The Heart of the Game

2005 PG-13 1h 43m DVD

The Heart of the Game

2005 PG-13 1h 43m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Attending predominantly white Roosevelt High because her mother thinks she'll have better opportunities under the school's successful coach, gifted black hoopster Darnellia Russell puts herself -- and her coach -- through the wringer. Shot in a suburban Seattle high school over a seven-year period, director Ward Serrill's stirring documentary explores the complicated relationship between gender, race and organized sports.
Darnellia Russell, Bill Resler, Joyce Walker, Ludacris
Ward Serrill
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this documentary includes images of high school basketballers devoted to becoming a nationally ranked team: The girls are occasionally roughed up on the court and rebellious against their hard-driving coach. One girl reveals she was sexually abused by an individual coach (and she comes back to help her original coach work with younger players); another becomes pregnant and misses a season, returning as a single mother. Some cursing (including an f-word and s-word).

Sexual Content

One girl admits late in the film that a coach she hired individually sexually abused her (her recollection is tearful); another player becomes pregnant as a teenager and misses a season.


On-court action includes bumping and hard fouling; language includes references to aggressive play ("killing" opponents).


One girl uses the f-word following a disappointing loss; s-word; couple of "hell"s.

Social Behavior

Discussion of race and racism, players and coach's journey to the finals and evolving commitment to each other are inspiring.


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.

How it works

  • 1

    Create your list

    Browse from thousands of movies and shows.

  • 2

    Free delivery

    We send out your disc the next business day.

  • 3

    Watch and repeat

    Free returns, plus no due dates or late fees.

Unlimited movies sent to your door, starting at $9.99 a month.