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Kicking & Screaming (2005)

Family man Phil Weston, a lifelong victim of his father's competitive nature, takes on the coaching duties of a kids' soccer team, and soon finds that he's also taking on his father's dysfunctional way of relating.


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7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bucky Weston
Jeremy Bergman ...
Byong Sun (as Elliot Cho)
Erik Walker ...
Francesco Liotti ...
Alessandro Ruggiero ...


Family man Phil Weston, a lifelong victim of his father's competitive nature, takes on the coaching duties of a kids' soccer team, and soon finds that he's also taking on his father's dysfunctional way of relating.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All his life Phil Weston has dreamed of being on a winning team. Phil... your time has come. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, language and some crude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kicking and Screaming  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,159,925, 15 May 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$52,580,895, 31 July 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Was shipped to some theaters under the name "The Winning Team". See more »


When Phil is talking to Sam to tell him he is not playing on the Gladiators any more, he has no soccer ball and there is no-one behind him. When he moves to lie down, he is holding a soccer ball. See more »


Phil Weston: [to Gian Piero and Massimo] Take the field. Taka the fielda.
See more »


Referenced in Kicking & Screaming: From Rome to Hollywood (2005) See more »


Written by Shaunna R. Bolton, Patrick Carey, Jasma Kelly, Leroy Butler, Kendal Stubbs
Performed by Baha Men
Courtesy of S-Curve Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Finally, a non-Pixar family movie that adults can enjoy
12 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

You may be surprised to learn that rather than just being another overly silly Will Ferrell movie, Kicking & Screaming is actually a brilliantly poignant exposé on the foibles of the human condition. While a movie like Crash chooses to tackle the heavy issue of human relationships within a racially diverse atmosphere, Kicking & Screaming goes a different direction and touches the soul of two topics that are near and dear to my heart: sports competition and coffee addiction.

I don't know about you girly girls, but all us manly men are well-rehearsed in sports competitiveness. If you're worth your "man weight" in gold, then you're driven by the need to compete. This isn't something that you carry through high school and then grow out of, oh no, you're stuck with it for life. I may have been at my most intense when running over a catcher back when I played high school baseball, but I'm still known to throw an elbow in the church basketball league and to do a little trash talking during a heated ping pong match. If you refuse to believe a ping pong match can get heated, then you've never played it the right way.

Anyway, this is a movie whose humor feeds heavily off the fuel provided by the competitiveness of all the men involved. Whether it be Robert Duvall (a real man who says the only daily vitamin he needs is a steak) going toe-to-toe against Will Ferrell in a passionate game of tether ball or Duvall and Mike Ditka constantly trying to outdo each other or Will Ferrell becoming so addicted to coffee that he installs a cappuccino machine on the bench and forces Ditka to resign as assistant coach, the chemistry just works.

It's a chemistry that is hard to accurately depict in writing. A chemistry whose effectiveness lies in the delivery. For example, there's a young Asian boy on the soccer team named "Byong Sun." When his mother asks Ditka for an autograph, Ditka asks how to spell his name. She starts to spell it, but he stops her and says, "I think I got it." When she later looks at the autograph she sees that Ditka has written, "Bing Bong." I can't explain why, but this had me cracking up for about 5 minutes. I'd try to concentrate on the movie, then I'd think about how self-assured Ditka was that he now knew how to spell the name, and I'd bust out laughing all over again. Then later in the movie when Ditka yells out, "Way to go, Bing Bong!" I lost it all over again. It's just one of those things.

Or when Ditka tells the kids, "I eat quitters for breakfast and spit out their bones," and then Ferrell deadpans, "Delicious." My words can't do it justice. It's all in the timing and delivery. Sometimes this type of humor is so subtle that it might not be fully appreciated, so I'm warning you now to pay attention to it.

Speaking of Ditka, he steals the show. He has a natural talent for comedy like this, and it's hard not to laugh when he's on screen wearing a Bears sweater vest or a shirt that has "Ditka" on it. Just sit back and enjoy his competitive bickering with Duvall. When Duvall starts to taunt Ditka because he's been reduced to coaching little league soccer, Ditka responds by holding his hand out and saying, "I couldn't hear ya; my Super Bowl ring was making too much noise." The self-referential tone works perfectly.

The kids can get a little too cutesy at times, which will play well with soccer moms, but they do have some genuinely funny moments. Steven Anthony Lawrence is pretty annoying (intentionally so), but I did a spit take (well, not literally) when the camera focused on his face while he was running and he breathlessly stated, "I'm in bad shape for 11." I guess you had to be there.

I'm giving the movie 4 marks, and I realize that's fairly high, but this *is* a family movie, and as such it's one of the most entertaining family movies I've seen in a while. Sure, I didn't care for some of the cutesy kid stuff, and things *do* get predictable and silly, but what are negative elements for me will be looked upon more favorably by younger audiences and sappy parents.

To find a movie that will keep adults consistently laughing throughout without resorting to material that'd make you squirm if you're sitting next to mama or the kids, you usually have to look for the Pixar label, so I tip my hat to Kicking & Screaming for succeeding. This is the kind of "kid's movie" I want to take my 10-year-old brother to, not Racing Stripes.

Oh, and please do yourself a favor and try not to take the movie too seriously. If you're such a curmudgeon that you'd actually complain about the scene where a mother stops her son during a game to put sunscreen on his face, and you actually question why she didn't do this BEFORE the game then I'm sorry, but you deserve to be slapped. Let me explain something... *ahem* IT'S A MOVIE!! Still not clear? OK, let me elaborate...

IT'S A WILL FERRELL MOVIE!! Do you see "directed by Clint Eastwood" attached to the credits? No? Then remove the corn cob, loosen up, and enjoy life a little.

Sheesh. Some people. Now who wants to go head-to-head with the Betts-meister in a friendly game of ping pong?

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