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"PRIDE"
(2007) (Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Extreme Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Minor Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A 1970s era city worker tries to motivate a group of black Philadelphia teens to compete in the world of competitive swimming.
PLOT:
As a black man, Jim Ellis (TERRENCE HOWARD) has faced racism most of his life, especially when he was the only man of color on his college team trying to swim competitively in the 1960s. A decade later, he encounters the same when he applies for a coaching position at the mostly if not all white Main Line Academy where Coach Bink (TOM ARNOLD) doesn't think "a person like you could communicate with our students." Desperate for a job, he lands one with the city of Philadelphia where he's to oversee the cleaning out of a rundown department of recreation facility.

That doesn't sit well with its head of maintenance, Elston (BERNIE MAC), who is just now learning of its pending closure, an action councilwoman Sue Davis (KIMBERLY ELISE) thinks is long overdue, what with the place drawing the criminal element, such as pimp and drug dealer Franklin (GARY STURGIS). He's often enticing the likes of various teens who hang out there and play basketball, such as Puddin' Head (BRANDON FOBBS), Andre (KEVIN PHILLIPS), Reggie (EVAN ROSS), Walt (ALPHONSO McAULEY) and Hakim (NATE PARKER), the latter being Sue's younger brother.

When he sees their basketball rims removed from the court, Jim decides to invite them in to use the pool, figuring they'd appreciate a break from the heat and something to do away from the likes of Franklin and his thugs. The teens clown around inside the facility's pool, but soon decide they'd like to form a swim team, especially after seeing how good Jim is at that sport. Although he and Elston have their doubts, the young men give it a go and are eventually joined by Willie (REGINE NEHY) who holds her own against all of the guys.

From that point on, and while dealing with the need for discipline and practice as well as the continued specter of racism, the teens come together as a team and, with Jim's guidance and Elston's help, compete against other better funded and more established teams, including Bink's Main Line Academy.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast, inspirational sports movies, or anything to do with competitive swimming, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic material, language including some racial epithets, and violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TERRENCE HOWARD plays a black man who's dealt with racism most of his life and continues with that as he decides to turn the teens into a competitive swim team and thus keep the department of recreation facility open. While occasionally prone to violence when provoked, he otherwise cares about the kids and their efforts as a team.
  • BERNIE MAC plays the facility's head of maintenance who initially clashes with Jim over the scheduled shuttering of the place, but eventually comes around, befriends, and helps him coach the team.
  • KIMBERLY ELISE plays a city councilwoman who wants the facility shut down, but eventually gives in to Jim's plans, although she's wary of her younger brother's involvement on the team.
  • NATE PARKER plays her brother who initially skips school to be on the team, thus bringing ire from his big sister.
  • KEVIN PHILLIPS plays an initially brash and wise-mouthed member of the team who clashes with Jim, but eventually comes around.
  • EVAN ROSS plays a teammate with a speaking or learning disability who does his best to help the team win.
  • REGINE NEHY plays the lone girl on the team who has to hold her own against the boys.
  • BRANDON FOBBS and ALPHONSO McAULEY play other members of the team who initially clown around, but eventually become serious about the task at hand.
  • GARY STURGIS plays the local drug dealer and/or pimp who hangs out the playground, propositioning teens and adults alike with his "goods." He smokes some.
  • TOM ARNOLD plays the racist coach at an upscale academy who won't hire Jim because he's black and later won't compete against his team for the same reason.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 5 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present (including a pimp offering a man one of his hookers), while various male teens are seen shirtless (sometimes in small swim trunks).

    Violence includes some fighting and striking of others, while those scenes and a few others might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers. Various bad attitudes are present (including that of racism), while some characters drink, one smokes, and we see what looks like some drug dealing (but no use).

