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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 9.86%
Average: 2.82%
Pretty Bad: 11.27%
Total Crap: 8.45%

1 review, 65 user ratings

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Facing the Giants
[] Buy posters from this movie
by William Goss

"Sunday Night Lights"
2 stars

Serving as yet further proof that the best intentions are often hindered by a drastic deficit of moviemaking merit, 'Facing the Giants' is a drama about football and faith that amasses all of the clichés that both subjects all too frequently indulge in.

A one-man pity party lacking only a trailing rain cloud, Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick, also directing and co-writing with brother Stephen) is a football coach at a Christian high school who suffers a crisis of faith following six winless seasons and several failed fertility attempts with the missus (Shannen Fields). Devastated and desperate, Grant receives some canned inspiration from the school’s volunteer locker blesser – this is really the only apparent reason behind this Scripture-spouting stranger roaming the halls – and sure enough, he brings God to the gridiron to turn things around.

The coach goes from pouting to shouting overnight and, within a week or so, remedies his losing streak, his financial misfortune, his various domestic woes (bedroom or otherwise), his unreasonably harsh critics, and the grades of every player, not to mention that his worsening vehicle gets inexplicably swapped for a new truck with his name on the title. That’s right, people: if you bring the Lord, you get a Ford, it’s just that simple. Grant asks his players to honor God in life, awkwardly specifying “when you’re home alone surfing the Internet.” There is never a character that doesn’t have a Biblical verse on hand at any given moment, and as the countless montages of tackles and newspaper clippings breeze by, the Eagles inevitably find themselves against the titular team of toughies.

Funded by donations and shot entirely with one camera by a cast and crew comprised mostly of Albany, GA parishioners (practically all of whom are acknowledged in the lengthy opening credits), what constitutes a remarkable collective achievement off-screen regrettably results in a feature-length sermon that hits all the typical notes to unimpressive effect. The direction is adequate, the writing habitually hokey, and the acting acceptable, given the circumstances. On the narrative front, there is little evident creativity or originality infused into the football formula, and the school scenes are just as wholesome as can be. The SC lettering on uniforms stands not only for Shiloh Christian [Academy], but also for squeaky clean: there is neither so much as a jersey with the number ‘69’ on it, nor any familiar curse substitutes, and the ensemble makes for only one black character, who has only two scenes, one involving reiterating the word “brother” and the other advising the rookie kicker (named David, natch) to punt towards those “Pearly Posts.” Sigh. However, I admit that those who care more for the sport and/or spiritual inclination are bound to get more out of it than yours truly, the non-athletic atheist. In that case, everyone can just praise the Lord and pass the pigskin.

To say that the film preaches to the converted would be an understatement, as I find it tremendously difficult to believe that one would be sincerely swayed by any film, let alone this one. (If so, one should also avoid reading passing bumper stickers. Just a thought.) Nary a filmgoer or churchgoer could have the slightest possible doubt over who’ll win the big game against the black-clad Giants, in addition to having every single one of their life’s hassles simply cared for. If anything, such overwhelming contrivance all but manipulates the faithfully devoted into assuming that God can not only solve everything for one football coach, but do it instantaneously. Certainly, many may buy into such a best-case scenario, but how does a high school championship game in Georgia stack up against the world’s greater burdens? If the filmmakers want to make for a miracle, they might consider being a little less selfish in terms of scale. Coach Taylor insists that the team philosophy “applies to life, not just football,” but he rarely considers their purpose ever being a less self-serving and self-righteous one. Then again, what’s to say that the Giants haven’t been praying just as hard, if not harder, than the Eagles? What then?

Audiences are rather understandably adverse to the notion of picking up tickets and popcorn for a silver-screen sermon. Religious films should be sensible and prove equally capable of entertainment than the average Hollywood product, albeit guided with a more conservative set of ideals and a deeper significance that scores through subtlety instead of pandering. Deity or no, just because it takes on the audience-pleasing formula doesn’t mean it earns cheers by default. There is a difference between disliking a spiritual film and having an equal objection to the institution in which it is rooted.

Last year’s 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe' attempted to instill Christian subtext to transparent effect, while this year’s 'The Second Chance' proved it possible to make a modest message movie with a level head and small budget. As such, 'Giants' is ineffective in fulfilling its potential, yet relatively harmless in its outcome.

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originally posted: 10/07/06 16:10:20
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User Comments

