Grade A
Starring Kenton Duty, Danny Flaherty, Katherine McNamara
MPAA Rating Rated PG
Genre Drama
Tommy is an awkward, lonely, bullied teenager who runs a pizza place with his grandma. However, the property is going to go on sale, and Tommy needs a way to buy it back. A series of events begins to unfold when he enters a TV cooking contest. When Matt, the school’s most popular athlete and also Tommy’s tormentor, teams up with Tommy, an unlikely friendship is forged. Has Matt truly changed or is there something more sinister going on?

Contest does a fantastic job of bringing clear positive anti-bullying messages to kids without getting too preachy or sentimental. It’s gratifying to see Tommy and Matt’s friendship grow. By the end of the movie, perspectives are shifted, respect is lost and won, and new relationships are formed. The plot moves at a very quick pace with many twists and turns. Acting is solid especially from the film’s young stars – Danny Flaherty as Tommy, Kenton Duty as Matt, and Katherine McNamara as Sarah, Tommy’s crush. The movie is appropriate for ages 9+ due to bullying and physical violence. Contest is a very enjoyable film that gets the messages across without shoving anti-bullying propaganda down your throat, which is refreshing to watch. It’s a PickIt!