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Movie Review

Remember the Titans

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements and some language

Reviewed by: Ron Reames

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
8 to Adult
Sports Drama
1 hr. 53 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Relevant Issues
Denzel Washington as Coach Boone in “Remember the Titans”

Where did the human races come from? answer

Is interracial marriage biblical? answer

Were all of America’s Founding Fathers racists, pro-slavery, and hypocrites? answer

Religious expression—What is legally permissible for students in America’s public schools? answer

Political Correctness—How important is it? answer

What’s wrong with being gay? Answer

What should be the attitude of the church toward homosexuals and homosexuality? answer

Featuring: Denzel Washington, Donald Faison, Kip Pardue, Craig Kirkwood, Will Patton
Director: Boaz Yakin
Producer: Mike Stenson, Michael Flynn, Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

“Remember the Titans” is a testosterone-pumping, spirit-lifting, heart-thumping story about two football coaches, one black and one white, in a Virginia high school during its first year of integration. It is based on a true story.

Coach Boone, the lead character (Denzel Washington), is a hard-hitting, driven coach who must take a team filled with racism and teach them to work together for the greater good. It is 1971 in Alexandria, Virginia, and Coach Boone has inherited a program in which race hatred threatens to tear the team apart and destroy any chances of a winning season. There is a memorable scene in which Coach takes the team on a 3AM run and they end up in the Gettysburg cemetery where Coach delivers just one of his many inspirational talks to the team.

There are some real character building lessons in the movie. One of themes deals with the choices the white coach must make in choosing whether to be a man of integrity, or compromise right in order to get into the coaches’ Hall of Fame.

“Titans” has drama, laughs, tears, surprises and inspiring moments. The audience, with many young children in it, was very caught up in the drama. They laughed, applauded and enjoyed it very much. I heard only one or two mild profanities in the whole film. The only thing my wife didn’t like was the closeups of the football action. She said she couldn’t tell what was going on. I thought the scenes caught very well the hard-hitting, fast action of football.

Parents—take your children to see this movie and talk with them about integrity, character, acceptance, and winning in life.

