Movie Review

Facing the Giants

MPAA Rating: PG for some thematic elements

Reviewed by: Melisa Pollock
CONTRIBUTOR

Excellent
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family, Adults, Teens
Genre:
Drama, Christian, Sports
Length:
1 hr. 51 min.
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
September 29, 2006 (limited)
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Carmel Entertainment Group

About faith

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Featuring: James Blackwell, Bailey Cave, Shannen Fields, Tracy Goode, Alex Kendrick, Jim McBride, Tommy McBride, Jason McLeod, Steve Williams, Chris Willis, Ray Wood
Director: Alex Kendrick
Producer: Michael Catt, Tracy Goode, Terry Hemmings, Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick, Jim McBride, David Nixon, Brad Weston
Distributor: Carmel Entertainment Group

“Never give up. Never back down. Never lose faith.”

This movie was fantastic; it is a “must-see” for everyone. It had me hooked from the previews. I knew this was a Christian movie, written and produced by a church group, but I had not expected that even the previews would honor the Lord! That was so awesome; it completely caught me off-guard; and the movie was tremendous. I highly recommend it.

The movie starts with a high school football team that is losing very badly. They are finishing a losing season, and we hear the sports announcer saying that they will have to wait until next year for Coach Taylor to pull it up—as he covers the microphone and murmurs, “That is IF they let him come back next year.”

For Coach Taylor, everything in his life seems to be falling apart. He and his wife Brooke seem to be “barely getting by.” With a total combined income of $30,000/year, their car, along with many of their household appliances are broken or work intermittently; they have been trying for four years to have a baby, and as head coach of a losing football team, the parents and the community as a whole are ready to give up on him. Many want to bring in someone else who could “do the job better” or replace him with the assistant coach. “He’s a good guy and all, but let’s face it; he just can’t do that job…,” seems to be the general attitude. They are even meeting with one of his assistant coaches, trying to get him to align with them to remove Coach Taylor from his position. They want to put the assistant in charge, telling him that he will do a much better job, and that Coach Taylor is simply not cutting it—“He has had six years, after all.” “Students are quitting the team; we are losing booster support. Something has to be done, right?”

Aren’t you so glad that God never gives up on us? People may fail you. Men may turn their back on you; they may betray you. So many times in life, people act just like that group of parents and sponsors—the backbiting, the criticism, the power struggles seem never-ending at times. God does not need man’s help to bring results. As demonstrated in this movie, and throughout the Bible, prayer and faith take care of that matter—leave the results up to God. Imagine if Jeremiah had quit proclaiming the Word because of lack of results. He didn’t, because regardless of the results or lack, and regardless of what man saw, Jeremiah knew that He was exactly where God wanted Him.

As we’ve all had times where those who should have supported, helped or encouraged us have instead turned their backs, betrayed, criticized, or tried to take over, remember this: The Lord has promised never to leave you and never to forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)! He loves you as no one else ever could; He loved you enough to give up everything for you, even His life! When everyone else in the world seems to have turned their back on you, God loves you—and HE will ALWAYS be there. Remember that. HE will never leave you; He will never forsake you; He will never betray you. He will ALWAYS LOVE YOU, and He will always stand by you.

As things seem to be crashing down all around him, Coach Taylor is beginning to question his own abilities, and even asking “What’s God doing.” With everything in his life falling apart, he admits to his wife, “It must be me.” They lay their heads down and cry together as they seem to be, at that moment, completely defeated and without hope. However, there is ALWAYS HOPE IN CHRIST—ALWAYS!

Coach Taylor calls on the Lord, reading and quoting Psalm 18:1-3, and you begin to see a vast difference in his countenance and his demeanor. Giving the matter to the Lord, and trusting the Lord to protect and deliver him from the very pits of life that threaten to engulf them, both Brooke and Coach Taylor continue to trust in the Lord. They call on Him in prayer, pouring over His Word, vowing to trust in HIM no matter what. The Lord begins to strengthen his faith, reminding him that WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

That sets the scene for the movie. Watching how the Lord works in the lives of each of the characters in this movie is heartwarming, reminding us all that through GOD great things can and DO happen, if we’ll only trust in HIM!

