'McFarland, USA' is a winning film for families | The Miami Herald The Miami Herald

February 23, 2015 5:29 PM

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Parents need to know that "McFarland, USA" is an inspiring sports drama about a Mexican-American cross-country team from rural California. Based on a true story, the movie stars Kevin Costner as the team's coach, who's determined to guide a bunch of farm workers' kids into a team that's good enough to compete in the state's first cross-country championship. Although there are a few mature themes regarding class and privilege, as well as a couple of instances of fist fights, a possible suicide attempt, a knife fight that lands a couple of kids in the hospital, and a father who's aggressive toward his family, there are also tons of positive messages about teamwork, cooperation, and community. Coach White isn't perfect but means well and is devoted to his runners, and the portrayal of the students and their families is nuanced and uplifting - most of the boys have hardworking, loving, intergenerational families.

"McFarland, USA" is based on the true story of a town in rural Northern California that had nothing going for it except fields to pick and a prison that reminded its youth that their options were limited. Enter disgraced high-school coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), who in 1987 moves his wife (Maria ...

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