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A man drinks beer while hanging out at the playground.
  • Sue refers to the athletic center as a nesting ground for drugs.
  • We briefly see what appears to be some drug dealing out in the parking lot.
  • A man holds a brown paper bag in the parking lot, presumably containing a bottle of liquor.
  • Franklin tells one of the swimmers to stick around and have a beer, but the young man doesn't want anything to do with him.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Franklin has a large scar on his neck, while one swimmer has one on his back.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • In college, Jim learns that an opposing team has threatened to boycott the swim meet upon seeing the young black man get off the bus. When Jim then enters the pool area, various white people boo and make other racist comments toward him. He races anyway, but then realizes that the white swimmers didn't participate in the race. That leads to racial tension out of the pool, including a white cop drawing his nightstick on Jim. A scuffle breaks out, a person is knocked into the pool, the cop pushes Jim, and he pushes and then punches the cop back. More struggling continues, including them pinning Jim to the floor, with one cop's foot on his head.
  • Jim applies for a job with Bink's academy swim team, but seeing Jim's skin color, Bink says that he doesn't think "a person like you could communicate with our students."
  • One basketball player jokingly tells another, "You throw like my sister."
  • The teens make fun of Jim's disheveled appearance.
  • Various adults refer to Reggie (who has a speech impediment or learning disability) as a "tard," "this little dope" and ask, "What is wrong with this little nigger?"
  • Franklin is a drug dealer and/or pimp who's always tempting the young men with his wares.
  • Elston initially has a bad attitude toward Jim, but eventually becomes his friend and assistant coach.
  • Andre initially has a bad attitude toward Jim, calling him the janitor. Other then laugh about Jim in his briefs (when he strips down to race one of them), calling him a "fruitcake" and "Captain panties."
  • The various young men check out Willie when she joins the team.
  • When Jim's team goes to compete at a swim meet, white people there react adversely to them. Opposing white players react the same way, with one stating, "You aren't the Harlem Globetrotters," one kicks one of the black men in the head while competing against him, and another white guy tells a PDR swimmer to be glad they took the cuffs off him so he could swim.
  • Jim's swimmers initially don't take their efforts or a loss seriously.
  • One swimmer shows up late for practice and doesn't seem to care, so Jim orders that he swim a number of penalty laps. When he won't, Jim orders that his teammates do the laps for him, prompting the teen to grab and throw a chair in anger (just aside, not at anyone).
  • Franklin coerces Reggie into making a delivery for him, saying he still owes him for accidentally breaking a radio earlier.
  • With a swim meet scheduled at PDR, Bink's team arrives, but the coach then says that some of them are sick and thus can't compete (since they don't want to swim at a black facility, although they don't say this outright). The official at the meet refuses to disqualify them.
  • Jim and his team return to the facility to find the place ransacked. They then find Franklin and his thugs in the pool area, with Franklin urinating into the pool (we see the stream). Jim then loses it and pushes Franklin in the pool, punches one thug, and then picks up the other and throws him to the floor. He then punches and kicks those two before jumping in the pool and pulling Franklin under the water, attempting to drown him. One swimmer then jumps in and pulls Jim away before he kills the man.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Reggie shoots a basketball that misses the goal and instead accidentally lands on and breaks Franklin's radio, drawing his ire.
  • Jim stops Franklin's car, ordering Reggie and another swimmer out of the car (we think Franklin or his goon will do something violent, but nothing happens).
  • Jim and his team return to the facility to find the place ransacked. They then find Franklin and his thugs in the pool area, with Franklin urinating into the pool (we see the stream). Jim then loses it and pushes Franklin in the pool, punches one thug, and then picks up the other and throws him to the floor. He then punches and kicks those two before jumping in the pool and pulling Franklin under the water, attempting to drown him. One swimmer then jumps in and pulls Jim away before he kills the man.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Starter's pistols are used to start various swim meet races.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Who broke my sh*t?" "This is bullsh*t," "What sort of bullsh*t circus are you running here?" "But his papa's condom broke," "A hell of a bind," "Black ass," "Shut your white ass up," "You suck," "You throw like my sister," "Tard" (short for retard), "What is wrong with this little nigger?" "This little dope," "What is your problem, dude?" "A hell of a job," "What the hell /do you think you're doing?" "Mr. smart ass," "Old ass," "Fruitcake," "Captain panties," "I'll kick both of your ugly asses," "Jokers," "Fool," "Sitting on your ass," "Damn cocky," "Hell no," "Boys" (testicles), "Pompous ass," "Your thumb up your ass," "You pissed the whole thing away," "One hell of a swimmer," "Chill," "Nigger" (said by black people) and "I had a damn good reason."
