The Sandlot Movie Poster Image

The Sandlot

(i)

 

Lighthearted, nostalgic tween comedy; some language.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

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. Themes include integrity, courage, and teamwork.

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

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.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Kids chew tobacco, but it makes them sick, and they regret it. Dream sequence includes cigar smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Sandlot is a lighthearted baseball comedy that tweens will love. Set during the early 1960s, it follows a new kid in town who makes friends by joining a local pick-up team. The main threat to the gang's happiness is The Beast -- a giant, slavering dog on the other side of the sandlot fence (he might briefly scare younger viewers). Strong language includes "s--t," "a--hole," and lots of colorful insults, and there are some scuffles between the boys. Adults may raise an eyebrow at the way the movie treats Wendy, the much sought-after, slightly older lifeguard "babe." The boys ogle her with typical preteen interest (and one tricks her into kissing him), but it's the camera that unnecessarily lingers on her various body parts. 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. And overall, the movie has a sun-kissed, nostalgic tone that both kids and parents will appreciate.

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 at THE SANDLOT when the gang experiences what they believe is an 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 like Field of Dreams for the tween 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. 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 like The Sandlot. 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?

  • How do the characters in The Sandlot demonstrate integrity, courage, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 7, 1993
DVD/Streaming 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
Character strengths:Courage, Integrity, Teamwork
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some language and kids chewing tobacco

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Adult Written byJediQueen April 9, 2008

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.
Parent Written bymaidmarian4 August 15, 2010
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
Adult Written byjumpinbini April 9, 2008
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?!