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Bang the Drum Slowly Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Talky, leisurely, and poetic baseball drama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is the furthest thing from nonstop baseball action. It's extremely talky, with the game scenes almost an afterthought. There is lots of salty locker-room language, including references to (possible) homosexuality and adultery and sexually transmitted diseases. The subject of a man dying young isn't tackled religiously. Characters just sadly accept his fate.

  • Families can talk about the characters' motivations. Why does Wiggen go to such extremes to protect Bruce, when he (according to another character) had no great friendship with his fellow player before the fatal medical diagnosis. Do you think Wiggen's actions show team spirit, or just the opposite? What do you think would have happened if he had told the truth about Pearson in the first place?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Henry Wiggen puts his friendship with Bruce Pearson ahead of everything else (though we hear from incidental dialogue that this may not always have been the case). The rest of their team is multicultural, and the team owner is female (but not necessarily sympathetic).

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Not an issue

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sideways talk about baseball players having prolific love affairs; references to sexually transmitted disease and Playboy magazine. The close friendship between Pearson and Wiggen is misinterpreted (briefly) as homosexuality.

  • language false3

    Language: One F-word, many "dammits," and use of the S-word (one character apologizes profusely before uttering it), and the P-word (for urination).

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: References to a handful of popular men's magazines and their advice on dressing and hairstyles.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking.

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