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The Greatest Game Ever Played Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    An inert family golf movie.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Actor-turned-helmer Bill Paxton has fashioned solid family entertainment in this well-cast feature.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    As feel-good as any sports movie you're likely to find. It's a solid choice for family viewing, but is equally worthy of viewing by solo adults.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I am not a golf fan but found The Greatest Game Ever Played absorbing all the same, partly because of the human element, partly because Paxton and his technicians have used every trick in the book to dramatize the flight and destination of the golf balls.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Predictable but inspiring family sports movie.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie features sustained and occasionally eruptive family tensions (father doesn't want son to play golf). Characters smoke (cigars, pipes, and cigarettes) and drink (the working class drinkers are especially rowdy in a pub scene). A couple of bystanders tease a caddy who is especially short. A budding romance between protagonists insinuates sexual interest. One golfer is haunted by images of ominous men in dark suits and tall hats, left over from a childhood encounter.

  • Families can talk about the conflict between father and son: how does Francis' desire to play golf threaten his father's pride and sense of identity? What role does Francis' mother play in the men's disagreement? Are there still class distinctions in professional sports today?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Some efforts by upper classmen to keep working class golfers out of the tournament.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: Some anger displayed by father, which might worry younger viewers.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Francis has a crush on a pretty, wealthy girl: they exchange looks.

  • language false0

    Language: Very mild.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some discreet drinking at a party and rowdy drinking and smoking in a working class pub.