Viewer Comments
…After reviewing your recommendation on the movie “Remember the Titans” I chose to take my 6 children to see the film. I was horrified at the overwhelming play Disney made to include a homosexual character (Sunshine) in an otherwise wonderful, inspirational film. Sunshine’s shower scene where he kissed another player in an attempt to seduce him was disgraceful. Disney’s attempt to include this behavior on a equal social level with racial concerns was disgusting and obviously in an effort to normalize and encourage acceptance! I cannot believe that an organization such as yours can honestly promote this film!!!…
—Timothy H. Craddock
…these comments [above] are incorrect. Sunshine does kiss another character in an attempt to “pay back” a comment made earlier by the character getting kissed. It was funny and put the person making the offensive comment “in his place”. It was simply positioning of a couple of high school football players in a locker room. Nothing more, nothing less. There are no characters in this movie who are actually portrayed as being homosexual. There are no homosexual themes in this movie.
—Teresa Comstock, age 34
…I would like to clarify something: Sunshine was NOT homosexual. He kissed Gerry to get back at him for calling him a fruit cake when he first arrived at the football camp. That is all. Also, many of you spent your comment on that fact, not on the fact that this horrible discrimination happened in the United States in my parent’s lifetime. As a person, not to mention a Christian, I was greatly disturbed to see how strong the racism in one of the, supposedly, greatest countries in the world was and, in some places, continues to be. This film taught me and many others I know that the value of a person depends, not on skin, but on their personality and heart. I have watched this movie several times and would enjoy seeing it again. —Trista, age 15
…I had some concerns from the negative comment about a homosexual seduction, but it turned out to be nothing but some locker room tom foolery…My Ratings: [4/5]
—A.N. As a Christian, I deplore any movie that display’s homosexual activity because visual and verbal pictures stay in your memory longer. I have seen Remember the Titans three times and there is not a scene with Sunshine kissing Gerry in the shower! Furthermore, the character of Sunshine was not gay! When his father brings him to training camp, the charactor Gerry Bertier, yells hey you fruit! This comment was made due to the character of Sunshine having long hair. People are forgetting that in the south in the early 70’s a man with long hair was considered gay, a drug addict or a hippie. Henceforth, discrimination against this type of person was prevalent. Also, many people seem to have missed Sunshine saying to Gerry after they get back from camp, is everything cool man? Bertier smiles and says, ya! This appears to be Sunshines way of putting Gerry in his place. Mainly, the movie does not harp on the incident or situation that much. Although, a lot of people seem to be stuck on this scene, frame or action. Since, this movie is based on a true story, I wonder if this incident with Sunshine being called a fruit and hippie (in two other scenes… the first day of school and when he is trying to treat Pete and Blu to dinner at a restaurant in town) actually happened. I believe the movie is trying to show all types of prejudice. As Christians, we should detest any form of homosexualilty, and this movie does not show acceptance of that life style…
—Sharon, age 48
I find it interesting that all the reviewers of this movie laud its attack on racial discrimination, while at the same time mentioning that the only thing they found “wrong” with the movie was its suggestion that one of the players may be gay. Wake up and smell the hypocrisy folks! Discrimination is as pernicious whether based on skin color or sexuality. That possibly gay young football player was just as decent and good-hearted as his teamates—both black and white.
Christians need to see this movie to let Hollywood know that there is strong market for this type of product. I took my 14 year old football-playing son and he enjoyed it as well. It provided an opportunity to discuss the type of team leadership that’s necessary to bring guys together for a common cause. This was exemplified (eventually) by Gary and Julius, two of the main characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack-brought back lots of memories. I’m sure football coaches everywhere will be using this film to motivate and unify their teams. My Ratings: [4/4]
—Jim, age 40
This is by far one of the best movies we have seen in a long while. While the acting, cinematography and script were excellent, the strength of the movie was that it was a honorable story about honorable men. When I asked my 12 year old son the main thing he learned from the movie he said, “Nobody’s perfect, everyone has weaknesses, but if you work together as a team, someone elses strengths will make up for your weaknesses.” My 10 year old son’s assessment was, “The kids learned to like each other and trust each other faster than the adults because it’s easier to tell someone else to do something than to do it yourself.” Pretty worthwhile things to have our children learn, wouldn’t you say? My Ratings: [5/5]
—Anonymous, age 43
This is a fantastic film! Denzel Washington has proven that he can do ANYTHING! He is just amazing. It seems as though he thought [last year, during “The Hurricane”], “I’m not mad I didn’t get best actor. Because I’ll probably get it next year for this other great film that I am working on.” “Remember the Titans” is a wonderful, inspiring film. I’m very glad that it included a great deal of racial tension. That was the best part of the film. Learning indiscriminancy [Is that a word?] and how to get along with people of different races. It was also a very funny movie. I laughed my head off. It was great. And another great thing is that it is clean. That didn’t surprise me, though. Since it was a Disney movie, and only rated PG. If you see this movie, you’ll like it. If you don’t, you’ll wish you had. My Ratings: [4/4]
—Jason Eaken, age 17
I went into “Remember the Titans” thinking it would be kind of silly and uneventful. Boy, was I wrong! This movie is awesome. Great plot, very funny, and by the way this movie is VERY clean. I counted 1 d word and 1 a word. Not once did I hear God’s name in vain. No sex. No violence. Denzel Washington does a great job in this film, along with the rest of the cast. If your looking for a clean, funny, fast-paced, wonderfully acted movie then “Remember the Titans” is it! My Ratings: [5/5]
—Toby Flournoy, age 15
