Friday, May 29, 2015

Movie Review: McFarland USA, Starring Kevin Costner

About the film:
In the tradition of Disney sports movies comes McFarland USA based on a true story of underdogs triumphing over tremendous obstacles. This heart-warming drama follows novice runners who strive to build a cross-country team under Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) in their predominantly Latino high school. Everyone has a lot to learn about each other, but when Coach realizes the boys' exceptional running ability, things change. Beyond their talent, it's the power of family, commitment to each other and work ethic that transform them into champions -- helping them achieve their own American Dream.

Rated: PG, 129 Minutes

My thoughts:
McFarland USA is the kind of movie I could watch over and over again. I loved its emphasis on hard work, cultivating hope, and family values. This story is about a group of kids whose future seemed predestined: They would end up in one of two places -- picking crops in the fields or in jail. After all, that was what generations of Latino families in McFarland, CA, had experienced. But teacher Jim White saw how they could use their strengths to build a better future. After being fired as a football coach from a school in a prosperous community, Jim took the only job he could find. Needless to say, it was a huge culture shock for him, his wife and two daughters. But when they looked beyond the poverty and bleakness of their surroundings, they discovered a warm culture filled with people who were doing their best to hold their families together and build a sense of community. Although he had never coached track in his life and knew very little about it, Jim saw the speed with which his students traveled between school, home and work and realized this was an opportunity for them to use these skills to get ahead.

At the end of the movie, we learn more about the real Jim White and his students. Nearly all of the boys on his first team graduated from college, and several came back to McFarland to teach, giving back to the community that nurtured them. In fact, the real Coach White still lives in McFarland even though he is retired. McFarland USA changes some of the actual events, which is why it is "based" on a true story, but it doesn't change the impact that Coach White had on his students and the community. Yes, this movie is predictable in following the same storyline as most sports movies, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable or inspirational, especially for young people.

McFarland USA arrives June 2nd on Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack, Disney Movies Anywhere and Digital HD!

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this film to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds a great movie for a Sunday afternoon, Susan. Thanks for the review


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