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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids are bound to pick up a few baseball-related tips and rules.
Shows integrity and teamwork are essential as we see the children overcome preconceptions they had about sports and about other people. The children learn to be courageous and face some of their fears up front in order to overcome them.
Positive Role Models
The kids are typical preteens ("shut up, buttface" qualifies as a witty rejoinder), but they clearly care about one another when it counts. Girls are portrayed as stereotypical love interests who have no desire to play sports.
Girls are portrayed as stereotypical love interests who have no desire to play sports. Mr. Mertle, the former baseball player who owns The Beast, is Black and blind. Though he's initially portrayed as a villain, he becomes one of the most complex characters in the film. Latino characters appear in supporting roles such as team members.
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Violence & Scariness
There's a scary dog, and some of the physical comedy looks dangerous, but no one gets hurt. One boy tricks a lifeguard into kissing him.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The boys ogle teenage girls, and the camera lingers on women's bodies for a bit too long. One boy tricks a lifeguard into kissing him.
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Kids say "s--t" a few times. Also lots of name-calling and other language, including "hell," "damn," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," "crap," "butt," "jerk," idiot," etc.
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Products & Purchases
All the kids wear P.F. Flyers or Converse Chuck Taylors.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Kids chew tobacco, but it makes them sick, and they regret it. A dream sequence featuring Babe Ruth includes cigar smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Sandlot is a lighthearted baseball comedy written and directed by David Mickey Evans. Set during the early 1960s, it follows a new kid in town (Tom Guiry) who makes friends by joining a local pick-up team. The main threat to the gang's happiness is The Beast: a giant, slobbering dog on the other side of the sandlot fence (he might briefly scare younger viewers). Slapstick humor includes pratfalls, but no one gets hurt. Strong language includes "s--t," "a--hole," and lots of colorful insults, and there are some scuffles between the boys. Adults may also raise an eyebrow at the way the movie treats a much sought after, slightly older lifeguard "babe." Boys ogle her (and one tricks her into kissing him), but it's the camera that unnecessarily lingers on her various body parts. Girls are portrayed as stereotypical love interests who have no desire to play sports. 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. There are some characters of color, including Mr. Mertle (James Earl Jones), who is Black and blind. He is initially portrayed as a villain but becomes one of the most complex characters in the film. Overall, the movie has a sun-kissed tone that both kids and adults will appreciate. 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 charming film is like Field of Dreams for the tween set. Like Dreams, The Sandlot features the winning presence of James Earl Jones and a look at times gone by. Both also attempt to leave viewers with a life-affirming message. At the same time, The Sandlot doesn't take itself too seriously. The kids are charming and can really play the game; there's also a refreshing lack of precocious, cynical types. While it trades in some of the stock clichés of baseball films, it does so with utter conviction and earnestness. And, for once, here's a sports film for kids that isn't about winning.
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.