Uncle Drew

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Uncle Drew Movie Poster Image
Amusing street-ball comedy has a few racy jokes, language.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 103 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Several positive messages, the most obvious being that you have to take risks to achieve your goals, and you shouldn't let the possibility of failure stop you from trying to succeed. Another big message is that sports should be played above all for the love of the game and of your team, not (simply) for financial benefit. The importance of teamwork, communication, and forgiveness are also explored.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dax loves basketball and is ambitious about helping to discover an extraordinary team/player. Uncle Drew loves basketball and learns from past mistakes. Big Fella, Boots, Preacher, and Lights all teach Dax (and one another) about the meaning of the game and the importance of teamwork, forgiveness, and playing with your heart.

Violence

Big Fella clocks Uncle Drew with a martial arts-like strike. A character has a heart attack but recovers.

Sex

Kissing. A few suggestive jokes and scenes, including a woman wrapped in a towel and man shirtless in a towel joking about how they were in the shower together "getting dirty." Repeated reference to Uncle Drew sleeping with a teammate's "girl" back in the day. Uncle Drew's conversion van has a "boom boom room" (a space with a bed), where he supposedly bedded many, many women. One nonsexual glimpse at Shaquille O'Neill's bare backside. Viagra joke.

Language

One use of "s--t" and "son of a bitch," and a few more of "d--k," "ass," "damn," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), "stupid," "hell," etc. A bleeped out use of "f--k."

Consumerism

Nike logo in nearly every scene; not just on sneakers but also apparel. Uncle Drew wears Kyrie Irving Nikes, and Jordans are purchased as part of the plot. ESPN (one of the movie's producing partners) is heavily promoted, particularly SportsCenter. Other obvious brands: Foot Locker, Gucci, Panasonic, Cadillac, Aleve, Pepsi (also one of the producing partners), GM, Enterprise, Bud Light, Vizio, KT Tape.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink at a bar/club.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Uncle Drew is a basketball comedy starring NBA All Star Kyrie Irving, with legendary players Shaquille O'Neill, Reggie Miller, Lisa Leslie, Chris Webber, and Nate Robinson co-starring as 70-something retirees who reunite to play in one final street-ball tournament together. Co-produced by ESPN in partnership with Pepsi and Nike, the film features and mentions those brands prominently. Uncle Drew even wears Irving's brand of Nike sneakers in a wink to the athlete behind the old-timer persona. Expect some suggestive jokes and scenes (e.g., a man and a woman in towels make it clear what they were doing in the shower together) and infrequent language ("s--t," "damn," "ass"). But the movie has strong messages about teamwork, taking risks to achieve your goals, and playing for the love of the game; it's generally fine for mature tweens and up, particularly if they're big basketball fans.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 year old Written byBizeumi July 2, 2018

Should b R rated

Our expectations of the movie were to see a whitty elderly basketball team outplay younger teams. We did not expect the overly sexualization of many of the char... Continue reading
Adult Written byDV78 June 29, 2018

summertime family fun

This was a fun family movie. It has a positive message about teamwork and only mild language. My kids thought it was hilarious.
Kid, 11 years old June 27, 2018

Ballers will love it

Funny, amazing, basketball movie. There was some language. One use of the s word son of a bi--h there was d--n a few but that's really it. The thought th... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 28, 2018

A funny comedy, yet a bit boring for younger kids.

When I saw this film, I particularly enjoyed it, and it seemed appropriate for kids. But, at times, I was pretty bored by it, and didn't understand it, and... Continue reading

What's the story?

UNCLE DREW follows basketball-obsessed Foot Locker salesman Dax (Lil Rel Howery), whose aspirations for coaching a tournament-winning street-ball team are ruined when his longtime rival, Mookie (Nick Kroll), poaches Dax's team -- and his chances at the first-place team's $100,000 check. With Dax's whole life savings spent on Harlem's Rucker Classic registration fee, he goes on a desperate search for another team ... and finds 70-something Uncle Drew (NBA All Star Kyrie Irving), a street-ball legend who famously played in the same tournament 50 years earlier. Uncle Drew agrees to play for Dax as long as he can recruit his own roster. The duo ends up road-tripping to convince Drew's (very) old teammates to join the crew: Preacher (Chris Webber), wheelchair-bound Boots (Nate Robinson), Big Fella (Shaquille O'Neill), and legally blind Lights (Reggie Miller). The team ends up reconnecting both on and off the court and healing old wounds.

Is it any good?

There might not be anything new about an underdog sports comedy, but this one is entertaining enough even for viewers who can't tell Nike Jordans from Irvings. Howery, best known as the scene-stealing best friend from Get Out, is effective here as the straight man comedy lead. His comedy skills are on point, and he's easily believable as a lovable loser basketball fanatic. Comedy queen Tiffany Haddish co-stars as his hilariously materialistic girlfriend, Jess, who dumps him for Mookie, played by Kroll in a delightfully manic performance. 

Uncle Drew and his crew -- that is to say the NBA players past and present -- don't have to do that much to be funny, and audiences don't need to know who's who to enjoy the sight gags, but it helps. For example, those who don't know that Kyrie has his own line of Nike sneakers won't realize that Drew is wearing them throughout most of the movie, and only moviegoers familiar with the players will get a couple of the jokes about their strengths on the court (or in one case, a timeout zinger aimed at Webber -- look up the NCAA championship game from 1993). WNBA star Lisa Leslie also appears as Preacher's intimidating wife, Betty Lou, who knows how to ball but is really just concerned about her dear husband's health. Ultimately, even someone who only knows the names of GOATs like Jordan, Johnson, Jabbar (and OK, O'Neill and Miller) will find reasons to laugh. Is this an amazing movie that will stand the test of time? Not at all. But it's better than expected from the premise and good for inspirational sports-related messages and several belly laughs.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the messages in Uncle Drew. What does Uncle Drew mean when he tells Dax that "you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take"?

  • Who are the role models in the movie? How is teamwork portrayed in the story, and why is that an important character strength?

  • Why do you think sports movies are popular? What about comedies featuring actors in aging makeup/fat suits, etc.? What's the appeal of these sorts of films? How does Uncle Drew stack up?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love basketball

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