I thought this movie was awesome. It had nothing offensive in it other than, from what I can remember, 5 or 6 swear words and one guy being gay. Coach Boone was a hard nosed coach and used constructive critisism to help his players. He always wanted to win, no matter what the cost. He put pressure on his players to always do their best. He made sure that everyone got the respect he deserved no matter what his color. On the other hand, the white coach, was almost the exact opposite. He showed his players what they were doing wrong and how to fix it. He didn’t give the respect the black players deserved, until about the end of the movie. Overall, I thought this was a great movie that the whole family could see, no matter what the age. It has good moral standards. Just make sure you bring someone along that knows just a little about football, if you want to. My Ratings: [4½/5]
—Michael Hermanson, age 13
I found this movie to be uplifting and inspirational. I’m not a football fan, but in many ways, this movie transcends the title “football movie.” It’s about how a group of black and white football players, and their coaches, learn how to look beyond the color of someone’s skin and appreciate the person inside. In one scene, a white football player is injured in a car accident, and a black player with whom he has become friends comes to the hospital to see him. The nurse tells the black player that only family members are allowed in the room, and the white player tells her, “Don’t you see the family resemblance? That’s my brother.” My friends and I laughed, cried and cheered. It was the first time in awhile that I saw an audience applaud at the end of a movie. The implication that one of the players was gay was somewhat disturbing, but whether he was actually gay or not is never actually stated directly. There were also a few profanities, but I thought the overall tone of the movie, its moral lessons, and the positive references to Christianity offset the negative elements. There are a couple of scenes (a car accident and one in which someone throws a brick through the window of the black coach’s home) which might be scary for younger children. I think it would be great if this movie did well enough to show Hollywood that a movie doesn’t have to be full of violence, sex and vulgarity to be a hit at the box office. My Ratings: [4½/5]
—Lisa, age 39
This movie really touches many aspects of racial relationships (Blacks w/ Blacks, Blacks w/ Whites, Whites w/ Whites, Friends w/ Friends, Kids w/ Parents and Coaches w/ Coaches). The communication is excellent and actually reflects the times/moods/attitudes of people during that time in America in Virginia. It is absolutely encouraging to see the hardness of the coaches breakdown and unify. To see the team develop into a unit that pulls together after they realize that must learn something about themselves as well as others is tremendous. The only “words” I remember hearing were “Da-” twice. Other than that this movie was a healthy movie for the family (at least young teenagers and above). The only reason for the cut off at young teen is because the material (racial/social issues) are perhaps a bit above youngsters. There is no sex or implied sex. I really liked this movie and will definitely see it again (and buy it when it comes to video/DVD). The movie is an OUTSTANDING discussion film for people who enjoy communicating what they see with others to better comprehend the feelings of all people regardless of color/background/ethnicity/social status. My Ratings: [5/5]
—Robert A. Goady, age 44
“Remember the Titans” is by far one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was extremely well-done and uplifting, with a very well-written script and excellent acting. It was also one the cleanest movies I’ve ever seen, with very little profanity and no nudity or sex scenes. The only violence in the film was that which was necessary to accurately portray the racial tension in the movie. My opinion of this movie from a Christian viewpoint is that it contained very good messages of the worthwhile struggle toward racial unity and the love God wants us to share with one another, accross all shades of color. They also portrayed one of the football players, nicknamed “Rev” because of his Christian influence, in a very positive light. He was respected by his teammates and in the movie quoted Scripture, was shown reading a Bible, and helped lead the singing of at least one Christian hymn. The only objection I had to this whole movie was a short scene which possibly indicated a homosexual slant. Aside from this one issue, I would recommend this movie to anyone of any age including children, as long as the parent was certain that their child was old enough to appreciate the content of the movie. My Ratings: [4½/5]
—Kimberly, age 30
I took my 13 year old twins to see it and we all loved it. I can’t remember the last movie I have seen where there was no cursing or sex. It was educational for my children because they do not know much about the way things were then. I would love to see more films like this that a family could go see together. My Ratings: [4/5]
—Monnie, age 35
This is a thoroughly enjoyable movie for the whole family. Probably 4 profane words are spoken the entire movie—I’ve heard worse on television prime time. The movie is wholesome, promoting godly values and morality. Good film, great for the whole family. No sex, no violence (except football tackling!), no drugs, alcohol, etc… See? Hollywood CAN make a decent family movie if they WANT to. It’s just up to us to put our money where our heart is! Enjoy! My Ratings: [3½/4½]
—Marini Shull, age 42
Other than a few swear words, an overall great movie which has historical significance. A great opportunity to discuss discrimination with your children. Additionally, good acting, beautiful scenes and great football play. I wept during half the film. My Ratings: [3½/4]
—Beth, age 40
This movie was excellent. It showed how people (no matter what color) can come together to meet a common goal and learn about one another in the process. This movie takes you through a mix of emotions. It allows you to test your own feelings about race. This movie also shows two sides of a story, so that it is not one sided. If you like football, enjoy drama and a good story line then this is the movie for you. There was one reference to Jesus in the beginning and one swear word close to the end. Some references to one of the players being gay. But if you recieve the movie with what it is truly about, you will appreciate the film for what it tries to get across. That is that there is unity among the races if we try. My Ratings: [4/5]
—Dashell Laster, age 23
…about as free of offensive elements as you will find in today’s PG-rated movies…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…includes racist comments and situations and some locker room insults…
—Nell Minow, The Movie Mom
…an engaging performance…
…With humanity, with humor and a great score of ’70s pop and R&B …an important story that packs an emotional wallop…