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50 Under 50: ‘Kicking & Screaming’ (2005)

50 Under 50 podcast, discussing the underrated 2005 film Kicking and Screaming starring Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall and Mike Ditka.
Credit-Universal Pictures/Joker Mag Illustration

Have you ever watched a movie you loved, only to find out that you’re the only one who thought so?  You tell your friends how great it is, but they only laugh and shake their heads.

So you search for reviews online, eager to prove them wrong.  You pull up Rotten Tomatoes and can’t believe your eyes.  A splattered green tomato, with a rating below 50%.

This is an outrage, you think to yourself.  That movie was really good!

If you’ve ever felt like this, 50 Under 50 is the podcast for you.  On this show, we discuss films ranked under 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Movies the critics hated.  Great flicks that didn’t get the love they deserved.  Films that are criminally under-appreciated by the masses.

We bring them back in the spotlight — showing them the love they deserve while diving deep into what makes them great.

In this week’s episode, we break down the great family comedy, Kicking and Screaming. The 2005 film stars Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, and Mike Ditka, and is a can’t-miss movie to Henry and Charlie.

Kicking and Screaming tells the story of Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) and how he evolves from a straight-laced owner of a vitamin shop to a cantankerous and overly-competitive coffee-addicted soccer coach. Always beneath the shadow of his father, Buck Weston (Robert Duvall), Phil attempts to lead his son’s lowly soccer team, the Tigers, to relevance in youth soccer.

Kicking and Screaming cover featuring Will Ferrell and the Tigers soccer team
Credit-Universal Pictures

Along the way, Phil befriends Mike Ditka, Buck Weston’s next-door neighbor and arch nemesis. We see in this movie themes of redemption for Phil and his eventual repaired relationship with his father at the end of the movie.

This movie, while silly at times, deserves better than a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Charlie and Henry will tell you why.

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 41%. Overall a 5.5 out of 10 by 139 reviews.

Highlight of the Episode

 “He loses it. And I really think he loses himself and sort of the underdog mentality because he is consumed in winning.”

– Henry Duncan on the unfortunate changes in Phil Weston (Will Ferrell)

Topics Discussed

[0:35] Henry makes a bold, hot take on Will Ferrell’s performance in Kicking and Screaming.

[3:40] The dangers of coffee are real. For Phil Weston, Charlie, and Henry.

[12:30] How youth sports are changing for the better…or are they?

[15:04] The ultimate underdog of the Tigers turns into a giant man thanks to teamwork. Who is he?

[22:16] Phil Weston at his peak and the infamous coffee house incident.

[28:00] Certain movie critics give this movie a far different rating than Rotten Tomatoes.

[29:20] The real reason why this film deserves your utmost respect and a better rating.

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Thanks for listening!

Do you agree that Kicking & Screaming is underrated? Drop a comment below!

Written By

Despite being from the DC area, I was raised a die-hard Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins fan by my dad. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing pick-up sports and reading and listening to Bill Simmons, or really anyone who talks Boston sports. And yes, you can find me watching spring training games in February. Baseball is that important to me.



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