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Overall Rating
4.14

Awesome44.12%
Worth A Look: 36.76%
Average: 13.24%
Pretty Bad: 0.74%
Total Crap: 5.15%

9 reviews, 82 user ratings


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Remember the Titans
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by Chris Parry

"Cloying and manipulative, but a good story nonetheless."
3 stars

You have to hand it to Denzel. He's made a whole stack of movies that would have fallen over dead with most actors in the lead, but somehow manage to come across all heroic and deep with Washington at the helm. That's no to say they are. Remember The Titans is by no means a bad movie, but much like The Hurricane, it's the presence of Denzel in lead role that gives the project a bit of steel in the cajones and diverts your attention from the by-the-numbers directing going on behind the scenes.

I dig me some footballin' movies. Except for Waterboy, which was an incarnation of Satan and drove me to a second toilet-break, which is nearly unheard of without having eaten indian shortly beforehand. Football movies follow simple rules. A crap team is brought together by the inspirational actions of one player, coach, teacher or plane crash, leading to an against the odds season win, championship game win, saving the franchise from a move to Florida or survival of the plane crash by means of eating the dead. They're predictable, but so is any movie with a trailer these days.

But sometimes a sports movie pushes through the predictability and cliche, with a decent backstory, solid performances and some commentary on life, love and the game itself. Remember The Titans kicks a bunch of goals in this, mostly due to its real life origins and its scenery-chomping lead. I predict that Denzel Washington will one day perform every role in a feature film adaptation of an episode of Alf, and win an Oscar for his trouble. He's just that good. The Washa' got game.

Which is a good thing, because the underlying message here would have been lost with any number of other actors attempting the piece. Can you see Danny Glover as the hard-nosed football coach who shows both the black kids and white that they are all human beings? Not without him busting into a rendition of We Are The World or rolling out Joe Pesci as the equipment attendant with a heart of gold and a neato catchphrase. Will Smith would rap it, Wesley Snipes would run onto he field with a number 13 on his back and score the winning touchdown, Samuel L.Jackson would shoot the ball out of the sky and Michael Clarke Duncan is so huge his head would be out of shot for most of the film.

That leaves Denzel. Or Mario Van Peebles, but let's be serious here.

The story follows two high school football teams from Virginia, one from a white school, one from a black school, who are forced to merge in 1971 amidst a changing political situation. Of course, the white boy hicks all hate the black kids and the black kids are all too cool for whitey. Enter Denzel, a black coach thrust into the middle of the crisis at the expense of the local hero white fella (Will Patton), who must bring his boys together and pick the best team to take the school to the state finals.

And the story, especially with it's base in reality, is a good one. The problem is, as with all sporting true stories, it's hard to cram an entire season (or more) into 90 minutes and not look like you're skimming - especially when depicting the trials and tribulations of a group of teenage footballers discovering they have no reason to hate each other over skin color.

As a film, Remember The Titans limps to the line like a running back with a blown knee. It has talent, it has drive, it has determination, it just needs a lot more time to get across the line.

One real annoyance throughout the film is the usual Hollywood determination to add a fucking piano score to every single line of the film. As someone who hates this fad like week old brocolli, when I see it happening I try to picture what the scene would be like without it, and I have to say, this would have been a much more powerful picture if, whenever Denzel is belting out a heartfelt speech to his minions, there wasn't a god damn Werlitzer pumping over the top of it.

