Friday, October 16, 2015

Movie Review: "Woodlawn"

Woodlawn is easily the best faith-based film I've ever seen (one not based on a bible story, that is).  The film details the true story of the Woodlawn High School football team in 1973 Birmingham, Alabama, the year the school integrated, and how this team helped bring the whole school together by all of the players accepting Christ.  This is a story that could have easily been ham-fisted, but the Erwin Brothers (the directors of the film) manage to keep the film from ever being too sappy or preachy.  All of the preaching of the film comes naturally from the characters and who they are, which is a problem with most faith-based films.  Characters will often transform into philosophical sages when the filmmakers feel it is time to preach, and I think that just comes across as cheesy and not authentic to non-believers and some believers.  Luckily, Woodlawn avoids that pitfall in its script, which could have been a little stronger in some areas (in particular in character depth and their motivations), but unlike most faith-based films, the good outweighs the bad here.  Featuring some truly moving moments and a slew of well-realized football sequences, Woodlawn is a faith-based film I actually want to recommend.

I give Woodlawn an 8 out of 10!

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