Contest

2013 PG 1h 27m DVD

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Contest

2013 PG 1h 27m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
After school administrators threaten teen bully Matt with expulsion, the boy pretends to befriend his favorite victim, Tommy. But as the two get to know each other while teamed up for a cooking contest, the line between friend and foe is blurred.
Format
DVD
Screen
Widescreen 1.78:1
CC
Yes
Audio
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Rating
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
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Reviews

age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Contest tackles the issue of bullying as it plays out between a high school athletic star and the downtrodden victim of his persistent physical and emotional abuse. The story follows the two as they're forced into a cooperative relationship that winds up having a positive effect on how each one views the other. Most of the incidents involve teens roughing up classmates in school halls or pressuring them into acting out against their own peers, but a few darker scenes show a non-swimmer thrown into a pool and another bloodied after a violent beat-down. The now-familiar mantra "speak up" is explored with varying degrees of success, with the teens' school's response - forcing the bully and his victim to join forces on an unsupervised project - being the most surprisingly ill-advised. Expect occasional language ("hell," mostly), brief physical contact between teens, and an exaggerated depiction of the social barriers in high school. Ultimately, though, the movie extols tolerance, compassion, and understanding as the greatest weapons against bullying.

Sexual Content

Teens flirt, and, in one scene, a guy cozies up to a girl to distract her and cause her to lose a contest, but most of the physical contact is limited to closeness and some quick kissing. In another, a basket of cylindrical food (salami, pepperoni, cucumbers) are implied to be phallic.

Violence

Incidents of bullying run the gamut; teens shove victims into walls, slap, punch, kick, and, in one case, toss a non-swimmer into a pool. One exchange is particularly violent, leaving the teen bloodied and bruised. Others actions - like stealing a classmate's lunch - cause less physical harm but are equally damaging emotionally. Tommy calls cyberbullying "online humiliation."

Language

Rarely "hell," plus some name-calling like "loser."

Social Behavior

The movie goes to lengths to analyze the issue of bullying from many perspectives, including those of the victim, the instigator, and bystanders. Throughout the story, their feelings aren't always definitive, which reflects the reality of this complicated issue. Sometimes the bully feels guilty, and sometimes taking out his aggressions on others makes him feel empowered. Similarly, the victim struggles with his conflicting emotions as he develops a tentative relationship with his former adversary. All that is resolved by the story's end, though, and every character has learned compromise, trust, self-respect, and compassion.

Consumerism

Not applicable.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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