I saw absolutely nothing offensive to mention. There is no violence at all, other than normal football play. I saw nothing of concern in that. One player was hurt in a game and helped off the field. There is no profanity, no sexual situations, and no scantily-clad or half-dressed people in the movie. It was a good, clean family film; and I recommend it for viewers of all ages.

The entire movie is FILLED with moral issues and with opportunities for Biblical discussions—how a situation ought to be handled Biblically; there were many such issues that would be great for youth group studies or any group seeking to draw nearer the Lord or those wanting to learn by example. I understand that there are even Bible study guides that go along with this movie, available for download on the movie Web site—http://facingthegiants.com

I believe that everyone will be able to relate to this movie. It addresses many issues that we have all had to deal with, from a Biblical stand. The movie will bring you from tears to laughter in a matter of seconds and is easily one of the best movies I have seen. I plan to see it again with my daughter over the weekend and encourage anyone who has not seen the movie to do so. I give it two thumbs up and look forward to seeing another production from this church group very soon!

I had planned to see the movie and knew that I would have to drive approximately 3 hours to see the movie because of its limited release. However, God worked that out through some people in our community and I did not have to make that drive. Through the “Facing the Giants” Booster Club, you can help bring the movie to your community. Visit the following Web site for details http://www.facingthegiants.com/theatres/boosterclub.php. Basically, they need you, someone you know, or a group of people in your community, to commit to cover the cost of buying 1,000 movie tickets. You could recruit 5 groups to buy 200 tickets or 10 groups to buy 100, or one group can cover all 1,000. Whatever the combination, someone needs to tangibly make this commitment and send in the registration form available by download on the above Web site. Maybe some of your churches can work together to bring the movie to your area. However, if you must drive for a bit to see the movie, it would be well worth the trip; take the whole family and enjoy the outing. You will find the film ‘well-worth’ the drive.

