Mighty, The
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1/2

Life is pretty dismal for Max Kane (Elden Henson), a 14-year-old who can't read, has no friends and lives with his grandparents, Gram and Grim (Gena Rowlands and Harry Dean Stanton). Kevin (Kieran Culkin), a fellow student, agrees to tutor Max, who recognizes Kevin as the crippled boy who has just moved next door with his single mother (Sharon Stone). As different as the intellectual, crippled Kevin, and the slow-witted, oversized Max are, they have much in common. Both are looked upon as freaks by schoolmates, neither has a father and both desperately need a friend. Soon Max and Kevin can be seen all over town with Kevin perched on Max's shoulders. They even win a spot on the school basketball team as one player. Kevin's is inspired to persevere and do good deeds by his favorite book, King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table, which he uses to teach Max to read. The school bullies try very hard to frighten this odd pair of friends, but Kevin's sharp wit and Max's strength outsmart them every time. The boys' heroic adventures lead to danger and a few very unbelievable situations, but THE MIGHTY has enough action and humor to please ages 13 and older.

Parents should be cautioned, however, that the film deals with some pretty heavy issues, such as death, an abusive father, and the pain of living with physical and mental disabilities. Max and his grandparents live in fear when they learn his father has been paroled after serving nine years for the murder of Max's mother. When he does appear, he abducts Max. Kevin saves Max by improvising a sled that transports him across town in a hair-raising ride to help his friend. Max almost drowns trying to save Kevin when he is chased by a gang of hoodlums threatening him with a switchblade. Violence consists mostly of threats and dangerous situations, but without blood or gore. The film does have one regular profanity and several obscenities, but no s- or f- words. Kevin teaches Max much more than reading, using King Arthur's knights as their role models for bravery, responsibility and overcoming adversity. THE MIGHTY will help us all to be more sensitive to others' needs for self-worth and respect, no matter how "different" they are.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 7, Moderate 4
Obscene Language: Several (5) times - no s or f words
Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 1 (J-C), Exclamatory 2 (Oh My God)
Violence: Several times - Moderate (hoodlums threaten boys with switchblade, baseball bats; boy almost drowns saving another's life, abusive father tries to strangle son off-screen, crippled boy wrecks van, takes dangerous ride on improvised sled)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Unsavory characters drink and smoke briefly
Other: Strong positive messages about overcoming adversity, importance of learning and using strength and weaknesses in positive ways
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 13 and older

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