McFarland, USA Should Be Terrible, But It’s Not

February 20, 2015 10:08 PM

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McFarland, USA Should Be Terrible, But It’s Not

McFarland, USA is one of those inspirational underdog sports movies about never counting out unlikely contenders, and the film itself embodies that spirit. Here’s a movie that should be disposable at best, and racially condescending at worst, and yet it sticks with you. It comes by its emotions honestly and wins you over.

Kevin Costner plays Jim White, who loses a cushy gig as an Idaho high school football coach after throwing a cleat at a mouthy player, and winds up in a seemingly dead-end job teaching life sciences and P.E. in working-class, largely Hispanic McFarland, California — one of the poorest towns in the c...

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