At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.
When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
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
I am a huge fan of Jim Caviezel but put off seeing the movie because I wasn't up for a sports themed movie and wasn't sure I wanted the soppy tears. The glories of football just don't do anything for me and so then to have football be meaningful? Eeehhh....
However, the day came that there was nothing else at redbox. Boy, this was sure one movie I shouldn't have waited on! I even loved all the football scenes!
This isn't just a sports story, it's a life story. The coach is incredible at teaching and inspiring the team, but somehow has a hard time relating to his family in the same way. He has a true and sincere desire to help teen boys become quality young men, and does a great job of it at school, but then has some difficulty doing the same with his own boys. What parent can't relate at some point to being able to communicate better sometimes with other people's children than with your own?
Despite his great example and efforts, not all the boys are saints. Some are more than a bit spoiled with the fame of their winning streak. Some are phenomenal kids and they make you see why he was so determined to do what he could to help them all become the best they could be. As a football coach, he is clearly excellent, as evidenced by their winning streak. However, he was also excellent at teaching the boys that winning was not the goal, becoming the best they could be was the goal. It sounds Hallmark card schmaltzy, but it's true none the less and the method of teaching was clearly so sincere and honest that you couldn't but help wishing this guy could come to your school and teach your kids - in anything - just so that they learned from him.
The school was a private religious school, the coach also taught religion. If you like to pretend that God doesn't exist and that people who believe in Him are nuts, this is not the show for you. This is based on a true story, these people have a faith and they practice it. It's in the movie. It isn't my faith but I'm always delighted to see other people faithfully practicing what they believe - principals of love and charity and faith and empathy.
I do wish they had delved just a little more into some of the players lives. I guess it makes sense that for a team that big, you really can only introduce a couple of the players very well in the constraints of one movie, but still, it would have been good. Also, as one of the other reviewers mentioned, I would have liked to find out a little more about where the players who had the focus in the movie ended up in their lives.
A great film, for sports fans and non-sports fans alike! Excellent actors picked for each role. I even liked Laura Dern and that is a stretch for me. Really excellent film, it kind of shocks me that Hollywood produced something this clean, inspiring, funny, and engaging but I'm glad they did!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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