Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man Alive

Movie review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man Alive Movie Poster Image
Clean sports documentary is inspiring but a little bland.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 59 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The overarching message is that natural talent is not enough; hard work and determination are necessary to help you achieve great things. Family and friendship also are emphasized. Bolt trains with one of his close friends, who happens to be his closest rival in sprinting: "Even though they're bitter rivals on the track, they train together as friends."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Usain Bolt proves himself to be a great role model in the documentary by showing that consistent hard work, strong ties to family and friends, and a positive outlook are necessary to be successful.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Bolt makes one reference to sex by telling the film crew, "I hear Rome is the best for women, is that true? I'm hoping that I get lucky."


Although there's no real swearing, "hell" and "pissed" are both used once.


Bolt is shown filming commercials for products, though the products themselves aren't featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bolt himself is never shown drinking, though two people are shown in crowds at events with beer or wine in their hands.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Usain Bolt: Fastest Man Alive is a BBC documentary about the Jamaican sprinter who has won six Olympic gold medals and broken numerous world records for sprinting. This inspiring and clean film is appropriate for all ages since it has only a couple of very minor references to alcohol and sexuality and no violence or bad language other than "hell," though young kids might find it a little boring.

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What's the story?

This BBC documentary follows Usain Bolt, regarded by many as the fastest man alive, as he prepares for the 2012 Olympic Games. Bolt's early life in Sherwood Content, Jamaica, and his early rise to sports fame is documented, alongside footage of his various races, training, and daily life.

Is it any good?

This inspiring sports documentary is short and sweet but feels a bit shallow. We do get to see an inside look at Usain Bolt's daily life, following him and his entourage as they prepare for the 2012 Olympics, but most of the coverage feels pretty superficial. Bolt lives a pretty clean life and comes from a loving and stable background, which makes for a wholesome but somewhat bland documentary.

Sports fans will be wowed and inspired by Bolt's amazing speed and tireless work ethic. Parents will appreciate how Bolt never blames anyone for his mistakes but works hard to overcome them. Still, young kids or those not very interested in sports may be a bit bored by the documentary.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about role models. What makes Usain Bolt a good role model?

  • Why do you think Bolt is so successful? Which do you think is more important: natural talent or hard work?

  • Do you think this documentary is interesting if you're not a fan of sprinting? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

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