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Movie Reviews WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL

WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL

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Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL (2014) starring Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, and Michael Chiklist was adapted from a book written by Neil Hayes, 2003. Although football can definitely be described as a religion in many American states, this faith-based sports melodrama falls seriously short every time it leaves the field. I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie and could barely recall a character’s name.

From 1992 to 2003, the De La Salle High School Spartans football team embarked on an unheard 151 game winning streak under the inspired tutelage of Coach Bob Ladouceur. When tragedy strikes, Ladouceur realizes that what he has to offer his boys on and off the field is worth so much more than secret plays and scrimmage routines.

When ‘keep the streak alive’ becomes a mantra that a community offers as a general greeting, you know that an obsession has taken over the city. So when the streak came to a crashing halt, it disrupted more than just the player’s dreams, it shook an entire city.

Many times I’ve warned readers about graphic violence or blatant sexuality, hopefully encouraging parents to protect impressionable family members from adult themes hidden behind PG ratings. Strangely, I feel the need to post an alternate message. WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL is one of the very few adult themed movies I’ve viewed without cursing. It truly does have a strong Christian bias, and if this viewpoint offends you or makes you uncomfortable—the fact that it’s based on legendary football coach Ladouceur will not be enough.

After two hours, I failed to see how any character portrayed by Caviezel could inspire a team. His performance reminded me of a bowl of plain oatmeal. Never disgusting, but never truly appealing. Directed by Thomas Carter, Rated-PG, Drama, Sport, **2 stars out of 5.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin November 24, 2014
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