A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that characters face adversity, like poverty, infertility, and generally not getting what they want. But the characters also succeed and face their challenges head-on. The film is heavy on scripture and religious revivals, which may or may not complement your family's religious leanings. For instance, students cry in religious fervor and Coach Taylor makes an example of one team member by forcing him to carry another team member on his back across the football field even though he's in pain.
What's the story?
Coach Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick) is down on his luck, and his football team can't win a game to save its life. When he finds out that he's the reason his wife Brooke (Shannen Fields) hasn't been able to get pregnant, he about loses it. His faith is more than shaken -- it's crumbling. "I've tried so hard. Why can't I win?" Coach Taylor laments to his wife. "Brooke, I can't provide you a decent home. I can't provide you a decent car. I'm a failing coach with a losing record. And I can't even give you the children you want. It's me, like everything else is me. What's God doing? Why is this so hard?" But Coach Taylor does more than shake his fists at the sky. He starts praying. But can prayer be enough to save his failing football team, his job, and his pride? Can God create a miracle for him and his team? Sure enough, miracles start to occur that will stir the hearts of even the most a-religious person: Students who got failing grades start getting 100 percents on tests. A rebellious boy becomes respectful of his father. A jalopy is replaced with a big ole truck. A crippled man walks again, and more.
Is it any good?
Facing the Giants is a heartwarming if overly religious story of faith winning out against fear. It's a Christian fairy tale, so the outcome is obvious. This is a celluloid revival, and as such, may alienate non-religious viewers.
There's lots of quoting of scripture, and there's also lots of macho Christianity -- this is more than a call to faith, it's a manly challenge. Is this tough football player man enough to humble himself before God? In the manliest miracle of all, where Coach Taylor once was emasculated, he's now virile. This message will speak to born-again men and their families, but, again, not their less-religious neighbors.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the pressure boys and men face to be strong no matter what. Does that pressure help or hinder Coach Taylor in his daily life? What do you do in your family to deal with that pressure? If Coach Taylor is under pressure to support the family and make his team win, what role does his wife play? Is it fair to put that much pressure just on men? Viewers may also want to discuss your concept of faith. Does it match what you see here? Why or why not?
- In theaters: January 30, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: January 30, 2007
- Cast: Alex Kendrick, James Blackwell, Shannen Fields
- Director: Alex Kendrick
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.