In the tradition of Disney sports movies comes McFarland, USA, based on a true story of underdogs triumphing over tremendous obstacles.
This heartwarming 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.
What We Thought:
By my count, Kevin Costner will soon be out of sports movies to make. He’s done baseball (three times!), football, golf, and now, cross country running. There isn’t much left to cover besides basketball and hockey, but I’m sure those are in the works.
Luckily, there are few things as enjoyable as a Kevin Costner sports movie, and McFarland USA continues that trend quite nicely. In this one, Costner plays a newly-transplanted coach in a poor California town populated mostly by hispanics. When he notices talent in his young students, he starts a cross country team and goes on to make history.
The film is based on a true story, and it’s a heartwarming, enjoyable film. The movie also plays tribute to the real life coach and athletes at the end of the film, which I really liked. There’s nothing about this movie that will surprise you at all, but it doesn’t matter. It’s comfortable and familiar in all the best ways.
If you’re looking for a good family film that everyone can enjoy, I highly recommend McFarland USA.
McFarland Reflections – Join Kevin Costner with Coach Jim White and members of the 1987 cross-country team as they look back on the bounds they forged and the opportunities they were given.
“Juntos” Music Video – Performed by Juanes.
Inspiring McFarland – See the strength and perseverance that brought a community together.