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Overall Rating

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
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"One of the Best Sports Movies In Years"
4 stars

Having a discussion with my friend on what constitutes a great sports movie, it was frequently brought up that they are virtually all the same. One team must come together against the odds to win the big game in the end. True enough. A certain formulaic theory is applied to every sports film, and while we know the outcome, the journey is what’s important. But like any sports organization, there are divisions and there are three leagues of sports movies. The first is the more common with the underdogs/misfits who can’t play must learn to play to beat the archenemies that have harassed them the entire film (i.e. The Bad News Bears, Major League, The Mighty Ducks). The second is the more serious, scathing the industries that produce such mass entertainment at the expense of the players health or the almighty dollar (North Dallas Forty, Blue Chips, Any Given Sunday). The third is a rarer breed, one where the team has talent to begin with; they just need a leader to hone it and make them all work together. The last film that marked this territory was Hoosiers back in 1986, universally hailed near the top of a small list by film critics and sports fans alike as one of the best tales about any sport. Remember the Titans belongs in this league and its one of the best sports films in years.

Based on the true story of the town of Alexandria, Virginia in 1971, Remember the Titans recounts how racism had to bring together a high school football team when their campus is integrated. In a fellow act of Affirmative Action, Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is assigned to take over the team from town favorite, Bill Yoast (Will Patton). Boone is reluctant to just snatch a job out from under someone, but understands what a black coach can mean to his community. But he’s out to prove that not only is he more than capable to produce a winning season, but that everyone on the team is equally worth his stern discipline. Thus, the first 45 minutes of the film then becomes the Full Metal Jacket of the football world, albeit “PG”-rated and from Walt Disney. Boone, like many football coaches, runs his camp of the boot variety so only the strongest of body and mind can and deserve to survive. During this period, we get to meet many of the players, and I mean really meet them.

There’s Petey (Donald Faison), the hotshot but uncertain running back. Lewis (Ethan Suplee), the big white guy who initially breaks the color barrier because he only wants to play. Sunshine (Kip Pardue), a late arriving Army brat with a golden arm. Blue (Earl C. Poitier), who likes to serenade his team on and off the field. Secondary characters like Jerry “The Rev” Harris (Craig Kirkwood), Alan Bosley (Ryan Gosling) and Ray Budds (Burgess Jenkins) all get to play small but important roles, but the key relationship amongst everyone is that of Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst) and Julius Campbell (Wood Harris). Never a single scene between them rings false. Starting as adversaries of race and smoothly channeling their anger into why either isn’t helping out the team, they develop an understanding and friendship that is strong enough to have its own movie. All of these characters are well written far above your ordinary film team milieu and because of this it puts the actual field play in the background.

Remember the Titans uses football as a metaphor for the struggle between races in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. And the script wisely never comes to any easy solution and even understands that sometimes solutions never come. For even as the team begins to unite above the prejudice they had already ingrained, members of the community, in town and in the school, are not so quick to mend their beliefs. Racism is shown in both subtle and in-your-face practices and is never far from the forefront. Even after the tide has seemingly turned in equality’s favor, acts of hate and ignorance continue. It’s rare and refreshing to see a movie that acknowledges that every storyline isn’t going to have a happy ending. After all, this film (like racism) all has to do with character and this film would never work by surfacing mere stereotypes. Both Washington’s Boone and Patton’s Yoast are shown as coaches (and men) with their own style of handling their players. Boone is the hard-driven drill sergeant that won’t tolerate weakness and is looking for leaders on his team while Yoast is more soft-spoken and willing to be a confidant to those affected by Boone’s harsh tactics. And neither is shown as right or wrong. That’s left to the audience to decide while we watch both coaches understand that there’s a time and place for both techniques.

Ultimately, Remember the Titans is more about the team and its players than it is about the games. Sure there’s a tackle here and a touchdown there, but each game becomes only a result of what the players learned from their coaches and from themselves which makes them more important than what’s on the scoreboard. With Harris and Hurst containing the emotional core of the film, it’s amazing how moving the film really is without seeming like sappy forced sentimentality. This is a human story as much as it is a sports film and one that certainly proves the cliché that “it’s only a game.”

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/29/00 01:54:12
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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
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 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
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  29-Sep-2000 (PG)
  DVD: 14-Mar-2006


  25-Jan-2001 (M)

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