Australian Council on Children and the Media

Back of the Net

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Not recommended for children under 5 (lack of interest). Parental guidance to age 8 (bullying, romantic themes).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Back of the Net
  • a review of Back of the Net completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 April 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to lack of interest.
Children aged 5–8 Parental guidance recommended for those under 8 due to themes of bullying and teenage friendship/romance
Children aged 8–13 Recommended for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Back of the Net
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: General
Length 86 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Cory (Sofia Wylie) is an ultra-brainy American school girl who is preparing to go on a three-month scientific boat trip out at sea with the Harold Science Academy in Sydney.  However, she accidentally boards the wrong the bus and finds herself on the way to the Harold Soccer Academy instead! Against her nature, she is forced to navigate the complex world of friendship, soccer, and boys; all without getting in the way of the Academy’s queen bee, Edie (Tiarnie Coupland).  When Edie’s best friend Oliver (Trae Robin) takes a shine to Cory, Edie makes it her mission to bring the new girl down.  With Edie’s wrath and the future of the practice soccer team looming above them, Cory and her friends Janessa (Gemma Chuan-Tran), Adelle (Yasmin Honeychurch), and Charlotte (Ashleigh Ross), must work together to beat Edie at her own game, and prove they have what it takes to remain at the Academy. 

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Friendship; Bullying; Parental love and neglect.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • A female character pushes another teenage girl into the ground. She offers her hand to help her up, but removes it again, making the girl fall back into the ground. No one is hurt.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Nothing of concern.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • There are numerous instances of bullying and psychological harm between teenagers. For example, one girl throws another girl’s bag into mud; a girl sabotages another girl’s science project and she gets into trouble, etc. These may distress young children because of the injustice and meanness of the actions.
  • Edie is overheard pleading with her parents to come watch her play, but they refuse because they are ‘busy’. This is distressing to Edie and younger children may find this upsetting.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Cory is locked in the bathroom by Edie, to prevent her from being able to play. This may distress younger children, given how distressed Cory is in the situation.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • QANTAS
  • Smartphones – particularly iPhone
  • Apple MacBook
  • Hurley branded shirt
  • Google

Sexual references

There are some mild romantic references in this movie, including:

  • There is romantic tension between Oliver and Cory throughout the film, but this does not progress to anything sexual.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Two teenage boys are shirtless on the beach.
  • Oliver tries to kiss Cory, but she pulls away.
  • Cory pecks Oliver on the cheek.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Nothing of concern.

Coarse language

There is some very mild coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Idiot
  • Loser (nerd)

In a nutshell

Back of the Net is a sweet Australian children’s film, that shows anyone can succeed if they work together.  There are great performances by the younger cast; some comic relief from the girls’ soccer coach; and strong moral messages of friendship, teamwork, and acceptance. This film will likely entertain children between 10 and 13 but much younger or much older children are likely to find that this film lacks interest. 

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. Even those who appear one way, may be more complex than they appear.
  • Friendship is crucial when things get difficult.
  • Success can be achieved with teamwork and perseverance.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Making a fire on a beach without adult supervision.

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