And so it goes, a mixed bag. Plenty to like, but for the purists who will notice the film's disjointed nature more than the casual moviegoer might, this will not be the memorable time it could have, and should have, been.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2009&reviewer=1
originally posted: 12/12/00 15:12:18
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Deep Focus Film Festival For more in the 2007 Deep Focus Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/16/17 morris campbell boring & preachy 1 stars
6/20/11 pwhite98270 classic movie with a wonderful cast, history of race relations 5 stars
3/23/11 kagomefan4lyfe Denzel Washington is a genius. Kudos 2 him! lol 5 stars
11/06/09 Robert I will say that it intrsting 5 stars
9/11/09 ilovecandy! it was exciting, fun and most of all it was great because of the great actors!! i loved it 5 stars
6/18/09 sexyasshole this movie makes me wet in my panties 5 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 5 stars
9/15/08 PAUL SHORTT AN EMOTIONALLY UPLIFTING TESTAMENT TO THE POWER OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT 4 stars
7/01/08 Huston Gets Cheesier every year I watch it, but I watch it every year 3 stars
3/16/08 ladavies My husband watches this over and over, and I join him. Great movie. 4 stars
2/13/08 michael the ttans rock wooo. 5 stars
11/10/07 Amanda OMG.. Remember the Titans is the best movie. I have seen it at least 7 times. 5 stars
10/18/07 cait how could people say that this movie is bad..its about racism,we need to know! 5 stars
8/27/07 GWB Rocks Totally sucked! can you say formulated boys and girls? Makes Point Break look good. 1 stars
6/08/07 courtney sooooooooo good, puts a smile on my dile. 5 stars
5/09/07 Ant Don't bother remembering these manipulative Titans. 1 stars
5/07/07 ty This is one of my favorite movies. Iva seen it like 10 times 5 stars
4/25/07 yonathan Gonzalez its pretty cool but ive seen it at school like 7 times. Its really a good movie!!! 4 stars
11/10/06 Klaire excellent must see!!! 4 stars
11/07/06 Shei really good movie, has a wonderful meaning see it! 5 stars
10/04/06 melissa perez awesome movie 5 stars
8/31/06 connie daw awesome movie none better 5 stars
6/22/06 Joanie Very gentle 4 stars
6/15/06 Sandy + Stephanie (twins) Our favorite sports movie! 5 stars
5/21/06 William Goss Well acted, but too manipulative for my tastes 3 stars
4/03/06 JRE the best sports movie ever made 5 stars
11/16/05 jenene I really enjoyed this move it is one of my favorite movies. 5 stars
10/27/05 beans stewart good movie 5 stars
10/26/05 Carolyn Rathburn Wonderful movie, wonderfully done 5 stars
9/08/05 zac it sucked 1 stars
8/23/05 Quigley one of the best sports movies made. definitely worth seeing 5 stars
8/04/05 Carolyn Rathburn wonderful movie, loved it 5 stars
8/02/05 JASPER this film is a great movie and should be enjoyed by everyone 5 stars
4/30/05 ally one of the best movies i have ever watched 5 stars
2/06/05 clinger26 my favorite movie 5 stars
1/20/05 Yoshi It's a pretty good movie. 5 stars
12/06/04 Sophie Green best film i have ever seen i can't believe people don't like it 5 stars
12/05/04 Shelby This movie was great it touched me. way to go Titans. :) 5 stars
10/15/04 Eric Great movie one of my favs 5 stars
6/01/04 Nobody Disney just HAD to put in a gay kid 1 stars
11/08/03 Amanda LOVEd it.. could watch it 100 times 5 stars
9/03/03 Alex Go Denzel, Go Denzel, Go Denzel 5 stars
1/08/03 Bob Dong Absolute Classic, one of my faves, makes you fell all warm inside, buy or DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/20/02 Mike Pretty Good, but OZ is right about the piano music in every scene. 4 stars
9/12/02 palaboy101 Another great football movie. 4 stars
8/01/02 I Can't Swim Important message given the Hallmark treatment; movie has much value nonetheless 4 stars
7/01/02 Iris Dementia Praecox Worthy idea backfires because Washington's character is a (self-described) "onery old cuss" 2 stars
10/10/01 Butterbean A good movie, but it's sappy as hell!! They said some of the corniest shit in this movie. 3 stars
9/10/01 Jeff Stryker Ok Film, but some really ridiculous parts. Tries to cover too many things 3 stars
8/17/01 hilary awesome 5 stars
6/28/01 Jennifer Really cool movie. My fav. 5 stars
6/05/01 Jake A realistic look at why football can be a beautiful game. Good study in teamwork. 5 stars
5/26/01 TigerDream awesome movie, all around good feel, and just makes you smile :) 5 stars
5/09/01 Joe Skeates Great movie, just an absolutely great movie. 5 stars
5/01/01 The Bomb 69 simplistic view of race relations in the 70's but good nonetheless 4 stars
4/13/01 Gary Great! 5 stars
4/11/01 Caitlin MacInyytyre I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS MOVIE! 5 stars
2/16/01 jessica really well done. lots of hot guys. 5 stars
2/15/01 viking a feel good movie with a positive and relevant message 4 stars
1/31/01 Monday Morning Denzel definitely takes this film up a few notches. 4 stars
1/29/01 Tom Baddick Every high school student in America should see this film-- especially all sports teams! 5 stars
1/25/01 Zenon This movie ROCKED 5 stars
1/24/01 Megan Fallon This was a real feel good movie and whoever the mighty 'oz' is shouldn't bag it out! 5 stars
1/22/01 Tasha Parks The movie was excelent, I recomend it to anyone and every one. 5 stars
1/11/01 Matt69 O.k. Denzel steals the movie. 3 stars
12/27/00 Lauren It was awesome! 5 stars
12/12/00 Kook Would have been better if they'd have taken out some of the dramatic score.. eeeuch. 3 stars
12/09/00 Sheddy Celestine Words can hardly describe what I thought of this movie. 5 stars
11/28/00 Scott Rosier Excellent movie for all ages 5 stars
11/21/00 Tdis72 Very good movie! Denzel's performance is powerful. Very funny moments and nice ending too! 4 stars
11/01/00 G. Washington very good 4 stars
10/24/00 mwild so bad i nearly fell asleep, deserves 0 stars 1 stars
10/07/00 Michael Manipulative yet refreshing + wonderful. Only the most hateful cynic could not like it 5 stars
10/05/00 Jacques Strap two words: out-standing! 5 stars
10/04/00 Ground Zero Denzel Washington is the star 5 stars
10/03/00 Politicsman Right Along SIde Field Of Dreams, The Natural, Hoosiers, A League Of Their Own 4 stars
10/03/00 chuckmfh Great movie, touching interplay between characters 5 stars
10/03/00 Paulo What a lousy film...full of cliches, a real champion on the lack of originality category.. 1 stars
10/02/00 thomas k Was incredible, and touching, made me want to play football. 5 stars
10/02/00 Image Without a doubt...one of the best i've seen! 5 stars
9/27/00 The Rock Predictable like only a Disney and Football movie could be....but completely entertaining 5 stars
9/26/00 Joe Gillis Rocks! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  29-Sep-2000 (PG)
  DVD: 14-Mar-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Jan-2001 (M)




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