A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Message-driven throughout. Includes numerous concepts about achieving goals and sense of well-being. Promotes resolving to finish what you start; with friends and family at your side, you never has do to anything alone; focus on taking care of yourself before anyone else; and, "What's the point of focusing on things we can't control?"
Positive Role Models
Leading character learns lesson about follow-through. At onset, it's noted (though not portrayed) that she never finishes what she starts. By finale, she clearly feels renewed and accomplished. Other characters represent various admirable traits: courage, spunk, determination, generosity, wisdom, and optimism. Ethnic diversity throughout.
Violence & Scariness
Character on bike runs into a tree. No serious injury.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few loving kisses.
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"Ass," "hell," "are you boinking him?," "balls."
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Products & Purchases
Countless images of sporting equipment, products, and events: (i.e., TYR, Cervelo, Castello, Speedo, Garmin, Rudy, Scattante, Cannondale, Boardman), Other products: Budweiser, Phillips, Red Zeppelin Productions.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine and beer are moderately consumed in a few social settings.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tri is a fictional drama about participants in triathlons -- an athletic competition that includes swimming, bike riding, and running. Referencing an exemplary real past competitor (Julie Moss) and using real events -- the central one here is the National Triathlon, which takes place annually in Washington, D.C. and is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. -- the movie hopes to portray the challenges, emotional highs and lows, as well as the demanding preparation and determination it takes to succeed. And, to succeed in this endeavor, at least as a novice, is simply to finish. Several personal stories are included here, all of which lead to thoughtful but familiar messages about life. The main character is a young woman with a history of quitting and a strong desire to get past that history. Additionally, in related subplots, viewers will meet several cancer patients who are living through a variety of stages in their treatment. Spoiler alert: a central character unexpectedly dies (off camera), and the grieving process is observed. Lots of film shows the contestants in training and tracking them in the actual events. A few curse words are heard (i.e., "ass," "balls," "hell"). Given the mature themes and thin plotting, the film is best for mature kids, especially those who might be interested in a sport that is growing in popularity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If there is to be a classic movie featuring the world of The Triathlon Competitor, it is yet to be made; this one tries hard, but fails to elicit any real drama or originality. There are some competent, even engaging performances. Director Jai Jamison, working on his first feature with a low budget and the heavy demands of photographing an event that covers expansive territory and is the most-populated international distance triathlon in the U.S., does admirably well given the story he's trying to tell. But story is the weakest element in Tri. From the outset, no one doubts that Natalie will achieve her goal. And, (Spoiler Alert) incorporating three separate characters fighting cancer as well as one with a devastating heart attack doesn't make up for the non-suspense at the core of the drama. It's slow-going, too, with plenty of pauses to allow conventional characters (the upbeat cancer patient, the grieving widower) to deliver wise but familiar messages about focus, gratitude, and acceptance. At best, the film is a nice introduction to the sport and what it means to commit to it.
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.