October Sky

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: +1/2

On October 4, 1957, the world watches with fear and awe as Russia's manmade satellite Sputnik shoots across the black October sky. For Homer (Jake Gyllenhaad), a teenager in the coal mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia, the historical event sparks a burning desire to build his own rocket. His mom (Natalie Canerday) thinks her son's obsession is amusing, but his dad (Chris Cooper) is furious when he finds out Homer and his friends think they can win a college scholarship by entering a science fair. Homer hates the mines, and the fact that a football scholarship seems to be the only passport out of Coalwood. . So Homer and three loyal buddies start building small rockets and embark on a series of failed rocket tests, but they are determined to succeed. The aspiring scientists' biggest ally is Miss Riley (Laura Dern), the science teacher who sees the teenagers? project as a tremendous opportunity to pursue their dreams. Based on a true story, OCTOBER SKY presents an unforgettable coming-of-age drama that will enthrall family members 10 and older.

Difficult family relationships provide the film?s conflicts. Homer's father is his hero, but at the same time the teenager feels he can never please him. They exchange many harsh words , but it's clear that Homer's dad really loves him. . As the mine foreman, Homer's dad risks his life to save his co-workers in a mine cave-in, and rescues Homer's friend from an abusive drunken stepfather. Some rough treatment on the football field, a mine cave-in, and some rocket misfires result in property damage but are not gratuitous. And during a strike at the mine, a union member fires a random shot into the foreman?s home. Unfortunately, the would-be scientists resort to stealing supplies from a construction site and dismembering an obsolete train track for construction material. All the while, Miss Riley's encouragement inspires her students to keep trying. Two profanities and three obscenities are spoken, along with many mild and moderate crudities, but most of the crudities are mild. . Also, the teenagers make a few suggestive remarks about losing their virginity. OCTOBER SKY is a very inspiring film, but it just barely wins our approval considering its frequent rough language.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (32) times-Mild 21, Moderate 11

Obscene Language: Three (s word 2, other 1)

Profanity: Twice -Regular ( GD 1, J1) , Once-Exclamatory (thank God)

Violence: Few times-Moderate (man killed in mine cave-in, gunshot fired through window, no injuries; boy shoots broken down car in frustration; rocket misfires cause property damage; teenage boy beaten by drunk stepfather)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (boys refer to their virginity, how to make moves on girls)

Drugs: Once (man drinks beer)

Other: Boys steal building materials to make rocket; inspirational teacher

Running Time: 108 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults and children over 10

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