Story

This is the true story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a disadvantaged African-American youth who goes on to become a football player for the NFL. Michael is taken from his mother at a young age because of her drug addiction. He grows up in a very tough neighbourhood in Memphis. His life changes dramatically when he unexpectedly meets Leigh Anne Touhy (Sandra Bullock), a strong and kind-hearted woman who takes Michael into her home. The Touhys’ wealthy lifestyle couldn’t be further from the life Michael has known. Sean Touhy (Tim McGraw) owns a chain of fast food outlets, and they live in a beautiful house. The two children, Collins (Lily Collins) and precocious S.J. (Jae Head), accept Michael, and he becomes one of the family.

Michael struggles at school and initially on the football field. This dismays Coach Burt Cotton (Ray McKinnon), who had seen Michael’s size as a great advantage. But with coaching from Leigh and tutoring from Mrs Smith (Kathy Bates), Michael goes on to succeed in both, winning a college scholarship.

Themes

Homelessness; drug addiction

Violence

This movie contains some violence. For example:

  • There is a lot of violence on the football field.
  • Michael gets into a fight with some men from his old neighbourhood. One produces a gun, and shots are fired.
  • Michael has flashbacks of similar episodes happening when he was a child and was removed from his mother.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:

  • A man is carried off the football field on a stretcher.
  • Michael crashes his car with S.J. in it. He is injured and shown with blood over him.
  • There are brief scenes showing Michael being removed from his home.

From 8-13

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Mrs Smith talks about body parts being cut up and buried underneath the Memphis football field.
  • Michael receives a message at school that his father (whom he doesn’t actually know) has fallen off a bridge and died.

Over 13

Children in this age group could be disturbed by the threatening and violent behaviour of the men from Michael’s neighbourhood.

Sexual references

This movie contains some sexual references. For example, Leigh Anne tells Michael that if he gets a girl pregnant at college, she’ll cut off his penis.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie contains some use of substances. For example:

  • Characters drink and smoke at various venues.
  • We see drug-taking paraphernalia in a house.
  • Michael’s mother is a drug addict.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Leigh Anne and Sean kiss passionately in bed.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Taco Bell, KFC, Borders and Pepsi.

Coarse language

This movie contains some coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Blind Side is an inspirational true story of a kind-hearted woman who reaches out to someone in need and helps him to succeed in life. Sandra Bullock plays the part of Leigh Anne Touhy very convincingly, but the movie does seem to gloss over the many difficulties that must have arisen.

The main messages from this movie are that compassion and kindness can really make a difference.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include tolerance, charity, strength of character, perseverance and family bonds.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as:

  • the negative portrayal of African-Americans
  • the difficulties that the Touhys would have faced taking Michael into their home
  • the results of alcohol and drug dependency.