Violence: None / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—My father and I went to the preview in Charlotte NC. My dad hasn’t been to the movies in 25 years. I shared with him that the film was about football and Jesus. I promised him that as far as I knew that the movie had good morals. He and I had the best time. We laughed, cried, elbowed each other, made sly remarks toward each other about similar life situations between the two of us, and we boldly Amened several times together. This is a true family movie. I cannot wait to take my son and sit between him and my wife. The way this movie captures a coaches' wife and her life is great. It also captures what a head football coach goes through. The one thing I realized after thinking about the movie is there was no teenage girl character. I still think the girls will relate with the wife. 5 Star movie
My Ratings: Excellent! / 1
—Wm Hunter Fuller, age 38
Positive—Not only is this film amazing in its ability to inspire faith and the need to follow Biblical principals, but it is also one of the best sports movies out there. This is the second film from Sherwood Pictures, written and directed by it’s lead actor Alex Kendrick who also pulled the same credits on their first movie “Flywheel.” This is a great film for the whole family, and a great outing for church groups. The quality of filmmaking and obvious passion of all who were a part of this production far separate this film from the sub-par to mediocre Christian films to date. For a sports movie, it is right up there in the lines of “Hoosiers,” “The Natural” and other heavy-hitters. If it does not do well at the box office, it is our fault—take your family, friends, church—there is something in this movie that everyone can relate to. If you’re not a sports fan, you will still find great pleasure, spiritual uplifting, and an old fashioned good time at the cinemas with this movie.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Chris Corey, age 30
Positive—This is a movie made to the glory of God that will be enjoyed by watchers young and old and that will impact each one who sees it. For Christians, to go to the time and effort to make a movie necessitates that we make sure every detail counts for God’s glory and peoples' good, and this movie does just that. What a wonderful story! What a high-quality production, especially considering it was done with just one camera and a comparatively tiny budget! What an excellent opportunity to go to a movie and get something great out of it yourself, and to take a friend or two so they can be reached with the gospel of Christ in this creative and moving way! I pray many will see this movie and God will use it mightily as I believe His hand is upon it.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Joe Goodson, age 38
Positive—I felt things I’ve not felt in years. I teared-up multiple times, but not over anything sappy. This film is very powerful. Dads, go see it with your son before his football season is finished. The quality of this film is higher than the “Left Behind” films and just a half notch below “Friday Night Lights,” so it’s pretty high. The Christian message is very heavy, so non-believers may think it’s silly, but it’s no sillier than the predictable, teen horror movies. Spend money to see this film. It’s not only worth it, but it will send a message to Hollywood that Christian films belong on the big screen.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Chris, age 46
Positive—I loved this movie! Tons of folks from my hometown came out to support the movie. We all laughed and cried together. This movie was very encouraging and can touch many people’s life no matter how far along they are in their walk with God. I liked it because it touched on so many situations and the characters were facing their problems the way Christians would not the way Hollywood handles their problems. It was so awesome to see that on the big screen. I really hope “Facing the Giants” comes out of DVD so that I can purchase it.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Crissy Megow, age 22
Positive—This was the most AWESOME movie! It was inspiring, uplifting, encouraging. Even those of us who are not football fans were shouting and cheering for this team! It was so amazing to be in a theater hearing people talk about Jesus—not just God, but Jesus, presenting the gospel, Christian message, it was unbelievable. You have to see it!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Angela, age 27
Positive—This was an awesome movie and I’d recommend it to absolutely everyone. We took our entire family—two parents and five kids from 14 to 5. Very strong Christian message. Very believable circumstances. Excellent acting. Hard to believe this was a “low budget” movie with a volunteer cast. I can’t say enough good about it! It was just plain good all the way around—check it out for yourself and let’s all support this group so they make more movies.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Linda, age 49
Positive—Wonderful movie. Ms. Pollock’s review is on target. I would like to expand on one theme—infertility and the couple’s four year struggle to have a child. For the Taylor family, there is a happy ending as the movie ends with Dad playing with their son and mom obviously pregnant with another child. The movie handles this issue well and points out the important of reliance on God, praising Him in good times and bad, as Brooke Taylor does when she is told, erroneously, that she is not pregnant. However, if you know someone who is struggling with infertility and it is a highly sensitive, highly charged issue for them, they should be cautioned that this is an important thread in the movie. It has the kind of ending that all infertile couples desire, but may not have the benefit of.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—J. Mc, age 47
Positive—This is a film every high school coach should see. When God’s Love is shown in your everyday life big things will happen. We all limit God. We serve an Awesome God who can make anything happen. This is a movie that is well worth the price and your time. Take your youth, even the younger children. There is no violence in this movie other than boys playing football. Kids see this every Friday night. Encourage your church to support this movie by going to see it.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Lori Loggins, age 45
Positive—GREAT movie! I loved it. This movie is a great picture of God’s love, grace, and faithfulness. This is a great movie to take friends to. It’s also a great witnessing tool. I highly recommend it… Everyone needs to see this movie!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Sam, age 18
Positive—I only have three words to say about this movie: Go See It!!! Really, don’t hesitate. Take any kid you know. Tell everyone you know to go see this God-honoring movie. It is funny and inspirational. We will definitely buy it on DVD when it comes out. Stop reading these comments and go see the movie now. Hurry.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Maggie, age 59
