A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People can overcome great obstacles. Wrestling prepares you for life, how you face wins and losses, and how you handle anxiety and depression. You can't teach heart. "Being strong is a feminine thing."
Positive Role Models
Suarez has exemplary drive, ambition, self-belief, perseverance, talent, and work ethic.
Suarez is a proud Latina who happily represents her ethnicity in her sport. She disagrees that her sport is not feminine. She says that she enjoys being a powerful female, and that "being strong is a feminine thing."
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Violence & Scariness
Both wrestling and mixed martial arts are violent. Fights feature competitors grappling, hitting each other, kicking each other, and drawing blood. Tatiana's violent and abusive father left the family. The exploration of a neck injury saved Tatiana's life as it led to detection of thyroid cancer that was successfully treated. When her knee is severely injured, she must stop fighting to spend years in rehab and retraining. A fighter contemplated suicide.
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Infrequent use of "f--k" and "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Unbreakable Tatiana Suarez is a documentary about the inspirational career of a champion female wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter. She suffers many setbacks -- a severe neck injury, thyroid cancer, and a nearly career-ending knee injury -- but comes back to dominate her sport after each obstacle, demonstrating drive, ambition, perseverance, and talent. Fights feature competitors grappling, hitting each other, kicking each other, and drawing blood. A violent father leaves his family. A fighter contemplated suicide. Language includes infrequent use of "f--k" and "s--t." Adults drink beer. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Unbreakable Tatiana Suarez raises awareness of a female athlete's extraordinary achievement against seemingly impossible odds. But it's otherwise another generic sports documentary focusing on, as most of them do, obstacles that a dazzlingly talented and persevering athlete overcomes. That the film is routine and overlong in no way diminishes the exceptional drive, ambition, talent, and achievement of its subject, but it doesn't do much to enhance the viewing experience. The old clichés are all there -- the athlete training hard, the athlete perspiring profusely in plastic wrap and sweats to make weight, the athlete in rehab after injury, the display of x-rays, the talking heads extolling her virtues, the athlete crying as she recounts her hardships. All of this goes on longer and more repetitively than necessary to make the point.
But even the film's unimaginative approach can't suppress Suarez's star quality and dogged determination to overcome cancer and injuries that would end the career of less dedicated fighters. The bonus is that she serves as an inspiration to others as a successful female in a male-dominated field, that she is Latina, and that she shares her talent by coaching other women coming up in the sport. Somewhat underplayed is the violence of mixed martial arts. Many scenes show fighters with bloodied faces punching and kicking each other. She says she likes being a "powerful female," but exactly what it is that appeals to her about beating other people up is left unexplored.
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.
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