A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes include empathy, integrity, and teamwork. It isn't easy, but when people learn to set aside their fear and prejudice and work together, they can accomplish truly great things, not just in sports, but in life.
Positive Role Models
Coach Boone overcomes tremendous challenges as he tirelessly works to bring together his African-American and white football players. Coach Yoast puts his team and his principles before his ambitions to be both the Head Coach of TC Williams High School and an inductee in the Virginia High School Hall of Fame. As team captains, Julius and Gerry move past their prejudice and distrust and learn to work together and lead their team to victory.
Violence & Scariness
Early in the film, a street scene on the verge of a riot is shown. Bottles are thrown and broken, windows are shattered. As the Titans try to integrate, a white player and a black player get into a fistfight in their training camp dorm room. In their high school, a brief exchange of punches is quickly broken up as white students attempt to beat up a black student because they believe he's flirting with one of the white student's girlfriends. During the football games and practices, there are lots of montages with tackles. A car accident is shown -- a character doesn't pay attention, runs a stop sign, and is struck on the driver's side by a truck.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Boy taunts another boy by calling him a "fruitcake"; boy responds by kissing him.
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White characters infrequently use racial slurs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Remember the Titans tells the inspirational true story about the struggles and victories of a newly-integrated high school football team in 1971 Alexandria, Virginia. As such, the film reflects the divisive nature of the times -- the film begins with a near-riot scene between African-Americans and whites on the street separated by the police as bottles and windows break. The racial tensions of the town -- segregation in restaurants, racial slurs, fist fights in the high school -- are shown to highlight the backdrop in which the Titans must learn to get along and play together as a team. The movie includes racist comments and situations and some locker room insults. A major character is critically injured in a car accident. When the boys refer to a long-haired teammate as a "fruitcake," he responds by kissing one of them on the mouth. There are some scuffles and threats of more serious violence. Ultimately, Remember the Titans is a deeply moving film about the courage of individuals and the power of sports to transcend perceived and ingrained differences. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie about the real-life integration of a Virginia high school football team teeters on the brink of cliché and stereotype but manages to come down on the side of archetype. That's thanks to a sure script, solid direction, and another sensational performance by Denzel Washington. Remember the Titans is the kind of movie that begins with all the characters attending a funeral under a bright autumn sun and then takes us back to where it all began. This is the kind of movie in which people say things like, "Is this even about football anymore or is it just about you?" and where the supreme bonding moment is singing Motown songs together. In other words, no surprises here. If everyone hadn't achieved a sense of brotherhood that transcended race and it hadn't all turned out pretty well, Disney would not have made a movie about it. But that just leaves us free to enjoy the movie's appealing characters and special moments. And that's all right. There is a reason for the classic structure of the sports movie -- we like to watch raw recruits learn honor and loyalty out there on the field when it's done right, and here it is done very nicely.
Washington is, as ever, that rarest of pleasures, equally an actor and a movie star. His power to mesmerize and inspire as a performer works perfectly with his role as a coach who can capture the attention and loyalty of these teen boys. Boone is so secure in himself that he can devote all of his energy to the team, so he inspires them by example.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.