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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The athletes have a fierce determination and a strong work ethic (which they apply to dangerous and possibly fatal sporting events and stunts, but still...). The athletes' behavior embodies good sportsmanship and sends a message about the value of friendship and support.
Positive Role Models
Parents need to be very up front about discussing the fact that these are trained athletes whose actions should not be imitated by kids. Although the athletes are presented as responsible and professional, they consistently push the limits of sense and caution, up to and including engaging in high-risk stunts with broken bones incurred in previous events.
Violence & Scariness
Various high-impact spills, falls, and accidents in the context of extreme sports; a disclaimer at the start of the film notes that all of the film's stunts are performed by "trained professionals under highly supervised conditions."
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Nothing audible beyond "oh my God," although at one point a frustrated athlete clearly -- albeit wordlessly -- expresses a stronger expletive.
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Products & Purchases
The film features a profusion of sponsor logos in the staging areas and on the athletes' gear, including Mountain Dew, Taco Bell, Dunlop, Yamaha, Staples, Shoei, Verizon, the Navy, and many more. The movie could also be considered one big promotion for the X Games themselves, which are a very commercialized event.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Winners brandish champagne on the stand at athletic events.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sports documentary showcases high-energy, high-risk stunts performed by expert professionals. There's a high degree of danger in these events, and viewers see plenty of high-altitude falls and bone-jarring crashes. Kids will glean some positive messages from the athletes' professionalism, enthusiasm, and camaraderie -- but they'll also probably need strong reminders that similar stunts shouldn't be undertaken lightly or replicated at home. Expect to see lots of sponsor logos in nearly every scene. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
X Games 3D is a bit of a contradiction; it's a full-length corporate promotional vehicle, but it also features amazing sportsmanship and effort in the name of excellence. The athletes -- familiar names like White, Pastrana, and Ricky Carmichael -- are interviewed about their efforts, achievements, and philosophy ... thoughtful moments that are intercut with more kinetic segments loaded with skateboard stunts, motorcycle jumps, dirt-track race car driving, and other high-energy events.
The 3D footage is fascinating, even if it gets a little repetitive. (And you actually have to wonder whether presenting a 50-foot fall in 3D is an optimal use of the technology.) Kids who can extract the message -- if at first you don't succeed, try, try again, and you never know whether you can do it until you try -- from the thrills and spills will find much to enjoy, and even learn, from X Games 3D.
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.