REVIEW: McFarland, USA


129 min.

Actors: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Carlos Pratts

Director: Niki Caro

Drama, Sports

Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and language.

Overview – 10.0

Based on a true story, McFarland, USA, tells the story of a maligned football coach who is forced to take a low paying job and coaching position in the poverty stricken California town of McFarland. McFarland is known most for its fertile soil and year round produce growing ability and most of the families work as pickers for the local farms. After seeing the need and talent necessary for a Cross Country team Coach White begins to build his team during the infantile days of the sport. He is literally and figuratively fighting an uphill battle introducing this community to such a sport and must do what he can to both make them winners and save his family.

Positive Content – 10.0

There is so much of this movie that I could put in this category. There are great scenes of family love and parenting. Being that this is a sports movie there are lessons on dealing with loss and persevering through difficult times.   Coach White shows what a coach and mentor needs to be to truly impact young people. I could go on but it would ruin the movie.

Questionable Content – 9.5

There is some violence and rude talk in the form of trash talk in parts.

Sexual content – 8.0

One lady wears a dress and shows some cleavage in one scene.

One of the main character’s teenage sister get pregnant.

Drugs/alcohol content – 9.0

Some of the residents are seen what is to be believed to be beer and one guy is seen holding a bottle of tequila.

Profane language – 7.0

One “damn” and one “hell.”


I had a feeling that I would like this movie before I went to it but I didn’t know that I would like as much as I did. Both of my brothers ran in Cross Country in High School but I was never a fan of the sport and I really never understood to appeal of going out and running three miles as fast as you can, but hey, to each his own. Even without loving this particular sport I found myself caught up in the action and competitiveness. Added to this, there are several scenes of family dynamics that made me get a little misty. Disney sure does know how to spin an underdog story and this is one for the ages. I would highly encourage everyone to go see this one. If you don’t want to spend the money to see it in the theatres that’s okay, catch when it goes to DVD.

Overall score: 8.91

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8.9 Total Score

Positive Content
Questionable Content
Sexual Content
Drugs/Alcohol Content
Profane Language
User Rating: 4.55 (1 votes)

Chris Krotz is the pulpit minister for the Carlisle Church of Christ in Pennsylvania and a graduate of Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. Chris is passionate about teaching God’s Word and making it apply to everyday life. Along with Jack Dodgen, Chris co-founded Strong Church in 2013.

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