Friday, August 22, 2014

Movie Review: When the Game Stands Tall

When the Game stands Tall movie review, Yes/No Films

When the Game Stands Tall is the true story of Coach Bob Ladouceur (pronounced "lah-da-ser") who coached the De La Salle high school football time for 25+ years and led them to a 151-game winning streak. I love movies based on true stories, as well as inspirational sports films, and this combination of those genres was great.

Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) is in the midst of "The Streak" - 151 wins for De La Salle, over about a ten year period - until, at the start of the 2004 football season, he's suddenly not: the team loses their first game. The players and seniors, especially, are understandably upset, but Ladouceur is not: to him, it's more of making "a perfect effort" than winning every game. Two games later, the team starts winning again, and there's talk of another "streak" starting to take hold, which Ladouceur doesn't like; freshman and sophomores at the school are even starting to dream of the number the streak will be up to when they're juniors and seniors (33 games, at most). The coach must decide if he will stay at De La Salle - a job he's comfortable in and very good at - or take one of the many college football coaching positions that he has been offered.

This star-studded cast definitely helped keep the quality of the film high. Jim Caviezel plays the legendary coach, with Michael Chiklis as his assistant, and Laura Dern as his wife. I also recognized Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) as one of the main football players. It was fun that this also took place from 2003-2004, as well, because I was in high school during that time; it was funny to see the players wearing varsity jackets that say '04 and '05 on them, since I graduated in '05 (and had one as well).

Yes, definitely see this movie, and stay through the credits, because real footage of the team and the coach is shown. Caviezel actually bears a striking resemblance to Bob Ladouceur, and I could see why they chose him for the role. De La Salle must be a private or Catholic school, as well, because we see religion weaved in to the movie in certain spots, and most of the players seemed devout. I joked on Twitter that "I'm starting to like football movies more than actual football" and it's true: I love movies that fictionalize and amp up the scenes where they're playing the game, and When the Game Stands Tall is a great example of this.

When the Game Stands Tall is in theaters today, August 22nd, and is rated PG with a runtime of 115 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

17 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great date night movie. My husband is a sucker for anything sports related and it looks like we both might enjoy this one.

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    1. Yes, definitely. Let me know what you think of it! It's also based on a true story, which I like.

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  2. Happy to see a Yes on this film. The trailer looks really good.

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    1. Yes, one of those rare instances where the movie and the trailer are good! :)

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  3. I have been excited about this movie since I saw it in a trailer. Can I wait for it in video?

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    1. You can, it was pretty cool to see it so large on the big screen though.

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  4. My husband would probably end up liking this!

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  5. My son loves football. I bet this is a movie he'd really enjoy.

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  6. I can not wait to see this movie! This has been the one that I have been waiting for all summer above anything else. My husband and I will be having date night or single night so I can see this one in the theater.

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  7. I liked it, too. I have to agree with you, it's better than real football. ;)

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    1. I like real football (especially UM football!) but football movies definitely choose the most 'exciting' parts to show :).

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  8. I've seen the trailer for this and it does look very exciting.

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  9. Wow I didn't know this was about De La Salle, that is a very good Michigan high school. My neighbors son went there, if it is same school.

    Looks like a good movie either way.

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    1. Nope. Looked it up. This one is in California.

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    2. I was going to say Illinois, oops. But you are right, it's CA.

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  10. I love "feel good" movies. I'm not a sports fan, but this sounds like it would be great even for non football fanatics.

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