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Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
When the Game Stands Tall is about a football team and includes a lot of football footage, but it is not a football movie. Rather, it is an inspirational movie about life, commitment, and the definition of success. In this manner, it succeeds wildly.
The story would seem predictable: a team achieves 151 wins in a row through incredible talent and maniacal enthusiasm for football. Instead, When the Game Stands Tall dismisses the importance of "The Streak" and focuses on the process and commitment by which it was built. Almost preachy at times, the movie can be forgiven because it captures the true story. Caviezel's depiction of Coach Bob Ladouceur as quiet, humble, and overly-focused is spot-on. Its illustration of the team's "commitment cards" should be seen as a revelation for every other football team, rather than a sappy distraction. The death of Terrance Kelly was shocking and senseless. And DLS players actually do hold hands as they enter the field and graduate spouting words like "brotherhood" and "love".
When the Game Stands Tall is clearly intended as a message movie in a football setting, and it succeeds on both fronts. "Family-appropriate", it makes for enjoyable and worthwhile viewing.
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