A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Touchback is an uplifting "do-over drama" about a high school football star who gets a second chance to replay the big game in which a debilitating injury ends his sports career. As the clock ticks down, he's forced to decide what's really important. There are some thought-provoking moments as he compares the love of friends and family to the prospect of fame and glory -- but there's also some swearing ("crap," "ass," etc.), some hard hits on the football field, some drinking, a few kisses, and a scene in which teens go skinny dipping (no graphic nudity). But on the whole, this is a feel-good sports film that's appropriate for families with teens to watch and discuss.
What's the story?
Scoring the winning touchdown in the high school championship game was the highlight of Scott Murphy's (Brian Presley) life, but a debilitating injury on the play ended his athletic career. Fifteen years later, the bank is foreclosing on his farm, and he thinks he's got nothing to live for. His life insurance policy may be the only way he can take care of his family -- or so he thinks -- but there's only one way for them to cash that in. But what if there was another way, a way to get a second chance at everything?
Is it any good?
This predictable movie looks like a sports drama that leads up to the big game, but there's much more at stake than just bragging rights. Scott isn't only playing to win, but rather to determine what's important to him and how he wants his life to turn out. Really, this uplifting film is more of a second-chance story about a man who gets to redo the most important moments of his life and make some significant changes. Will he revise history?
It's not that hard to figure out how things will end up. Like many small-town athletic dramas, you can usually figure out what's going to happen in Touchback as the clock ticks down. And like characters in other heartwarming stories about discovering what's really important, Scott doesn't make any truly surprising choices. Still, it's entertaining to see how he arrives at his decision, and Presley is charismatic as both a high school star and a slightly gone-to-seed middle-aged version of himself. Kurt Russell also delivers as the coach, a role he's played just as well in other films.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Scott's choices. Given the chance to change his life, why do you think he makes the decisions he makes? Would you have done anything differently?
How does Touchback compare to other sports movies? Did you find it surprising or predictable? What do sports movies tend to have in common?
Do you think Scott is a good role model?
- In theaters: April 13, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: September 4, 2012
- Cast: Brian Presley, Christine Lahti, Kurt Russell
- Director: Don Handfield
- Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, High School
- Run time: 118 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some mature thematic elements
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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