Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Leatherheads

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.
Profanity:A few bad words
Nudity/Sex:Some sexual references and non-explicit situations
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, drunkenness, speakeasies, smoking, drinking and smoking by a child
Violence/Scariness:Fighting, peril, suicide attempt, brief non-explicit wartime battle scene
Diversity Issues:Integrated team, strong female character
Movie Release Date:April 4, 2008

leatherheads_header.jpgLike the 1925 ragtag professional football team it follows, this movie has more high spirits than ability to deliver.

George Clooney directs and stars in this affectionate tribute to 1920’s “professional” football and 1930’s movie comedies, but it it captures more of the letter than the (high) spirit of the rat-a-tat-tat dialogue and ebullient effervescence of those Turner Classic Movie channel-worthy gems. It is entertaining without being especially memorable.

Clooney plays Dodge Connelly, a player on a failing team in a failing league. In 1925, football was a college sport. Cheering crowds filled college stadiums while professional football was disorganized on and off the field — or cow pasture, as the case might be. Dodge decides to recruit the top college player, Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski of The Office), who is not only a football hero but a real American WWI hero as well. Carter agrees to leave school because Dodge guarantees him a ton of money and because he is very happy to have a chance to keep playing. He is guided on this by his agent, CC Frazier (suitably, if silkily, satanic Jonathan Pryce), a character who raises the intriguing Jerry Maguire-ish question of whether pro sports would have been created without pressure from pro agents.



  • Steph

    My 12-year old laughed throughout Leatherheads and she only came with me under duress.
    I think warning about an attempted suicide in the movie is ridiculous.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Steph! I am so glad your daughter enjoyed the movie. I liked it more than many of the critics.
    Every family has a different list of what is and is not a concern for appropriateness. Many years ago, I received a very thoughtful email from a reader who reminded me about issues that may seem over-sensitive to some people but to others are reminders of a deeply painful loss. I promised her I would always mention references to suicide, even those intended to be light-hearted. I don’t mind erring on the side of disclosure to protect people from unpleasant surprises, for those who are not lucky enough to think of these references as ridiculous.

  • Patty

    My husband and I are in our fifties, which means this movie was before “our time”. But we thoroughly enjoyed it, being fans of movies based on history, true happenings/people. We didn’t think it was too “schmaltzy”. We took everything in the spirit of the movie and the times it depicted, and got a kick out of the music, clothes, cars, etc. And there were just good feelings afterwards, no nightmares from gore and blood and killings, no high blood pressure and tension. We would like to see more movies like this one! And we’re not old fuddy-duds, either. We’ve saw “Gone, Baby, Gone” and “I am Legend”, too.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Patty! I also thought it was a lot of fun.

  • Pauline

    Nell – please keep up the good work! I have four sons ages 10 to 21, and they’ve learned to check Movie Mom before we watch a family movie as a group. Also, I agree that mentioning any suicide reference is important, especially for families who have xperinced his tragedy.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks so much, Pauline! My best to you and your family and I hope you and your sons will visit often and let me know what you think about the movies you see.

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