Glory Road

 
(i)

 

Inspiring sports flick about an underdog team.
  • Review Date: June 5, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players are dedicated; those racists who decry their interracial team are plainly demonized.

Violence

Roughhousing among players; beating in a diner bathroom leaves one player badly bloodied.

Sex

Bobby Joe sneaks off to see his grlfriend; some background girls wear skimpy clothing.

Language

Minor cursing, but salient use of n-word, to showcase the racism players were up against.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking in a bar, where characters smoke in the background, some comments made ("What are you smoking?").

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes harsh language and imagery emerging from U.S. racism during the 1960s. Characters argue about terms used (spoken and written, in letters and graffiti) include the n-word, "Negro," "colored," and "honky." The Confederate flag appears in multiple shots during the final game. Characters' arguments over race and their on-court competitions lead to shoving and fighting. Some of the game footage shows minor rough play. Players sneak off to drink at a bar and appear at practice the next day hung over. Some white fans at games on the road throw trash at the integrated team as they enter and leave the court. One black player is beaten by a few white thugs, leaving him bloodied and bruised.

What's the story?

Set in the 1960s and based on a true story, GLORY ROAD follows Don Haskins (Josh Lucas), who takes a new job coaching the NCAA team at Texas Western University in El Paso. Don appears to "get" racism and specifically, racist violence against his players. He stays focused on the game, seeing winning as the best way to "instruct" opponents. That is, until he learns he's been getting hate mail at home which his wife has been hiding it from him. Meanwhile, the players deal with the fact that one team member is beaten up in a diner bathroom as they bus through the South. Haskins' most and profound act is to start five black players at the finals, the first time in NCAA history. The starters feels like they've landed "in Bonanza" when they reach Texas, and the white players marvel at the first black people they've ever seen. At the '66 NCAA finals, Haskins' Miners face the much better funded, all Caucasian University of Kentucky champions. They're coached by the unfortunately named Adolph Rupp (Jon Voight), whose exasperation shots feature confederate flags in the background.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Formulaic but well-crafted, Glory Road features a hard-driving coach who inspires his underdog team to athletic and moral victories. James Gartner's movie includes all the expected tricks of the genre, from vintage '60s soundtrack and heart-pounding court action to excellent performances and heartfelt lessons underlined by teary eyes in close-up.

The film spends little time considering anything other than the team dynamics. This leaves the 1960s context (the Vietnam war, the Black Panthers) to TV images and brief comments. That's not to say that these framing devices are ineffective, but they are occasionally set alongside trivial jokey bits. The film also includes enough images of hard violence to underline at least some of the costs for the Miners, not to mention their less well looked after peers. Rousing, manipulative, and predictable, the movie knows its business.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about racism as it is presented here and how it works now. How do disparities in opportunities and hopes result in resentment on all sides? You might also talk about the responsibilities for taking up such struggles: How does the coach engage his players' fight as his own? How does his wife share his commitment? How can sports help to address social and political problems?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 13, 2006
DVD release date:June 6, 2006
Cast:Derek Luke, Josh Lucas, Sam Jones III
Director:James Gartner
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Drama
Topics:Sports and martial arts, History
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:for racial issues including violence and epithets, and momentary language.

This review of Glory Road was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bydavyjkool April 9, 2008
 

A good movie, though predictable. Pure Disney!

Glory Road is a very fun, thoughtful, and well-acted movie.It has some loose ends, and the relationship between Don Haskins and his wife is very hard to follow. From watching this movie, I could tell a lot of stuff got cut. There were uneven spots, characters that never followed through, and stuff that didn't really make sense. Not too much, but definetly a noticable amount. Still touching, even though everybody in the theater knew that the Good Guys were going to win! Two pretty disturbing parts. One is when a player gets beat up in a bathroom. The other is when the team's hotel is vandalized, and blood is dripping from the walls, spelling the "n" word and other horrible, racist things. So just be aware, its a bit scary. Its definetly ok for 11 year-olds though, and I give it 4 stars!
Teen, 13 years old Written byskarocker April 9, 2008
 

That was wierd!

It is supposed to be biography right? They focused to much on things lesser the point.
Teen, 15 years old Written bymad man April 9, 2008
 

Typical

Although this was a good movie, movies like this, remember the titans, and miracle all had pretty much the same outline. This was good, but in no way original.

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