and compassionate. They see through Steve's performance when all the "normals" don't. But they also want him to stay on, because they want to see Jimmy beaten, and this leads to scenes ranging from rowdy to charming, as the "beat Jimmy" crew shares stories about being told what they "can't do."

Movie Details

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