McFarland, USA Movie Review

#McFarlandUSA posters designed by acclaimed artist Fernando Reza 
Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.

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I had the opportunity this week to take my daughter to an early screening of McFarland, USA at the Novi Emagine. Watch for many comedy moments in this dramatic, sports themed movie. My daughter said her favorite character was the chicken, lol. They show some of the important beginning scenes in the trailer, but that only covers the first 45 minutes of this motivational movie. Luckily they save much of the inspirational and emotional scenes for the ending.

I definitely think all my runner friends and family would enjoy this movie. But even if you have never been a runner you will enjoy the family and community aspects. Everyone in the theater started clapping to cheer for Danny Díaz, the slowest runner on the team. I have to say he was my favorite team member.
Go Danny Díaz!
As we were leaving the theater my daughter and I started talking about how we want to go running together when it warms up. Unfortunately, with temperatures staying below zero degrees in Michigan, it might be awhile.
Watch the emotional video clip on YouTube:

I think Kevin Costner did an excellent job acting as their coach. My only con about this movie was that the running time is quite long, at 128.5 minutes. Make sure you use the restroom before it starts.

MCFARLAND, USA is rated PG and is in theaters everywhere today, Friday February 20th!

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