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Believe in Me Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Sweet, feel-good sports flick is girl-powered.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is one of the few films in the "inspiring sports drama" genre that deals with female athletes. Battling the sexist double standard that girls' teams don't matter as much as boys' is the movie's central theme. Based on a true story, the film is set in 1960s Oklahoma; men, particularly fathers, are depicted as having complete authority. One of the teenage athletes elopes and has a baby. At first it's a big scandal, but she's eventually accepted and let back on the team. Adoption is discussed as being a peculiar, uncommon occurrence.

  • Families can talk about why the Lady Cyclones weren't as valued as the boys' basketball team. Is sexism still evident in high-school -- or even professional -- sports? What can be done to change that? How did Coach Driscoll treat his players "like boys"? How did the team prove Mr. Brawley wrong? What has changed since the 1960s for young women interested in sports? Can you think of female athletes who serve as role models in various sports? Why don't more sports movies deal with female athletes' teams?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The overlooked girls' basketball team realizes that they can -- and should -- play as competitively as their male counterparts. Coach Driscoll goes from grumbling about coaching girls to preferring it. The girls demand to be treated just like the boy athletes and command the respect and loyalty of their school and town.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: The Lady Cyclones get into an on-court fight with another team, and the girls punch, wrestle, and pull each other's hair. A father forces his daughter off the team by physically dragging her away.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Mild kissing between the coach and his wife; a high-school student elopes and gets pregnant (causing scandal). In a brief locker room scene, a girl is shown in her bra.

  • language false0

    Language: About as clean as a live-action film can get: one instance of "ass," and mild utterances of frustration like "doggonit!"

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue