fbpx

STEPHEN CURRY: UNDERRATED

"Sometimes Inspiring but Boring and Repetitious"

Watch:

What You Need To Know:

STEPHEN CURRY: UNDERRATED is a documentary on Apple TV+ about the early career of the NBA record-setting player. It follows Curry’s journey from undersized-underdog to national basketball phenomenon. The movie opens with Curry’s achievement of setting the record for career three-pointers. It then rewinds the footage of Curry’s life to answer the question, how did a physically small, consistently underrated boy become one of the greatest NBA players of all time?

UNDERRATED is well-produced but relatively boring. Many of the clips shown have dialogue or action that’s irrelevant to the story itself. Interviews of Steph Curry’s family members and even coaches are interesting at the beginning, but they quickly become repetitive of the movie’s main point. Namely, that Stephen Curry may be physically small, but with the right mentality and focus, he has overcome every obstacle in his way. UNDERRATED has a strong moral, pro-capitalist worldview stressing hard work, loyalty to teammates and respect toward leadership in the family. UNDERRATED is also pretty wholesome, but it has some foul language, including one “f” word. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.

Content:

(BB, CapCap, C, RH, PC, Fe, L, V, A, D)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview, with an emphasis on working hard and working together to prove that failures and shortcomings can be overcome, a visual reference to title character pointing to God up above during a successful basketball moment, two or so references to the Christian high school he attended, respect and gratitude are shown toward family and mentors, and finishing the work you start is extolled, but some revisionist history as documentary doesn’t really mention title character and his family’s Christian faith and references are made to a politically correct, feminist college thesis about sexual inequality

Foul Language:
One “f” word, two other obscenities, and one profanity

Violence:
Some physical contact resulting in injury during clips of basketball games

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Some references to tailgating parties, plus two scenes depicting alcohol drinking

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
One instance of cigar smoking, and no drug use or abuse;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Nothing else objectionable.

More Detail:

STEPHEN CURRY: UNDERRATED is a documentary on Apple TV+ following basketball superstar Stephen Curry’s rise from relatively-unknown beginnings to his title as Most Valuable Player in the 2022 NBA Finals. UNDERRATED has high production values, but it’s mediocre, repetitious and boring in terms of entertainment, and contains one “f” word, though it does have some strong moral, pro-capitalist content stressing hard work, teamwork, achieving success, and gratitude.

This takes the most disappointing toll on the moral elements of the documentary; although examples of familial love, gratitude, and perseverance run all throughout the story, the pacing and lack of interesting material shine a boring light on all of them. In addition to being slow, UNDERRATED does have one “f” word and some examples of feminist or politically correct content, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.

UNDERRATED begins shining a spotlight on Stephen Curry’s professional basketball career at the moment he sets the record for career three-pointers in the NBA. Once the audience has seen a snapshot of the player’s success, they are treated to a retrospective on Steph Curry’s experience with the game. This is displayed through home video and university footage captured during Curry’s high school and college years. Along the way, interviews with Curry himself, his parents, coaches, and players provide some insight into the feelings and experiences surrounding Curry’s rise to stardom.

Stephen Curry’s largest challenge during his early years was his comparatively small build on the basketball court. In high school, his creative playing style could only carry him so far. When he decided to pursue a career in basketball, he had to gain new skills to make up for his physical shortcomings. With encouragement from his parents to work hard, and an early lesson in focusing on what he could do rather than what he could not, Stephen Curry surprised coaches and players by leading his Christian high school team to victory.

Still, UNDERRATED shows a balanced view of Curry’s rise to professional status; although the evolution of his incredible shooting ability is documented, so are his numerous failures, such as the lack of a place at his desired Virginia Tech team or his poor performance in his first college game. This retrospective story is often paralleled with footage of Curry’s more recent 2022 NBA career and frequent failed attempts to complete his Bachelor’s degree after opting out of his senior year of college.

The question that UNDERRATED asks and repeatedly answers is: will Stephen Curry maintain a winner’s mentality despite the different kinds of challenges he faces, or will he let shortcomings define him?

UNDERRATED’s editor, J.D. Marlow, does an excellent job of paralleling key footage from a young Steph Curry’s career highs and lows with his more recent ups and downs in the NBA. Wonderful tricks of sound, such as the suspenseful music giving way to previously-muted audience reactions whenever Curry’s shots land, are exciting to get caught up in.

However, the overall pacing of the documentary feels slow. Shots of interview subjects like Stephen Curry and his former college teammates staring into the camera silently are meant to be emotional, but they’re used too often to feel genuine. Footage of Stephen Curry in his home, working on his thesis paper or completing physical training comes off as out-of-place with the narrative. Overall, much of the documentary feels as though it is struggling to fill the nearly two-hour running time with anything relevant, leaving the audience bored or unsure of the movie’s point. UNDERRATED also feels like it is missing key content in many respects. For example, although Steph Curry’s teammates from his Davidson College team are interviewed several times throughout the movie, NBA fans may be disappointed to find that there are no professional players like Klay Thompson or LeBron James, offering their perspective on Curry, to be found. Key aspects of Stephen Curry’s own experiences as a young basketball player are not addressed in any interviews; rarely does the star offer any feelings about his parents’ influence or his own motivation for reaching any of the milestones of his career. He simply repeats, like a one-size-fits-all motto for every life experience, that he needed to prove himself.

Perhaps the most important context UNDERRATED is missing is the Christian worldview Stephen Curry has frequently claimed during his rise to fame. In the documentary, viewers will hear one or two mentions of the Christian high school where Curry played and may notice a shot where a glimpse of his wrist’s 1 Corinthians 13:8 tattoo can be seen. There are also parallels between footage of a college-playing Stephen Curry making a shot before pointing heavenward; then an NBA-Star Stephen Curry making a shot before creating a taunting “sleeping” motion with his hand, instead. To sum it all up, if any viewer is looking for references to God’s glory in

Stephen Curry’s UNDERRATED, they’ll only find it by digging through references to Stephen Curry’s glory. Neither the star nor his parents mention faith in any part of the documentary.

In terms of morality, UNDERRATED does have positive moral worldviews when you look beyond the humdrum pacing, including respect and gratitude for authority as well as perseverance and finishing the work one starts. Stephen Curry, his coaches, and his teammates all emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive attitude no matter the trial. Sonya Curry, Stephen’s mother, frequently mentions the importance of Steph getting his college degree, even as a big-shot NBA star. That being said, there are some elements of drinking and cursing, although the cursing is confined to the beginning of the documentary. For this reason, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution.

4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.