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What to know:
Recommended age 12-18
123 minutes
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CHAMPIONS cover image Click to play video trailer
The storyline of Champions revolves around the life of Marcus (Woody Harrelson) whose biggest dream is to become an NBA basketball coach. However, he can't seem to get past the J leagues. After a continual tiring frustration, one night it really affects him and he foolishly drinks, drives and gets caught. Marcus is now stuck with 90 days of community service, where he is assigned to coach basketball to kids with disabilities. Throughout this process he learns what it's really like to truly see people and connect with them.

Something that stands about this film is its storyline which is comedic, heartwarming and sentimental all in one. Although the film is very deep and moving, it still has a relaxed fun feeling to it. For instance all of the characters' personalities are very calming and make you feel good. I really enjoyed the strong characters; each has its own unique personality and backstory while still coming together to tell the group's story. Lastly, the message throughout the film is truly outstanding and moving. It not only teaches viewers the importance of what it really means to be a winner, but emphasizes how acceptance is extremely important. Moreover, the film highlights those with disabilities in ways that the average person might never see. It shows how they live in unison with us and that, in the end, we are all just humans with vulnerable hearts.

The message of Champions is that, in life winning doesn't always mean coming in first place, and that there are many different meanings of winning. This film does include some inappropriate language and sexual content.

I give Champions 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Champions in theaters on March 10, 2023.

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Champions is a super funny movie, and I had a good time watching it. In this film you see a lot of inclusivity for people with disabilities and Down's Syndrome.

The story begins with Marcus (Woody Harrelson) and Alex (Kaitlin Olson) spending the night together and we see Marcus watching a basketball game. Then we find out that Marcus works with a professional basketball team as the assistant to Coach Phil Perretti (Ernie Hudson). Marcus always wants the best for the team but when he tells the coach to change the positions, the coach says no, and Marcus gets physical. What happens next? You'll have to see the film to find out.

Champions uses a lot of dark toned colors, which makes it seem sad. The actors are very strong; my favorite is Madison Tevlin for in how she plays the mean girl role as Consentino -- it makes everything way more fun. She has a way of coming off as mean but then steals your heart when you find out she always does it to help and give back to the team. We also see how united and like a family the team is. What I really like about it this film is that they raise awareness for people with disabilities. The finale is very funny, too.

The message of this film is that we are all humans going through our own things, and yet, no matter what happens, we have to stick together. There is a lot of sexual talk and some heavy kissing scenes, so I would look out for that for younger children. We also hear a lot of racial comments.

I give Champions 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Champions comes out on theaters March 10, 2023.

By Miguel C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

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Woody Harrelson stars in the hilarious and heartwarming story of a former minor-league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, is ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities. He soon realizes that despite his doubts, together, this team can go further than they ever imagined.
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