11/04/19 Barbara Toler I whole family enjoyed this film..God still moves this way!! 5 stars
8/07/18 Anne worth watching 3 stars
10/31/10 Non-Christian Here I was disgusted with this movie. Not only was it preachy, but the acting SUCKED. 1 stars
7/31/09 Scott SUCKS 1 stars
5/20/09 Gabriel Vieira Wonderful with such a low budget!! 5 stars
4/10/08 Brandy Loved it! Great for the whole family! We need more movies like this on the big screen. 5 stars
12/21/07 jared one of the best Christian movies ever made 5 stars
10/10/07 mb Good One 4 stars
8/05/07 Len Awful - Portrays God as Santa Claus. A joke!! 1 stars
7/29/07 David It is no secret what God can do. What he's done for others, he'll do for you! 5 stars
5/15/07 David Pollastrini pretty dull 2 stars
4/15/07 paul ahrens great movie for whole family 5 stars
4/08/07 Becky B Great movie!!! Our youth group enjoyed it! 5 stars
2/20/07 James Jesus is the star of this movie, not man! Can't get any better than that. Awesome. 5 stars
11/19/06 Shelly Bruce EXCELLENT! Finally a film acknowledging God's role in our lives today! 5 stars
11/17/06 Rebecca Inspired my 10 year old son to pray with HIS football team. Enough said!! 5 stars
11/13/06 Miggie Terrific & uplifting.Finally a movie for family members of all ages. It relates to life. 5 stars
11/12/06 David One young man I saw this with said that it made him think, which is awesome! I liked it. 5 stars
11/12/06 Grace I loved this movie from beginning to end, will receive negative reviews from Hwd. 5 stars
11/10/06 Matthew Very inspirational, clean, wholesome fun with a powerful message, trust in God always!! 5 stars
11/05/06 christopher just saw it, loved it. Yeah it's amateur, that's what makes it remarkable. 4 stars
11/02/06 Kyle predictable, typical...but dang it, I really couldn't help but like it. 4 stars
10/31/06 Greg Wohl The audience & I cried, were greatly inspired and cheered for God's power shown here!!! 5 stars
10/30/06 Shirley Very good movie and message. Finally, entertainment without foul language. Go see it. 4 stars
10/20/06 Roland Not a great movie, but a very good movie. I readily recommend it for families! 4 stars
10/20/06 Nicole Great movie for kids(and adults) who have faith in God that can do wonderful things. 5 stars
10/19/06 Sarah It was a very good movie. It makes you think about what God can really do. 5 stars
10/19/06 JD Hill Great movie/ rated PG because of christain content. 5 stars
10/19/06 Debi Incredible movie for a volunteer cast. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Laughed & cried. 5 stars
10/18/06 Letitia Acting so-so, story formulaic, but I still liked it. 4 stars
10/18/06 Erica Life changing, With God ALL things are possible! 5 stars
10/18/06 US What an inspiration! We all face the giants at one time or another 5 stars
10/17/06 Kevin Even if you don't agree with the mvoie.. It does make you stop and think about my own life. 5 stars
10/17/06 Chad GREAT MOVIE!!! Every young person should see it. I laughed and cried. 5 stars
10/17/06 Bill R. Perfect? No, but great movie for good and decent entertainment. Laugh, cry, enjoy - see it! 5 stars
10/17/06 Keith Wallace Awesome family movie- Left theater feeling uplifted - go see 5 stars
10/16/06 Beth Finally a movie you can take your whole family to! 5 stars
10/16/06 Chris Incredibly well-made movie for a small company. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Laughed & cried. 5 stars
10/16/06 James Contrived, predictable and preachy-even for a follower of Christ like me. I LOVED IT!! 5 stars
10/16/06 Dondra Casey Wonderful! Left theater feeling uplifted and blessed! 5 stars
10/16/06 Rhonda Loved it!!! Great movie - very inspirational - go see for yourself! 5 stars
10/15/06 Verna Moss I loved this movie. Loved it, loved it, loved it! 5 stars
10/15/06 Daniel Amazing that a church could turn out a movie that rivals Hollywood, huh? Good show 5 stars
10/15/06 sammy bell God is still in the miracle business !! 5 stars
10/14/06 Kevin Well done, not intimating at all, shows the side of Christian folk when they are down 5 stars
10/11/06 Shannon Kirk Contrived, predictable and preachy-even for a follower of Christ like me. 1 stars
10/11/06 Erin N FINALLY! A Real family film! it demonstratedthe autheniticy of real life and real hope! 5 stars
10/10/06 Jeff A movie for everyone to see 5 stars
10/09/06 Jonathan You see God work from the inside out, He changes their character & it leads to action. 5 stars
10/09/06 Denny W The best movie I've ever seen 5 stars
10/09/06 L Much more than I expected ... inspiring, uplifting, entertaining, all-around good! 5 stars
10/07/06 brian not a cliche missed... 1 stars
10/07/06 Crispin Looks like someone told the bible people to go forth and post multiple comments. 1 stars
10/06/06 Sammy Great Movie - especially for those who are facing giants in their own lives. 5 stars
10/03/06 Audrey~ Great family movie--old and young alike will be inspired!! 5 stars
10/03/06 Stan Smith No, you will not find professionally trained actors in this film. However you will find rea 5 stars
10/03/06 Chuck Awesome, inspiring 5 stars
10/03/06 Scott Baker Great movie for everyone. I laughed/cried, GO SEE IT! Will strengthen your faith in God! 5 stars
10/02/06 Kathy It was wonderful, I stood up and cheered at the end!! It's a MUST SEE movie for everyone!! 5 stars
10/02/06 Kenzie it was amazing and inspiring. it made me laugh and cry and believe even more in God 5 stars
10/02/06 sharon Great movie. Lots to think about. What did you think? 4 stars
10/02/06 Velma Shaffer Outstanding movie - Hollywood will reject it 5 stars
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  29-Sep-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 30-Jan-2007

  DVD: 02-Apr-2007

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