Positive—Wow!! My family and I saw this movie and I would go back to see it hundreds more times. It was the Best movie any of us had ever seen. We laughed, we cried, we praised God. It was Incredible!!! It was awesome to see a christian movie in our local theater. There was nothing offensive at all in the movie. It was all positive. The lessons learned were about faith, dealing with adversity, prayer and the fact that “Nothing is impossible with God.” I would recommend everyone see this movie. We left the theater in awe with such a happiness in our hearts. That has never happened before! I am so excited about this movie. I believe it is an excellent witnessing tool and it will change lives. God bless everyone who had a part in making this movie.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Jan Hudson, age 38
Positive—I viewed this movie with my adult daughter. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a Christian film, so I knew I wanted to see it. In the beginning neither of us thought the acting was very good, but stick with it! It gets better and better and better. It was such a wonderful story where “facing the giants” was both literal and figurative. It was positive and heartwarming with a message that applies to all of us. I fully intend to purchase the movie so I can watch it a few more times and show it to as many of my family members as possible!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Beverly Stethem, age 51
Positive—This was an excellent movie! We went as a family (children 13, 11, 8, 4). It glorified God and lifted up Christ. It gave biblical solutions to real problems. It showed us that we basically can’t live this life in our own strength, we MUST live it in the strength of Christ. I recommend this to everyone… with God all things are possible.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 1
—P. Hart, age 40
Positive—I urge all families of tweens and above to see this movie. This is the first movie I have ever seen in a theater with which I had no objections—not even with the theology! The characters were believable and were trying to live their lives for Christ. It was a real jolt to leave the theater and remember that not everyone out there knows Christ or even attempts to live for him. It was so refreshing to see a movie that could have been about my family, friends or church members. We don’t buy many movies, but will be buying this one.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Julia, age 41
Positive—It is so wonderful to see positive, uplifting stories at the cinema. The movie gave 100% of the glory to God. With my children in Christian school, I can only hope the faculty has the same heart and mind as was displayed in the movie. (I did recommend to the principal that every teacher go and see this movie). This is how I hope I live my life, making every decision with total dependence on Jesus Christ and allowing Him to supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Dawn Couvillion, age 44
Positive—Wonderful film! Kinda slow at first, but quickly gains momentum. Definitely a movie to take your children and youth groups. It is also good to tell your children this is a true story, so they can see what faith can do.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Bob Ley, age 43
Positive—Some Christian films in the past have been not very entertaining and cheesy. Not this one! While promoting the power of prayer and seeking God in everything we do, it managed to make me laugh, cry, and cheer. One of the best parts was when an old man was praying for the school every day, and then they experienced a revival. The acting was not the greatest, but this was a great movie to see with a youth group, family, and even little kids. There’s not many of those movies around these days!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Brittney, age 16
Positive—I LOVED this movie. I was so happy to hear on FOX News that there was a Christian family film coming to theaters. I cried a few times, because of the strong faith found throughout the film and the fact that even though the team was losing at one point and the coach and his wife’s attempts to have a child did not come true, they still worshiped and loved God. However, the team comes to win, and the couple did in fact have kids, because they realized that God is in control, and in everything we should praise Him… whether it is positive or negative. The Lord is always with us, and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Aleshia Horner, age 18
Positive— I enjoyed the movie very much. It was refreshing to go to the movies and not have to listen to vulgar language, see nudity or violence in a movie. I have encourage others to take the time to see the movie. I generally don’t like to watch movies more than once, but I would watch this one many times. It has a lot of mini devotionals in it that can be used to teach our youth and also remind adults that God needs to be first in our lives.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Jackie, age 47
Positive—This is one of the most uplifting and powerful movies I have seen in years¯so many life lessons and wonderful moments. It’s difficult to describe the movie to others, as I believe each person that sees it will take something different away with them. Every Christian should see this movie and encourage their family and friends to see it. No one has said much about little children going, but I think children over about 10 would understand it without difficulty. Whether you enjoy football or not, that is not the main emphasis of this movie. Values, morals, respect and love is what makes this movie such an excellent choice.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Linda Crumley, age 60
Positive—An excellent movie. Nothing objectionable. You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy this movie.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3½
—Dana, age 21
Positive—I just got done watching the movie, again. Usually I try to do a review right after I’ve seen a movie for the first time, try to keep it fresh. It’s still fresh. In fact, by some standards, too fresh, too amateur. But I would counter with REAL. As I watched the actors for the fourth time, they still reacted the way I would, the way a real person would. As the female lead sat in the doctor’s office being told she would not have a baby that day, she looked really real. This movie counted where others do not, it touched my heart deeper than any movie I had ever seen. I remember the first time I watched it in the theatre as the credits rolled. It got to the catering list, it was so touching to see list after list of names from the people who cooked the crew another hot meal. I left the theatre knowing that the budget for this movie was about the same size as some movies' catering budgets, then seeing all of those names. I wonder, will I ever see this again, probably not, but I am so thankful I have seen it this time. What a blessing! Oh Lord. that we would have a hundred movies like this one.


