Uncle Drew Parent Guide
The "B" grade may be for boring.
Parent Movie Review
Basketball is a fast paced, high scoring, exciting game. One would expect a movie based on the sport to have the same qualities. But, life, as the saying goes, is full of surprises…
Uncle Drew begins with Dax (Lil Rel Howery), a shoe salesman and amateur basketball coach, who has scraped together a team and the $5000 entry fee for Harlem’s famed Rucker Tournament. One week before it begins, his team is wooed away by his nemesis – a cartoonishly immature rival from his teen years named Mookie (Nick Kroll). Humiliated, broke, and homeless when his girlfriend kicks him out (only to let Mookie move in), Dax decides his only hope is to find another team and make a desperate try for the Rucker’s $100,000 prize.
Wandering through Harlem, Dax stumbles across Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) as he trounces a young man on an outdoor court. Dax is familiar with the old man’s legend – a brilliant player who threw away his chance at winning the 1968 Rucker when he slept with a teammate’s girlfriend and destroyed the team. Despite his advanced age, Dax recognizes real talent. He begs Uncle Drew to play for him and eventually agrees to his demand to choose all the players. Not surprisingly, Uncle Drew wants to reunite his 1968 teammates, despite their age and interpersonal conflicts.
Uncle Drew’s idea of a winning basketball team could only be taken seriously in movie land. Their first pick is Preacher (Chris Webber), who is being chased from his church by his incensed, baseball bat-wielding wife (Lisa Leslie). Next, they head for an arcade where they find Lights (Reggie Miller), nearly blind and relying on his granddaughter (Erica Ash) to help him play the games. Next stop is the seniors’ center where they find Boots (Nate Robinson), almost catatonic, on psychiatric lockdown, and in a wheelchair. The last stop is at a dojo where Uncle Drew gets punched by Big Fella (Shaquille O’Neal) who has been teaching a karate class and nursing a 50 year old grudge.
The rest of the movie follows the predictable formula used in underdog sports movies, but Uncle Drew pushes past this genre and reaches into the realm of fantasy. On the eve of the tournament, Uncle Drew manages to restore Lights’ vision and get Boots out of his wheelchair and running down the court. (Clearly, muscles do not atrophy in Hollywood.) To no one’s surprise, Dax’s and Uncle Drew’s team makes it through the tournament and there is vindication and redemption all around.
Despite its unrealistic aspects, Uncle Drew has some positive messages about unity, teamwork, forgiveness, and not stereotyping people based on their age or physical appearance. Even with these good messages, this movie might struggle to find an audience. Children, ‘tweens and basketball fans of all ages will likely feel that this movie is paced too slowly. It takes a very long hour of driving around and talking before the characters finally make it to the basketball court. Older teens and adults may find the canned plot and improbable conclusion too hard to swallow. And adults old enough to seethe victory of elderly players as some kind of wish fulfillment will probably object to the pounding music.
As they look at their shambolic team, Uncle Drew tells Dax, “Play the game the right way, it fixes everything.” Maybe so. But Preacher’s warning is a better fit for this movie. “You can’t always play your way out of your problems.”Directed by Charles Stone III. Starring Lil Rel Howery, Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O'Neal . Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release June 29, 2018. Updated July 9, 2018
Rating & Content Info
Why is Uncle Drew rated PG-13? Uncle Drew is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for suggestive material, language and brief nudity.
Violence: B A main character punches another lead character. A woman chases her husband with a baseball bat. One character repeatedly verbally harasses another character.
Sexual Content: B Jokes are made about erectile dysfunction and a medication to treat it. One character’s name is switched with a slang term for male genitalia. Chracters dance in a sexually suggestive manner. A man’s buttocks are seen when his hospital gown slides forwards.
Profanity: B Characters use occasional mild and moderate profanities, including two terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B Characters drink alcohol in a club.
Page last updated July 9, 2018
More parents' guide for Uncle Drew after the break...
Uncle Drew Parents' Guide
People don’t take Uncle Drew and his teammates seriously because of their age. Ageism, or discrimination based on age, can be a serious problem. Why do you think we make assumptions based on people’s appearance? Are there costs to ageism both to the elderly and people of other ages? What do you think can be done to combat this issue? Do you think people should be forced to retire at 65 or should they be allowed to work as long as they want? Do you think young people can also experience age discrimination? - Age discrimination. - Age discrimination in the workplace. - Discrimination against the young. - Benefits of age diversity.
Big Fella nurses a grudge with Uncle Drew for 50 years and Uncle Drew feels guilty for all of that time. Why do you think it took Uncle Drew so long to apologize? Why do you think Big Fella held on to his grievance for so long? Why might we find it hard to forgive someone who has hurt us? Are we doing them a favor when we forgive them or are we doing ourselves a favor? What was the cost to Big Fella of not forgiving Uncle Drew earlier? Do you think he had to wait for Uncle Drew to apologize before he forgave him? - Forgiving others helps us. - Mental health benefits of forgiveness - How do you forgive someone?
News About "Uncle Drew"
Learn more about the Rucker Classic Streetball Tournament, which is more correctly called the Entertainers Basketball Classic.
Check out the Pepsi video that turned into a series and inspired this movie: Uncle Drew: Chapter 1.
From the Studio:
After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend UNCLE DREW (NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie) and prove that a group of septuagenarians can still win the big one. After a successful five years as a fan-favorite digital episodic series, originally conceived by Pepsi, UNCLE DREW, will hit theaters June 29, 2018. UNCLE DREW is a Summit Entertainment release produced by Temple Hill in association with PepsiCo’s Creators League Studios.