Look for Remember the Titans to top many Christian critics' ten-best lists come January. Although two other fact-based dramas, Erin Brockovich and Almost Famous, have earned equal praise for dramatic punch, Titans lacks the profanity and sexuality of those R-rated ventures, therefore earning the most unqualified kudos so far this year.
Remember the Titans is considered a sort of victory for proponents of family entertainment; Disney stripped the original script of its graphic language to get a PG rating, and the move has paid off at the box office with $20.9 million—Denzel Washington's biggest opening weekend ever. "This movie clearly takes a step back from other recent movies in its ability to carry out a compelling story without senseless violence, sex, nudity, and foul language," says Movieguide. "One of the best movies of the year, it is a refreshing and uplifting, often humorous, look at the positive side of high school football." The high school in question has just undergone racial integration, and the football players' ability to overcome prejudice and work as a team helps unite their divided community. Michael Elliott of Crosswalk.com liked the way it "illustrates how a team mentality can overcome individual fears and prejudices. … It isn't preached or sermonized with grandiose verbiage. It is simply lived by those on the screen. It is displayed for us through these characters who grew to understand, appreciate and love one another." One such character is coach Herman Boone (played by Washington), a strong leader who uses training camp to force his players to get to know each other. Despite his heroism, he remains convincingly human, says The Phantom Tollbooth's J. Robert Parks. "Calling Coach Boone ...1
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