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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 36.5%
Average: 13.14%
Pretty Bad: 0.73%
Total Crap: 5.11%

9 reviews, 83 user ratings

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Remember the Titans
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by Ryan Arthur

"Disney simplifies racial unrest with football. Thanks, Uncle Walt."
3 stars

Walt Disney Pictures is all about feel-good movies. Not necessarily happy endings per se, but definitely making you feel good about yourself and your fellow man when you leave the theater. And that's fine. I just wish that in doing that they didn't sacrifice what could be a far more compelling story.

Remember The Titans is tagged with being based on a true story about an integrated football team in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971, of how the whites don't like the blacks and vice versa, and how everyone overcomes everything to rally behind the team as they go on towards the state championship. Racial parable as told in sports movie formula. It's Disney, after all, so it's as cut and dried as that.

Denzel Washington plays Coach Boone, black coach hired to lead the integrated team. He replaces Coach Yoast (Will Patton) as the head honcho, dividing the team and the town, and pissing off Yoast's tomboyish daughter, Sheryl (Hayden Panettiere, stealing pretty much the whole movie). The team is comprised of the usual assortment of sports characters, the arrogant QB, star running back, long-haired hippie, heavyset lineman, and so on. It's a football movie, but at the same time, it's not. There's the racial issue. The white players say they won't play for a black coach, but Yoast knows his boys lose their scholarships if they don't play. So he brings them back to the fold as Boone's assistant, but it's not all wine and roses, obviously. There's tension amongst the players and the staff as well, and the community is fairly divided, too. While all of this is an important part of the tale, it's not the focal point, really. You don't leave the theater pissed, but just plain feeling good. That's the whole purpose of feel-good movies.

The acting in Titans is pretty much uniformly strong, and I liked Washington in his portrayal of Boone, another turn from an actor playing an actual person (he was Rubin "Hurricane" Carter" in 1999's The Hurricane, as well as the title character in Malcolm X[/]. That's why he's one of the best actors working today. He can do the tense action drama of a film like a Crimson Tide and turn right around and do biographical roles like this one. He makes it seem so effortless. Washington makes Boone a strong character, driving his players to their limits, but also providing a certain wisdom and meaning for their sort of quest, such as when he addresses his team on the Gettysburg battlefield. What's more, he works well with Patton, a chemistry that's very important throughout the film as they two men grudgingy accept the other. Patton, too, delivers one of the better turns of his career.

The problem that I have with the film is that it's just too simple. Problems are solved, fences are mended, bonds are strengthened...all in the span of two hours. But think of this: the whites don't want to play with the blacks. But what about the blacks wanting to play with whites? No mention is made of the fact that they've lost their all black high school, no mention is made of some of them losing their starting positions. The white players are resentful of seemingly having their turf invaded, but we never really hear if the blacks are all that happy about leaving their old school and starting anew. We just expect them to be happy and greatful for the chance, right? You start to wonder just how well everyone really did get along...the real life players that the film is centered around said after the film's release that tensions were never that high. So is it screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard's imagination creating the racial divide, or real people refusing to admit their own personal biases? Perhaps a little of both? No one can tell. There's so much more beneath the surface to look at.

But you ultimately leave the theater in a good mood, you feel moved, and I think that's probably really the only goal of a film like Remember The Titans. Nicely directed by Boaz Yakin (writer of the big-screen version of the Dolph Lundgren bomb The Punisher, if you can believe that), but forgettable not long after leaving the theater. You may still feel good, but you may not remember exactly why.

A strong cast and a nice job by Washington make it worthwhile, but this one's not a can't-miss prospect, by any means. See it for the football scenes and the soundtrack, but don't go too far out of your way.

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originally posted: 12/25/00 08:41:38
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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

5/05/20 Bents Whole family enjoyed it. 5 stars
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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