The Long Game parents guide

The Long Game Parent Guide

As a sports and equal rights film, "The Long Game" delivers a hole in one.

Overall B

Theaters: In 1955, a group of Mexican-American caddies built their own golf course in order to compete against wealthy teams from the local golf club who refuse to let people of color join.

Release date April 12, 2024

Violence B
Sexual Content A-
Profanity C+
Substance Use C+

Why is The Long Game rated PG? The MPAA rated The Long Game PG for language, racial slurs, thematic material, some violence and brief rude material.

Run Time: 106 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The Del Rio golf club believes that Mexicans belong on the green. As caddies. When WWII vet J.B. Pena (Jay Hernandez) tries to join, he’s rejected and advised to play on a public course near the border. The new school superintendent then learns that several of his high school students caddy on the Del Rio course. Not only that, but the boys are so dedicated to the sport that they have landscaped their own golf course in scrubland and have practiced enough to develop some impressive skills.

Determined to demonstrate that Mexican-Americans are “real Americans” and deserve to be treated with respect, Mr. Pena starts the first golf club at San Felipe High School. His erstwhile commanding officer (Dennis Quaid) comes along to help coach, and they set about polishing the boys’ rough talent.

The finer points of golf aren’t all the boys need to learn. Texas in 1955 is unwelcoming to Hispanics, and the team face discrimination, dishonesty, and sabotage on the green, as well as racist mistreatment off of it. Mr. Pena becomes their guide to negotiating the barriers created by a prejudiced society, encouraging the boys to play by the rules and earn the respect of the white world. Whether or not this is the best approach remains to be seen…

The Long Game can be a hard film to watch, particularly because it’s based on a true story. I always have a hard time with depictions of racism and cruelty because it’s such an affront to my core values. Watching Pena and his boys endure discrimination with dignity is painful for me, and I suspect it’s even more difficult for members of a racialized group. The familiar advice from Black parents ran through my mind throughout the film – “You have to work twice as hard to be treated half as well.”

If you are a fan of underdog sports movies or films about the struggle for equality, The Long Game will be a hole-in-one. There’s nothing spectacular in this production, but it faithfully follows genre beats, delivering what audiences expect. Negative content consists of a dozen profanities, some scenes of casual social drinking, and some non-explicit violence. On the plus side, the positive messages make this film a winner for family audiences. The teen and adult characters both learn and grow, delivering messages about dignity, self-respect, persistence, teamwork, sacrifice, and hard work. Parents can be assured that the film’s positive themes will be beneficial to their teens and might even motivate them to greater compassion or more focused pursuit of their own goals. And that’s a winning round.

Directed by Julio Quintana. Starring Dennis Quaid, Gillian Vigman, Jay Hernandez. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release April 12, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Long Game

The Long Game
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Long Game rated PG? The Long Game is rated PG by the MPAA for language, racial slurs, thematic material, some violence and brief rude material.

Violence: A teenager hits a golf ball which goes through a car window, injuring the driver who is later seen with blood on his head. An angry teen hits golf balls through a restaurant’s windows. Fleeing a bar fight, teens are chased through town by men in a truck; they escape by swimming across a river. Veterans discuss gas attacks, hopeless missions, and death. An angry teenager is shown from behind as he urinates on someone’s vehicle.
Sexual Content: A married man and woman kiss. A teen boy and girl kiss.
Profanity: The script contains a dozen profanities, including two scatological curses, mild profanities, and terms of deity. A woman tells men to “grow a pair”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults frequently drink beer in social situations. A man drinks alcohol from a flask. Teenagers try to drink tequila in a bar but wind up leaving.

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Home Video

Related home video titles:

If it’s golf movies you’re after, you can try The Legend of Bagger Vance, the story of a “golf whisperer” who helps a washed up player return to the game. The Greatest Game Ever Played tells the tale of an immigrant who makes the jump from caddy to golfer. A famous player’s biopic is provided in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius.

There are also some fine movies about Hispanic Americans succeeding against the odds. A Million Miles Away recounts Jos Hernandez’s challenges in making his way from the fields to the stars. In Flamin’ Hot, Richard Montanez is a janitor at a Frito-Lay factory who has a great idea to improve sales – but needs someone to listen to him. Kevin Costner stars in McFarland, USA as a track coach who sees untapped potential in the Hispanic students at his high school.

Mexican kids are the protagonists in The Perfect Game, a movie about the attempts of a group of Mexican baseball players to compete in the Little League World Series.