Odd Man Rush parents guide

Odd Man Rush Parent Guide

A surprisingly thoughtful sports film, this movie's locker room depiction is too accurate for family viewing.

Overall C

Digital on Demand: Bobby Sanders, a hockey star from Harvard university, has been playing in the minor leagues in Sweden, dreaming of the NHL. But he's met a girl at the local market who makes him rethink a career in North America...

Release date September 1, 2020

Violence B
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use B-

Why is Odd Man Rush rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Odd Man Rush Not Rated

Run Time: 85 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Bobby Sanders (Jack Mulhern) has always dreamed of making it in “The Show” – hockey slang for the NHL (National Hockey League). And it looks like he’s in a good position to achieve his goal, having scored a spot on Harvard’s competitive university team. But an unexpected back injury ruins his last season and tanks his stats. His only chance of playing in the NHL now is to go play for a league so remote that his college stats won’t matter. Unwilling to give up on his dream, Bobby finds himself on a junior team in a tiny Swedish town, trying to figure out how high a price he’s going to have to pay to achieve his lifelong hockey ambitions. Then he meets Elin (Elektra Kilbey), the lovely young grocer, at a bus stop. …

There are more than a few cameos from NHL players and their families. As a lifelong Calgary Flames fan, seeing Jim Playfair (a former head coach) turn up as a referee was a little disconcerting – and no, the last name is not a coincidence, his son Dylan plays Dean Hunter, another character in the film. The other big name who shows up is Trevor Gretzky (yes, the Great One’s son) as Sully. Alexa Lemieux (Mario’s daughter) also has a brief cameo.

Hockey is a fantastic sport, but the culture in the dressing room is not famously family friendly. Odd Man Rush leans towards the accurate end of that spectrum with frequent profanity, sexual language, and drinking. On the other hand, the movie has a lot of good lessons about finding a career path and knowing when to change your plans. It’s surprisingly introspective for a sports movie – less about the goals scored and more about charting a future for yourself.

But the biggest problem for me is the truncated third act: the movie is pretty clear about how it’s going to end, but it does so much too abruptly. I’m not lost in wonder about what decisions the characters made, but it is a little jarring when the movie decides not to show you any of them. This isn’t exactly a fast-paced sports comedy either, so the actual ending and the character development are more important than they would be in the standard raunchy sports flick.

Odd Man Rush isn’t a bad entry into sports drama, but it isn’t serious enough or funny enough to be a top contender. Where it does excel is at portraying the struggle for young men who dream of the NHL, the difficulties of the sport, and the toll that hockey can take on your body and your relationships. And since all the teams I like have been eliminated from the current NHL playoffs this movie is probably the better hockey option for me at this point anyway.

Directed by Doug Dearth. Starring Dylan Playfair, Jack Mulhern, and Caspar Phillipson.. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release September 1, 2020. Updated

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Odd Man Rush
Rating & Content Info

Why is Odd Man Rush rated Not Rated? Odd Man Rush is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: There is a depiction of a hockey fight.
Sexual Content: There are several crude jokes and sexual references. Characters (both male and female) are shown in their underwear or implied to be nude seen from the shoulders up.
Profanity: There are 38 extreme profanities, 22 scatological curses, and the occasional use of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking socially and chewing tobacco.

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Odd Man Rush Parents' Guide

What are your plans for your career? How did you decide what you want to do? Do you have an alternate plan? What are the pros and cons of your choices? What matters the most to you in choosing a future career?

Home Video

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For more family-friendly hockey offerings, Miracle, The Mighty Ducks, and MVP: Most Valuable Primate are probably a better option. A more serious choice is Indian Horse, which tells the story of a young First Nations boy who survives a brutal upbringing in Canada’s residential schools, but has a passion for hockey and the skills to make his dreams come true – if he can overcome the trauma he suffered as a child and the racist culture in the league.