My Ratings: Excellent! / 3½
—Tim Stromer, age 40
Positive—Though this film was overtly Christian, and the acting started off being less than average (okay, terrible), overall, it really was a fantastic movie. During the first 10-20 minutes I was rolling my eyes at my wife who encouraged our family to see it. By the middle and end of the movie I was wiping those same eyes trying to not let my wife and kids see me! Bottom line, though this is not always the way God works, it has proven itself over and over to be a chosen method to accomplish his desire—for us to be sold out for Him; all else pales in comparison.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 2
—Wil Reed, age 37
Positive—One of the best movies I have seen in a long time, and the best Christian movie I have ever seen. What a blessing! No fairy tales, and no unrealistic portrayals of Christ’s intentions for our lives as said below. I almost did not want see this movie because of the NEGATIVE comments. I am so glad I saw this movie, and I am recommending it to any Christian I see. GO SEE THIS FILM!!!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Carey C., age 33
Positive—“Facing the Giants” was one of the most moving Christian movies I’ve ever seen. Although the protaganist was a high school coach, the hero is truly God. The coach starts off in the movie, angry, upset with the team’s playing, and blaming everyone—until finally it dawns on him that he must turn it all over to God. Genuine emotional repentence occurs, believable change of heart, creative camera work depicting an all-night prayer/Bible study. Then you can almost see the hand of God touching the coach’s mind with wisdom not of this world. Of course, with the new attitude of 'whether we win or lose—we will honor the Lord' things change dramatically for the coach and his team. They begin to win and we, the viewing audience, cheer them on to victory. This is a great witnessing movie and one to watch over and over again with different friends because the change of heart that the coach had is the very change of heart we all must have, if we are to experience God in our lives. Notice how dependent the coach became on God. Notice the influence the coach had on his students. Notice God’s blessing on the school (with many coming to know the Lord) during a spontaneous revival. One man’s decision to stop being bitter and allow Christ to pick up his burdens, at a time when his whole world was crashing in on him, has the power to bring Christ to many others. This movie is a winner! How very much I desire to see more movies like this one, dealing directly with the truth—the only truth because no one comes to the Father except through Christ. Though this movie is fiction, the experience is real. Hollywood, bring us stories like this one!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4½
—Vic Zarley, age 60
Negative
Negative—Though this was a well-made movie, I feel it gives a false impression of Christianity and God. In fact, I felt offended as I watched the 2nd part of the movie unfold. God is not a good fairy who fixes everything in your life because you believe in him. Ask the apostles. Ask Jesus. I was hoping to see a Christian man dealing with suffering and trials in a Christian way. Actually he just said the magic words and all his troubles melted away. Does that mean people who are suffering don’t have enough faith? This was not a Biblically truthful approach. I was also a little disturbed to see him pushing the players so hard (especially in one scene). I realize teenagers need a little pushing, but is a football game so important to God that you should risk the kind of serious injury this sport often causes? This problem I had with this was that it seemed to make the team warriors for God. Were there no believers on the other teams? Is the football field really where we should do the fighting?

