The Sandlot

  • Review Date: July 26, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Field of Dreams for tweens.
  • Review Date: July 26, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 101 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

Kids are bound to pick up a few baseball-related tips and rules.

Positive messages

Positive messages about friendship and loyalty. Family relationships are more complex, but characters' intent is generally good.

Positive role models

The kids are typical preteen boys ("shut up, butt face" qualifies as a witty rejoinder), but they clearly care about one another when it counts. Even though the film is set in 1962, some parents will question the way girls are portrayed.

Violence & scariness

The "beast" over the fence (a dog) may scare younger, particularly sensitive children.

Sexy stuff

The boys ogle teenage girls, and the camera lingers on the female anatomy. One of the boys tricks a lifeguard into kissing him.

Language

A few instances of "shit" said by kids. Lots of name calling and low-level swearing: "crap," "butt," "jerk," idiot," and other colorful insults.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that if this nostalgic baseball comedy missteps, it's in the treatment of Wendy -- the much sought after, slightly older "babe" who one of the boys tricks into kissing him. While the guys ogle her with typical preteen interest, the camera lingers on close-ups of her various body parts. Whatever the intent, the result is unnecessary. Family relationships are also somewhat strained (particularly between one of the boys and his indifferent stepdad), but friendship plays a strong role and comes off in a very positive light.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After getting onto the local sandlot team purely by luck, Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) spends a blissful summer developing his baseball skills with help from his teammates Benny (Mike Vitar), Yeah-Yeah (Marty York), Ham (Patrick Renna), Squints (Chauncey Leopardi), and the rest of the boys. Things take a serious turn when the gang experiences what they believe is a bad omen that will give them bad luck. To infuse the team with good luck, Scotty runs home and grabs his stepfather's (Denis Leary) baseball. When Scotty hits the ball into the junkyard, the boys discover just how valuable it is and devise an elaborate scheme to retrieve it, a mission that requires getting past "The Beast," a terrifying guard dog owned by angry junkman Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This charming film is a Field of Dreams for the younger set. The two movies share a couple of features: the winning presence of James Earl Jones and a longing for a simpler world. Both also attempt to leave the viewer with a life-affirming message. At the same time, THE SANDLOT doesn't take itself too seriously. For the most part, Sandlot works. The kids are just right -- they can really play the game, and there's a refreshing lack of precocious, obnoxious types. While it trades in the stock cliches of baseball films, it does so with utter conviction and innocence. And, for once, here's a sport film for kids that isn't about winning.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of sports movies. Why are there so many of them? Is it always a guarantee that the underdogs will come out on top?

  • Do you have to have been a kid in the 1960s to appreciate this movie? Why or why not? What about it appeals to kids of different generations?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 7, 1993
DVD release date:January 29, 2002
Cast:James Earl Jones, Mike Vitar, Tom Guiry
Director:David M. Evans
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Friendship
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some language and kids chewing tobacco

This review of The Sandlot 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.

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.

Find out more

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.

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

Adult Written byJediQueen April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Good but very strong for a PG.

CMS got it wrong this movie uses the S word 3 times and its only rated 8+. I think its more questionable the the sequel gut its still a classic. Not for young kids though.
Adult Written byjumpinbini April 9, 2008
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
This is one of the BEST kids movies ever made. I absolutely love this movie. It's about being a kid and the things that they go through in grade school. Being the new kid on the block. making new friends, defending your friends, experiencing new things together, and then reminiscing about your childhood friends when you grow up. Even if you're not a baseball fan it's still something that kids can relate to and will be entertained by. If you haven't seen it, what have you been waiting for?!
Parent Written bymaidmarian4 August 15, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
The story line, geared towards elementary aged children, is nostalgic and fresh. You'll love the cute story line. However, the "fluff" in between is horrible in some spots. I hate the sexualization of the life guard. Women should be respected, not "oogled" like objects. Also, there is a part where the young boys are chewing tobacco. While the choice is shown as a bad one in the movie, I still don't want my own kids to think about doing the same thing because of a movie. I also don't let my kids use language beyond an occasional "shut up," so most of the language is not appropriate for my own children.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages

Poll

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

Essential School Tools