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Free Style Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Teen motocross fan aims big in well-meaning but so-so drama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that coming-of-age sports drama Free Style is grittier than what tweens and teens who "met" star Corbin Bleu through the hit High School Musical movies might expect. Although there’s little swearing ("dumba--" is as strong as it gets) and the romance is pretty tame (expect a bit of kissing and flirting), there's a brief scene of underage drinking, and the themes are more mature than tween-targeted Disney fare -- including financial struggles, family and friendship stress, and the challenges that can come with being biracial. The motocross races have a fair bit of action, with the main character and his rival performing some dangerous stunts in an effort to outdo each other.

  • Families can talk about whether Cale’s predicament -- and his goal -- seems realistic. What do you think you'd do in a similar situation?
  • Is the film’s depiction of teen relationships accurate? How does it compare to the version you've seen in movies like High School Musical?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: A young man works around the clock to support his family and achieve his dreams of motocross victory. It's not always easy, but he soldiers on and learns some important lessons.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The main character, Cale, is a hardworking teen who's genuinely supportive of his mom and sister. He carries a load that’s probably heavier than most other teens, working long hours to help pay the bills and barely having time for his motocross passion. Other role models are a more mixed bag -- Cale's mother, though devoted, may have lied about something big, and his father is MIA. And Cale's steady girlfriend seems to look down on him for not having a clear path to financial success.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Two friends have a shoving fight, and rivals on the track perform dangerous stunts to outrace each other. A teen damages another person's car in a moment of rage and gets in trouble with the cops. Also some taunting between competitors.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Couples kiss. Some close dancing at a teen party. Lots of flirting.

  • language false2

    Language: A few words like “dumba--“ come up, but otherwise it’s fairly clean.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Lots of motocross logos prominently featured, including Kawasaki and Honda.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: There's some underage drinking at a party the main character delivers pizza to (and then proceeds to walk around while looking for someone), but he doesn't partake.