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MOVIE REVIEW

Run the Race

reviewed by: John Johnson
CONTRIBUTOR

MPAA Rating: PG-Rating (MPAA) for thematic content and some teen partying.
Good
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Teens • Young-Adults • Adults
Genre:
Faith-based Sports Drama
Length:
1 hr. 41 min.
Year of Release:
2019
USA Release:
February 22, 2019 (wide—1,075 theaters)
DVD: June 18, 2019
Copyright, Roadside Attractions click photos to ENLARGE
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Roadside Attractions

Dealing with the death of a parent

Dealing with father’s abandonment

Dealing with a life-changing injury

BITTERNESS—Where does it lead?

About despair, fear and hope

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Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers—full-length motion picture.

The power of God’s love


Comment in the movie: “I’d rather us be running to something, than from something.”


The importance of forgiveness

IMPORTANCE OF GRANTING FORGIVENESS TO OTHERS— In God’s sight, it is totally unacceptable for a Christian to refuse to forgive others.

Remember the parable of the master who forgave a guilty man who owed him an amount so enormous that he could never hope to pay it back? The master completely forgave him. But, afterward, that forgiven man roughly grabbed another who owed him a very small amount, and allowed him no time to repay—showed him no mercy—and threw him into prison. When the master heard of this, he was FURIOUS and his punishment was swift.

In that parable, the Master represents God. And the forgiven man represents you, IF you have similarly FAILED to forgive another, when Christ’s blood has paid your unpayable debt to God, and He has forgiven you for everything you have ever done wrong—and for your continuing failures to do everything that is truly right and good.

Therefore, we have a responsibility to be humble, forgiving, loving servants of God.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” —Romans 8:28 ESV

Featuring: Mykelti WilliamsonCoach Hailey
Frances FisherLouise
Kristoffer PolahaMichael Truett
Tanner StineZach Truett
Evan HoferDave Truett
Kelsey ReinhardtGinger
Mario Van PeeblesPastor Baker
Caleb CastilleDexter
Caleb CastilleTom
Tim Tebow … Himself
Jake McEntireCody
Gianna SimoneDr. Stevens
See all »
Director: Chris Dowling—“Where Hope Grows” (2014), “Priceless” (2016—Writer)
Producer: Reserve Entertainment
Tim Tebow
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: Roadside Attractions. Trademark logo.
Roadside Attractions

Zach and Dave Truett (played by Tanner Stine and Evan Hofer) are two high school aged brothers looking forward to bright futures. Zach, in particular, is especially anticipating all the football scholarships that he hopes will be coming his way. Both he and his brother, see these as their lifeline.

You see, their mother died years ago, and their father became so distraught after the event that he became an alcoholic and abandoned both the boys and left them to fend for themselves. While Dave (even though he still is hurt by his father leaving) tries to be reasonable and extends his father some grace. Zach isn’t so easy to grant forgiveness. Even though Zach’s father tries to mend the relationship, at times, Zach dismisses his advances.

The one person that really cares for the boys is their godmother (played by Frances Fisher). She runs the local grocery store where the boys work.

One day, while Zach is at a party with his teammates (where there is some underage drinking), he and some of his teammates get into a physical altercation with players from a rival school’s team, which results in Zach tearing his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament—connective tissue of the knee). Zach’s coach hear this news and is very angry. Zach has now lost his scholarships.

He feels stuck. While he attends his hospital visits (physical therapy sessions), he meets a beautiful young nurse named Ginger (Kelsey Reinhardt), and while she initially refuses his flirtatious remarks, she eventually gives up due to his persistence, and a small romance blooms between the two.

***SPOILERS*** All the while, brother David tries out for the track team to surprise his brother and ultimately get a scholarship that would help them both. After Zach tore his ACL, their coach offered Zach the opportunity to run for the track team, which he didn’t want to do. David ended up overhearing the conversation, and decided to try out. Here’s the thing though: David has epilepsy, which can be triggered by running. However, Zach agrees to help train David for his track endeavors. ***END SPOILER***

Meanwhile, Zach eventually takes Ginger on a date, and eventually meets her parents. This to me, was the best scene in the film. Important subjects like: Why is there suffering in this world? Where is God?, etc. are brought up.

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD—Why are there bad things in our world? Answer

Due to what happens that night, Zach and Ginger keep their distance for a bit, but they do reconcile later, after he makes amends.

***SPOILER*** David completes his races, until one night, he and his brother are at home and David has a massive seizure that sends him to the hospital. While they are there, Zach asks David if he can get him anything. David tells him to bring him a change of clothes and his Bible. In the following scene, Zach accepts Christ as his lord and savior.

Zach then starts showing his father some grace, and also decides to run this last race in the place of his brother. While at the race, Zach, in a turn of events receives shocking news about his brother. The movie ends on a happy note though, as Zach tells other high school kids his testimony and the power of forgiveness. ***END SPOILER***

As far as objectionable content goes, there really isn’t any. Except for maybe the one or two scenes of underage drinking (which are extremely brief, not gratuitous, and definitely stays within the PG rating).

I liked Tanner Stine’s performance and his character (Zach) the most. I think that he definitely elevates this movie. His mannerisms and the way he delivers some of his lines made me like his character.

The main message of the story is forgiveness. Forgiveness is something all believers must do, even when its not easy. Ephesians 4:32-5:2 says,

“And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” —NASB

Forgiveness doesn’t mean the other person gets a free pass, but rather you choose to become a better person, not a bitter person. Forgiveness sets a prisoner free.

I’ve personally seen some people in my life become so bitter, because of unforgiveness, that it makes them hard to be around. We can all learn from this and apply it.

IMPORTANCE OF GRANTING FORGIVENESS TO OTHERS— In God’s sight, it is totally unacceptable for a Christian to refuse to forgive others.

Remember the parable of the master who forgave a guilty man who owed him an amount so enormous that he could never hope to pay it back? The master completely forgave him. But, afterward, that forgiven man roughly grabbed another who owed him a very small amount, and allowed him no time to repay—showed him no mercy—and threw him into prison. When the master heard of this, he was FURIOUS and his punishment was swift.

In that parable, the Master represents God. And the forgiven man represents you, IF you have similarly FAILED to forgive another, when Christ’s blood has paid your unpayable debt to God, and He has forgiven you for everything you have ever done wrong—and for your continuing failures to do everything that is truly right and good.

Therefore, we have a responsibility to be humble, forgiving, loving servants of God.

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Movie Critics
…I liked this movie. …‘Run the Race’ surprises with strong story, nuance…
Brian Koonce, The Pathway (MBU)
…Powerful film shows how God listens even when life seems to fall apart…
Rusty Wright, WND
…“Run the Race” mostly manages to avoid the problems that plague so many faith-based films. It has stronger production values than we ordinarily see, some pleasing, understated performances and—until the end—an unusual lack of melodrama… But then everything spirals out of control in the film’s insane third act…
Christy Lemire, Roger Ebert.com
…this is unequivocally a message-pushing drama, but one with a subtler touch and more artistic merit than many of its thematically linked predecessors. …
Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap