Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Bad News Bears

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for rude behavior, language throughout, some sexuality and thematic elements

Reviewed by: Rosemarie Ute Hoffman

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Comedy, Sports, Remake
1 hr. 51 min.
Year of Release:
Featuring: Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, Timmy Deters, Sammi Kane Kraft
Director: Richard Linklater
Producer: Geyer Kosinski
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?

How do I know what is right from wrong? In today’s society, there seems to be a gray area around what is right and wrong. What are some guidelines you can ask yourself to determine if an activity is right or not? And what should you do if someone you know might “stumble” if you participate in something that seems to be okay for you? Answer

Teen Qs™—Christian Answers for teenagers
Teens! Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.

Baseball has rules. Meet the exceptions.

The Bad News Bears is bad news! Any portion of this film that was intended to be of a positive tone and/or to make the viewer feel good is overshadowed by the deliberate cussing, flipping off, racist comments, sacrilegious remarks, and the permissive lifestyle and boozing of Coach Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton).

This movie is a far cry from the 1976 comedy favorite starring Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal. In comparison, this remake is equivalent to: The bases are loaded at the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the batter strikes out. Game over! Nonetheless, I could not stop there. In researching, I found the most memorable quotes from the original and reviewed some negative dialect that probably pushed the envelope for that particular period. However, with societies bombardment today of impressing our children subliminally, we ought to be responsible parents and guardians and protect them from this unnecessary “adult locker-room language.”

Buttermaker was once a minor league player called “The Blaze” who was fortunate enough to play only three-quarters of an inning in the majors. Unfortunately, his short major league career was abruptly stopped when he “[bleep] slapped” an umpire. Buttemaker is miserable and instead of conforming, decides to consistently exhibit rebellious behavior.

Liz Whitewood (Marcia Gay Harden) recruits the once pro baseball player to coach the Little League team of challenged kids—no matter their abilities or rather disabilities—to play the game. Buttermaker has accepted with no true intention of contributing to or guiding these impressionable kids. Ms. Whitewood is an uptight attorney who has filed an injunction against the league. She also has an agenda that is sure to keep anyone guessing. Sadly, her farsightedness has spilled over into her son’s life—another over-scheduled adolescent. Not only is Ms. Whitewood shallow, but she is also turned on by the coach’s “bad boy” persona. They do have sex, and her son Toby, who is on the team catches the coach in the hallway. Buttermaker quickly spins a tall tale about how he periodically checks up on all the players.

Last year’s champions, the Yankees, are the soon to be rivals of “Bo-Peep’s Gentlemen’s Club” the newly sponsored team called the “Bears.” The rivals’ coach Roy Bullock (Greg Kinnear) becomes nothing more than an irritant to Buttermaker, who ultimately fuels his fire to rethink and strategize. And, as suspected, the two teams are in the playoffs for the championship.

By day, Buttermaker works as a pest control exterminator. He drafts the team to help on his service calls while he drinks beer and supervises. His idea of celebrating with the team for their winning games is a meal at Hooters where the waitresses sport tight shirts with large busts. If that is not bad enough, in one scene they are all singing lyrics in unison to a rock song that includes the word “cocaine.” Buttermaker also makes an inappropriate analogy in the beginning that this is a dictatorship, and he is Hitler.

Amanda Whurlitzer (Sammi Kane Kraft) is approached by her estranged father “Boilermaker” after several years. For the sake of the team, Amanda is enrolled because of her incredible pitching arm. After feeling sorry for her father, she agrees, and joins. It is clear she desperately tries to connect with her father, but to no avail. He undermines her efforts with a cold and calculating comment regarding his estrangement, “I didn’t call you in three years because I didn’t want to play house.” Buttermaker just wants to be her friend, but in the end, he attempts to connect by making plans to bond.

It is appalling to run trailers that include children, or worse yet, portray children in such a demoralizing way. Parents do not be fooled! Just because there are young actors in this film it does not give the usual go ahead to let your children of thirteen or younger view it—even with you sitting beside them. The young actors participate in swearing throughout this movie, and it is constant. I strongly recommend that you view it first-hand, before letting this sort of vulgarity enter into the ear and eye gates of your precious children. Remember, it is our responsibility as parents to inspect and check what will enter in their spirit.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Year of Release—2005 / USA release: July 22, 2005 (nationwide)

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—DO NOT take children to see this movie. I was very offended at how this is supposedly a kid’s movie. A lot of profanity, using God’s name in vain, and sexual insinuations. Its best to not even watch it at all. I went into the theatre not knowing about the movie at all, and I wish I didn’t see it.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/1
—Janelle, age 23
Negative—We saw this movie with my 7 year old nephew. The swearing and the offensive language started in the first 5 minutes. After about half the movie, my 7 year old nephew started repeating the foul language right there in the theater! Luckily, he didn’t understand the sexual innuendos (thank God). If you have children, do NOT take them to see this. If you are a Christian, you will be offended. I promise you this. And by the way, most of the offensive language and behavior comes from the 11-12 year old children in this movie. Don’t see this.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive/3
—Eric Schwartz, age 39
Neutral—This was a funny movie for people who can stomach crude language. Billy Bob is Billy Bob, meaning that with just his prescence you know that there is subjective material. I lost count of the number of profanites, but there are quite many. I guess the disturbing part is the majority of the cussing comes from 11 and 12 year old kids. My overall view is that no one should see this film if they are not over the age of 13. Parents I recommend that you do not take your children if they are under the age of 13.
My Ratings: Offensive/3
—Clark, age 18
Neutral—I watched this movie some 30 years after I watched the original… I remember what was considered offensive back in the 70s, and language was a big issue, and rightly so. This film was filled with obscene language to a much stronger degree. I was the same age as the characters in the 70s original version and enjoyed seeing the underdogs overcome many odds. This group of youngsters did a good job in portraying the same message and even some of the same characters, which was humorous. However, there was much more in the way of sexual connotation and poor moral responsibility in terms of winning versus losing. Marcia Gay Harden’s character stated “It isn’t a real win, but it is a moral win, and that’s almost as good.” I found that disappointing. A positive aspect is that it was good in terms of having many children with different racial backgrounds and even disabilities get an opportunity to show some mastery in their otherwise powerless life struggle. However, it could have all been represented without all the obscenity and coarse joking.
My Ratings: Average/2
—Ronda, age 39
Movie Critics
…Coach Buttermaker is an effective teacher. Mostly he teaches the boys how to swear, drink, smoke, lie and ogle women…
—Christopher Lyon, Plugged-In
…The film’s abundantly offensive dialogue is so inappropriate that “Bad News Bears” could have used a month in post-production getting its mouth washed out with soap. …as potty-mouthed as any PG-13-rated movie to date…
—Ed Blank, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
…given the talent involved, it should have been much, much better…
—Glenn Whipp, L.A. Daily News