Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Touchback Movie Poster Image
Former jock gets second chance in uplifting sports drama.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 118 minutes

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

When Scott gets the chance to change his life, he must decide what's really important: fame and fortune as a star athlete or the love of his family and the respect of his small-town neighbors.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Scott is revered as the star of his high school football team, but he can still be a jerk to the less popular kids in school. But when he gets a second chance to play the biggest game of his life, he makes some surprising choices -- ones that benefit others more than himself.


Football players deliver some pretty hard hits on the field, one of which leads to a gruesome injury.


A few kisses. A high school student's girlfriend propositions him when her parents are out of the house. Four teens go skinny dipping in one scene, but no sensitive body parts are shown.


Language includes "ass," "crap," and "damn."


Visible brands include Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters get passed-out drunk on whiskey. Two guys drink beer while they hang out together.

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.

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySamhit September 8, 2013

Good for Tweens and teens.

There is some mild language (a$$). Teenagers go skinny dipping but no graphic nudity.

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

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