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Kicking & Screaming (2005 film) facts for kids

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Kicking & Screaming
Kicking Screaming poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jesse Dylan
Produced by Jimmy Miller
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Lloyd Ahern II
Editing by
  • Stuart H. Pappé
  • Peter Teschner
Studio Mosaic Media Group
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) May 1, 2005 (2005-05-01) (Universal City)
May 13, 2005 (2005-05-13) (United States)
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million
Money made $56.1 million

Kicking & Screaming is a 2005 American sports comedy film directed by Jesse Dylan and written by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick. The film stars Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall as a father and son who exploit their own sons’ soccer teams to try and beat the other. Mike Ditka, Kate Walsh and Josh Hutcherson also star. It was released on May 13, 2005 to mixed reviews and grossed $56 million worldwide.


Phil Weston is an average person who had to endure his father Buck Weston's over-competitiveness throughout his childhood, an upbringing which has left permanent mental scars. Now middle-aged and married, with a young son named Sam, Phil runs a small vitamin store, while Buck operates a local chain of sporting good stores.

Buck is coach of the Gladiators, the most successful little-league soccer team in the district. Sam is on Buck's soccer team, but to Phil's annoyance Buck keeps him on the bench, a humiliation he also visited upon Phil decades prior. Buck eventually transfers Sam to the Tigers, the league's worst team.

At Sam's first game with his new team their coach is absent. Rather than forfeit, Phil decides to coach the team, a position he takes up permanently. However, despite Phil's best efforts, the team does not seem to improve. In desperation Phil recruits Mike Ditka, who is Buck's neighbor and hated enemy, as assistant coach. Enticed by the opportunity to beat Buck, Ditka accepts the position. Despite grueling training, the team continues to lose.

Ditka introduces Phil to two exceptionally talented Italian twin brothers named Gian Piero and Massimo working in a local butcher shop. Phil succeeds in gaining their uncle's permission for them to play for the Tigers. They have an immediate impact, scoring repeatedly. The resulting winning streak makes them serious contenders in the league. After finally winning a couple of games and Phil said that his team was going to go to the finals, Phil and Buck make a bet, if the Gladiators win then Phil would sell his store and work for Buck. If the Tigers win then Buck would hand over his most prized possession, 'The Pelé Ball', a soccer ball struck by the famous player which Phil caught as a child and Buck took from him.

Meanwhile, Ditka also introduces Phil to coffee, which rapidly changes him from a mild-mannered caring father, to an obnoxious, egotistical, over-competitive coach, not that different from his father, abusing kids and parents alike. The team's mantra becomes "Get the ball to the Italians", which, though effective, demoralizes his team. In the ultimate over-competitive act, Phil benches Sam for the entire semi-final game. Ditka resigns as assistant coach shortly after due to Phil's unsportsmanlike behavior towards the rival team.

The Tigers make it to the finals where they face off against the Gladiators. At half-time, the score is 2-1 for the Gladiators. In a heart-to-heart discussion with Sam, Phil realizes the error of his ways. He tells his team to do exactly the opposite of what he taught them. Although the Gladiators score one more goal after half-time, the Tigers do not give up hope. Phil gives the goalie a vision test with glasses from the crowd. From there, Ambrose scores one goal—making the score 3-2. After another goal, the score is tied. The team rallies and produces a spectacular team performance to win 4–3, with Sam scoring the winning goal against his uncle Bucky, (Buck's son from his second wife and Phil's younger half-brother, who was born on the exact day as Sam) using a move that he practiced when his dad benched him in the semi-finals.

Honoring the bet, Buck tries to give Phil the ball, but Phil refuses. Making peace with his father, they merge their businesses, realizing there is more to life than winning.

The film ends with an adapted version of the "He's Got Balls" commercial originally produced by Buck. In it, the entire Tigers team appear, announcing the merger of Phil's vitamin shop—Phil's Pills—and Buck's Sporting Goods Store. The team shouts, after the "He's got balls" line, "And vitamins."


  • Will Ferrell as Phil Weston (the new coach of Tigers)
  • Robert Duvall as Buck Weston, Phil's father (the coach of Gladiators)
  • Mike Ditka as Mike Ditka
  • Kate Walsh as Barbara Weston, Phil's wife
  • Josh Hutcherson as Bucky Weston, Buck & Janice's son and Phil's younger half-brother (Gladiators #10)
  • Steven Anthony Lawrence as Mark Avery (Tigers #5)
  • Dylan McLaughlin as Sam Weston, Phil & Barbara's son (former Gladiators #13 later new recruit Tigers #2)
  • Jeremy Bergman as Hunter Davidson (Tigers #9)
  • Elliott Cho as Byong Sun Hogan-Jones (Tigers #6)
  • Dallas McKinney as Connor Ryan (Tigers #1 from Goalie)
  • Rachael Harris as Ann Hogan, Byong Sun's adoptive mother
  • David Herman as Referee
  • Musetta Vander as Janice Weston, Buck's 2nd wife and Phil's stepmother
  • Laura Kightlinger as Donna Jones, Byong Sun's adoptive other mother
  • Erik Walker as Ambrose Hanna (Tigers #4)
  • Jim Turner - Jim Davidson "The Captain", Hunter's father
  • Francesco Liotti as Gian Piero, Massimo's twin brother (new recruit Tigers #7)
  • Alessandro Ruggiero as Massimo, Gian Piero's twin brother (new recruit Tigers #11)
  • Sammy Fine as Jack Watson (Tigers #8)
  • Timmy Deters as Alex
  • Julia Campbell as Janet Davidson, Hunter's mother
  • Phill Lewis as John Ryan, Connor's father
  • David Bowe as Forest Avery, Mark's father
  • Matt Winston as Tom Hanna
  • Joseph R. Sicari as Umberto
  • Karly Rothenberg as Jack's mother
  • Timm Sharp as Butcher shop employee
  • Jarrad Paul as Beantown employee
  • Robert Patrick Benedict as Beantown employee
  • Martin Starr as Beantown customer
  • Lisa Lackey as Beantown customer
  • Brian Palermo as Beantown customer
  • Scott Adsit as Stew
  • Peter Jason as Clark
  • Alex Borstein as Obnoxious Hummer Lady (uncredited)