Notice: All forms on this website are temporarily down for maintenance. You will not be able to complete a form to request information or a resource. We apologize for any inconvenience and will reactivate the forms as soon as possible.


Content Caution



In Theaters


Home Release Date




Bob Hoose

Movie Review

Tashi was once a tennis prodigy—a teen phenom on her way to international fame.

Art and Patrick were once best buds. They weren’t in Tashi’s class when it came to hitting a tennis ball, but they were up-and-comers who made a mean doubles team.

Then, these three met.

They were all athletes in their prime. They talked and walked on the beach together. They smoked together. They lusted together.

Well, truthfully, the only thing Tashi lusted for was the joy of hitting a ball with a racket. But she didn’t mind being lusted after, so she played with the guys, made them jump to her tune. Eventually, Patrick won the heated prize beneath her sheets.

Then Tashi blew out her knee in a freak accident.

And everything changed.

Now, some 10 years later, Tashi sits in the stands at an ATP Challenger match. Her husband, Art, is a recovering champion. She coached him to the heights of the sport. And he’s using this lowball tournament match to regain his confidence after an injury.

His opponent? None other than a washed-up-but-still-swinging older player named Patrick. He’s currently sleeping in his car and playing in Challenger matches to line his pockets with a few badly needed bucks.

These three meet once again. And everything is about to change.

Positive Elements

Art loves he and Tashi’s daughter, Lily. And seems to be much more attentive to her than Tashi is. Art proclaims his love for Tashi as well, and he’s quick to step up to help and care for her.

Spiritual Elements

In his attempt to see what Tashi thinks about their relationship, Art asks if she’ll love him “no matter what.” “What am I, Jesus?” she retorts.

Sexual Content

[Spoiler Warning] Soon after they meet, Tashi asks Patrick and Art about their sexual experiences with each other. The two men say they haven’t been sexual with each other, outside the time when Patrick taught Art how to masturbate as teens. They masturbated while thinking about the same girl. Then Tashi manipulates the situation so that the three of them begin to kiss, nuzzle and make out together. Then she leans back and smilingly watches as the two guys French kiss each other passionately. Art stands up to display his boxers-covered erection. Patrick slaps it.

In another scene, we see Tashi and Patrick begin to have sex. He’s shirtless and in boxers and she’s dressed in some skimpy underwear. They kiss passionately while she straddles him and reaches into his underwear, but they soon separate. The pair also have sex in his car. They’re apparently naked, but we only see them from the shoulders up. (This latter affair happens while Tashi is already married.)

Though not in a sexual context, we see naked men in a sauna and a shower area. Several of the men are seen only from the back but a couple of them display full frontal nudity. Two gay men eye Patrick and talk about his appeal.

We see Art in bed in a pair of briefs. Tashi has a tendency to wear skimpy, form-fitting or low-cut tops. Early on, Art and Patrick ogle her, Patrick mentioning that she’s the hottest woman he’d ever seen. They both talk lustfully about her.

Violent Content

We see instances that reflect the physical punishment that professional tennis can dole out. Art has open wounds on his feet, and there is evidence of scars on other parts of his body. He and others angrily smash rackets on the ground after mistakes and stumbles during play.

During a match, Tashi twists her leg awkwardly and her knee disjoints, the bone popping up and stretching the skin on her leg. Later we see a large scar on her knee after reparative surgery. She tries to play again despite the injury, and she falls over in pain several times.

Crude or Profane Language

The dialogue contains 45 f-words and four or five s-words, along with several uses of “b–ch.” God’s and Jesus’ names are misused four or five times. Crude references are made to female genitalia.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Tashi, Art and Patrick drink beer together. We see them all drinking wine and glasses of alcohol separately. Patrick and Art smoke cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements

Tashi calls someone a “racist b–ch.”

While Art cares deeply for Tashi, Tashi’s commitment to Art seems much more focused on her coaching and management duties than her responsibilities as a wife or mother. At one point, Art tells his wife that he loves her. She looks at him blandly and replies, “I know.”

Patrick recognizes that Tashi and Art’s relationship is centered around her coaching skills and passion for the sport. But since Art is ready to retire, Patrick wonders what Art actually is to her. The answer appears to be that she will leave him and their marriage when he’s through with his professional career.


Challengers is a movie about the dour misery of desire.

You may have thought it was about tennis. But not so much. That racket-swinging story element is further down on director Luca Guadagnino’s list. Way down, in fact.

Guadagnino uses his considerable skills behind a camera to capture lots of sweating, swinging, flexing and grunting on acrylic-topped courts. The finished product is visually evocative. But this pic is less concerned with the sport itself than with the symbolic representation of the heavily perspiring love triangle at its core.

On the other hand, referring to any of the interactions on screen as love is a bit of a stretch. All three of the central characters tend to be manipulative, hurtful, profane and tormented to one extent or another. And they’re each as likeable as a bone spur.

Ultimately, Challengers is an impressively stylized film about terrible people who happen to play tennis. And frankly, not very good tennis at that.

The Plugged In Show logo
Elevate family time with our parent-friendly entertainment reviews! The Plugged In Podcast has in-depth conversations on the latest movies, video games, social media and more.
Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.