A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Is It Any Good?
The acting is so good here, it's a shame the message misses its mark. There's nothing wrong with an inspiring sports movie; some of the best in the genre -- Hoosiers, Remember the Titans, Miracle -- are classics that families will be watching together for generations. But there's a line between inspiring and evangelizing, between moving and cheesy, and this golf drama crosses completely over into eye-rolling territory. It's not the actors -- the cast boasts two Academy Award winners (Duvall and Melissa Leo), plus Black, Hurt Locker vet Brian Geraghty, True Blood vamp Deborah Ann Woll, and Emmy winner Kathy Baker. It's the movie's Cars-meets-Karate Kid-via-Sunday School plot that drags it down. Not to mention that golf isn't the most exciting sport to begin with, so there's a generally soporific tone to the entire endeavor.
On the bright side, the cinematography is lovely (lush greens and blues), Black never looks awkward swinging a golf club, and the soundtrack features a memorable selection of contemporary Christian tunes. Duvall's take on a Mr. Miyagi-ish mentor is quite amusing, although possibly unintentionally so -- as in the scene when Johnny ludicrously allows Luke to take the controls of a small airplane as it begins to plummet through the air. Painting and fly-fishing are one thing, but flying a plane? No. The movie's general message that winning is never more important than what's in your heart is a wonderful lesson for all budding athletes, but the delivery is too heavy-handed.
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.