Overall, I came out of the movie with a creepy feeling. It wasn’t morally offensive, but it was theologically offensive.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Meredith, age 25
Negative—All I can say is that this is another horrible film made by Christians. The acting is horrible, the lines, the dialog. Another B-movie. When is a Christian that knows what they are doing going to produce and direct a movie. I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with any other comments. This movie is totally unrealistic. All the characters act how we all pretend to be. If you want to watch a good movie, don’t go see this one.
My Ratings: Good / 1
—Tim, age 23
Negative—I watched this film in youth group, where my otherwise intuitive youth leader and his wife squeed over it. Then some adult couple at a church-related Christmas party misled themselves into giving a copy of this movie to every single family in attendance, and now my household is stuck with the film (though it thankfully still remains in its shrinkwrap). I cried bitter tears over these sad events, and here’s why:

First off: this film has good intentions, especially if you’re a Christian like me. This movie is trying to show that you should put your faith in God and that it’ll make your life better. Not so bad, right? Eh. It turns out a be a problem--a big one. This movie was made by a church, so of course every single issue has to be dealt with as tastefully for Christians as possible. It is all black-and-white, no gray areas. God’s grace and will in this movie is a predictable thing, and it comes instantly to all those who do His bidding.

This is not the God I know. This is not the Christian life I am familiar with. The God I believe in is a powerful and trustworthy God, but He is not one that grants my every wish. I follow Him as best I can, though the going is often hard; yet the football team in this movie finds their humility and self-control a lot easier than anyone should EVER find it. I cannot relate to cardboard cutouts who flip from bad-side to good-side in the course of a few structured movie scenes. And when I DO follow His commandments as laid out in the Bible, I certainly don’t find myself showered in blessing as these characters do. The largest of my immediate rewards is knowing that I have done the right thing; everything else comes with long, messy, arduous work.

But take the example this movie sets: Grant Taylor coaches the football team at Shiloh Christian school, which has had 6 losing seasons in a row. He may lose his job over it, and he and his wife are low on money as it is. They want a baby, but the doctor tells him he is sterile. Oh, and his car doesn’t work. And the boys on his football team are disrespectful to their parents, whiny after their million losses, and bad at kicking field goals. This is sure one rundown community here.

But wait, Grant Taylor decides he’s going to trust in God for everything! And he passes on his faith to his team. So far, so good. Not for long. As they begin to obey, blessing literally POUR in on them. Suddenly the students stop disrespecting their parents; the school has a big 'revival'; the team starts winning EVERY game; they even win the grand championship against the hardest team in the league! Coach Taylor’s job is reassured; the school gets him a shiny new truck as a present (which, by the way, is the epitome of shallow, fair-weather employers); he gets a raise; his wife (get this) even gets pregnant from his sterile sperm! And that skinny kid manages to kick his first field goal right when it really matters!! Wowzers, woot, yay, praise the Lord, etcetera, etcetera!!!…

Yikes. Just YIKES. Nobody in my church has ever experienced Christ in a such a cut-and-dry manner. Yes, there have been miracles aplenty in my family, as well as gifts and creature comforts, and I attribute them to God’s grace and lovingkindness. But God isn’t some faucet tap that you turn on and off by being good or bad! He is by and large a mystery; His gifts come unexpectedly, often when you think you don’t need them but you really do. It’s a long, hard slog to the road of fulfillment, and things NEVER turn out the way you thought they would.

This movie has good intentions. But because of its supreme shallowness and total escapism and its utter lack of any applicable, meaningful message, it tanks tremendously to a 0/100. The bad acting and sports movie clichés seem to be mere pimples next to the leprous falsehoods that this movie inadvertently pushes.

