Pause for kids 16 & under
Boxing biopic mixes inspiring story, mature content.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this biopic about boxer Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) grapples with some very tough themes -- including weighing the importance of family versus the importance of a career and exerting your own true self. While the characters and messages are ultimately positive, the movie is filled with boxing violence, some of it bloody, and strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t." There's no nudity, but characters are shown flirting, kissing, and sleeping together. And in addition to plenty of drinking and smoking, one major character is portrayed as a crack addict. Taken altogether, the movie is too rough for younger teens but inspirational for older, more mature viewers.
- Families can talk about the film's violence. How did the boxing scenes affect you? How does this kind of violence compare to what you see in big-budget action movies? Which has greater impact?
- Did Mickey make the right choice by leaving his family behind to further his career? Should he have had to make that choice at all?
- Was Dicky Eklund an inspirational character? Do you believe he actually knocked Sugar Ray down? Why would he live a life of drugs after such glory?