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • The young men throw a basketball around while in the pool.
  • Hakim has a tattoo on his back.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 5 "s" words, 13 asses, 9 hells, 7 damns, and 1 S.O.B.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Throughout the film, we see various shirtless male swimmers (sometimes in small racing trunks) as well as shirtless male basketball players.
  • The camera focuses on Sue's legs as she walks down the hall.
  • We see Jim walk out in just a towel that he then drops to reveal he's in a pair of swim trunks.
  • The young men briefly talk about sex, with one saying he's going to wait until he's married before he does it, with another jokingly asking what he knows about sex, adding, "Nothing." None of that talk is explicit or graphic.
  • About being somewhere they're not supposed to be, one of the young men jokes that same holds true for Puddin' Head, stating but his papa's condom broke.
  • We see Jim in his briefs when he strips down to race one of the young men in the pool.
  • Elston opts not to get into the pool, adding that where he comes from, they swim naked, and he doesn't want to embarrass any of the other men.
  • Sporting a hooker by him, Franklin asks Jim if he wants some "of this candy" to go along with the groceries he's carrying.
  • The various young men check out Willie when she joins the team.
  • When shown their team swim trunks, the young men all complain, with one joking that he can't get his "boys" in there. Elston then jokes back that there's plenty of room for that young man and his "boys" in them.
  • During a swim meet, a swimmer's cut-off jeans fall off (we don't see anything, but others laugh).
  • SMOKING
  • Franklin smokes several times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Sue is not only Hakim's sister, but also his legal guardian (meaning their parents aren't around).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Racism in the past and present.
  • The real-life inspiration for the film.
  • The comment that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission (in terms of proceeding with some likely unpopular activity).
  • Various adults refer to Reggie (who has a speech impediment or learning disability) as a "tard," "this little dope" and ask, "What is wrong with this little nigger?"
  • We hear that one of the young men took gunshots in the past while working for Franklin (not seen).
  • Jim suspending himself from the team (as the coach) for previously beating up Franklin and his thugs (after they ransacked his place).
  • VIOLENCE
  • In college, Jim learns that an opposing team has threatened to boycott the swim meet upon seeing the young black man get off the bus. When Jim then enters the pool area, various white people boo and make other racist comments toward him. He races anyway, but then realizes that the white swimmers didn't participate in the race. That leads to racial tension out of the pool, including a white cop drawing his nightstick on Jim. A scuffle breaks out, a person is knocked into the pool, the cop pushes Jim, and he pushes and then punches the cop back. More struggling continues, including them pinning Jim to the floor, with one cop's foot on his head.
  • Reggie shoots a basketball that misses the goal and instead accidentally lands on and breaks Franklin's radio, drawing his ire.
  • During a swim meet, Reggie accidentally hits his head on the end wall during a turn (no blood), while an opposing swimmer kicks another in the head.
  • One swimmer shows up late for practice and doesn't seem to care, so Jim orders that he swim a number of penalty laps. When he won't, Jim orders that his teammates do the laps for him, prompting the teen to grab and throw a chair in anger (just aside, not at anyone).
  • Jim and his team return to the facility to find the place ransacked. They then find Franklin and his thugs in the pool area, with Franklin urinating into the pool (we see the stream). Jim then loses it and pushes Franklin in the pool, punches one thug, and then picks up the other and throws him to the floor. He then punches and kicks those two before jumping in the pool and pulling Franklin under the water, attempting to drown him. One swimmer then jumps in and pulls Jim away before he kills the man.



  • Reviewed March 10, 2007 / Posted March 23, 2007

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