To all you future churches planning to make a movie: don’t be afraid to show REAL life, even you have to add some inconvenient truths into the mix. However much the baser populace is wowed by this cotton candy treat, nobody has learned anything substantial from it. Give us the meat, the bones, the REAL stuff! True life applies to everyone, not just Christians, and that’s one aspect “Facing the Giants” didn’t manage to grasp.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—JM, age 19 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was excellent! I expected it to be good as far as being biblical but I expected in a way for it to be a bit boring. I was definitely surprised though. I am a teenage girl and although I do like sports I expected the movie to be totally about football and I feared that I would be bored. It wasn’t anything like that. There were real life situations that anyone could relate to and not only did the coach tie God into his life but he changed the football team by putting God in the game too. It was a great movie for anyone to see not only guys who like football. Older men and women and also younger men and women and definitely kids who need to see a movie with a healthy Christian plot. The people all pitched in to bring the movie here by agreeing to sell 1,000 tickets the first weekend it opened. I went to see it as soon as it came out and the show was packed with people and it was mainly teens who came with their church youth group. I loved the way everyone came together. Not only that but it seemed that the teens sitting at the first several rows in front of me had the same thoughts as me about the movie because on several occasions they expressed their thoughts by standing and clapping for several inspiring scenes. They also did this at the end of the movie when it ended since they liked it so much. I think this movie would definitely help teens or kids who need to know about God and how to stand up for what they believe in.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Holly, age 16
Positive—I went to see this movie with my youth group. Not knowing what to expect, I was very encouraged by this movie, and I wish that more movies of this kind would be made!! I think that this movie is suitable for all ages, and I know that I will be back to see it!!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Jennifer, age 15
Neutral—To start off, I’ll say that this film was made made by a church, and the cast was from the church, so I won’t be too hard on it. From a film quality standpoint, the acting was horrific, and the directing was very poorly done as well. The main character was the only actor I saw as about average, a bit overemotional, at times, but he wasn’t bad. Now, was it not worth my money seeing as how the acting completely sucked? No, I laughed through most of it, just because it was so cheesy. Now, onto a spiritual point of view. I’m not saying these type of things never happen, but I don’t think it’s a very bright idea to spread the idea that Christianity can make your life perfect. During the film, a couple has a pretty cruddy car, are unable to have a child, and the guy’s football team sucks. *Spoiler Alert* By the end of the film, they have a new car, are able to give birth, and his team wins the championship. *End Spoiler* I understand how awesome God is, but the film makes it look like Christianity makes every problem in your life go away. The overall point of the movie is good and means well, it just gets a bit twisted with what I just mentioned.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 2
—Landon, age 17
Positive—This movie was absolutely amazing! It was so uplifting and encouraging. At first the unprofessional acting sort of bothers you but after about 10 minutes you’re so into you don’t even notice anymore. This film was truly a “God thing” because when the church in Georgia was filming it, Hollywood said that they’d never make it. But they did, and no one will regret going to see it!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 2
—Alanna, age 13
Positive—This film wasn’t filmed far from me, down in Albany, Georgia. This film is very good. I’ve seen the producer and the Coach at a Youth Conference in Macon, Georgia. They are nice, and they did a lot to make this film at a low budget, and the producer said that this movie saved 7 people across the country and that this film is going to go to Europe and other places across the world. I would watch this video if I were you, it is good. It is a must see.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—D, age 16
Neutral—This film absolutely promotes God and what he does for you. My one complaint is that they make him seem like a guy that all you have to do is ask and he will grant you anything you want, like a genie. It’s like you can ask for anything and he’ll do it, when really, sometimes his answer is no. In this movie, everything goes perfect. God even changes the wind when the coach asks him to, so they can kick a field goal easier. It’s a little too unrealistic.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4
—Andrew, age 14
Positive—This was an awesome movie altogether and a must see for all ages. This was made by a church and so it has good morals, yet most of the actors were volunteers (they still did pretty good) and there were few professionals at the site of filming. This is a good film for crying, laughing, rejoicing and all around family fun. Everyone should buy the movie for home use and share the experience with friends.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3
—Justin, age 12
Positive—This was such a heart-touching movie. I think that people leave unhappy with it because the acting isn’t what they’re used to. Yes, the acting could have been better, but I think that we should overlook the movie-making quality of it and look at the message. The coach believed in his faith, and in Christ, and he impacted the hearts of his team. In the movie, many miracles happen. And though miracles don’t sometimes happen just like that (sometimes you just gotta wait!), it’s a movie, people. They don’t have days/months/years to show this movie. It’s just showing you that with God, nothing is impossible. And in the end, the whole team gets that point. This is a wonderful movie, and I was absolutely touched tremendously by it!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 3½
—Breann, age 16
Positive—This movie was AMAZING!!! I loved it, I was waiting for a movie like this to come out. When I saw the title and my dad offered to take me and some of my friends to it I was a little iffy considering I’m not the biggest football fan in the world, but decided to go. I LOVED it!! It kept me entertained, and it was awesome, plus it was funny as well as with a good story to it. I saw this movie 3 times in the theaters and our basketball league showed it for all the Upward players and their friends and family, I went and took as many of my friends as I could. Amazing amazing movie, must see!!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Laura, age 13
Positive—This movie is great! When my aunt took me, at first I was thinking, 'oh this is going to be cheesy, it was made by a church and not by some big Hollywood director so it’s going to be poorly made.' But actually I was totally wrong! Because it wasn’t made by some big Hollywood director, it got a true Christian point across, that no matter what, God will always be there for you. And that God answers prayers. Overall, its a great movie and I recommend it to anybody! I can’t wait to buy it!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Samantha, age 12
Positive—This movie is absolutely excellent. I just got this two days ago for DVD. I watched it with my mom. She got misty-eyed a couple times during the movie. …this is definitely good and does portray god very well.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—David, age 13
Positive—While viewing this movie, I was greatly satisfied; the message was wonderful and inspiring. Additionally, the random lines spoken by the character were a bit tacky; and reflecting upon the acting, I could plainly see that they were not professionals. However, they managed to convey the message brilliantly; I love how the actors rely on God in their troubles.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—Amy Moore, age 16