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McFarland, USA McFarland, USA

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McFarland, USA

ages 8+ | 100 % Say It's Worth Your Time

A track coach in a small California town transforms a team of athletes into championship contenders.


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Rated PG Thematic Material|Some Violence|Language

  • 0 of 10 Sex & Nudity
  • 0 of 10 Violence & Gore
  • 0 of 10 Profanity

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Reviews
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  • (Male)

    ages 8+ | Worth Your Time

    Excellent family movie with good values played up over bad. I'd recommend it to anyone.

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  • KSL Critic

    No Maturity Rating | Worth Your Time

    This is a film Walt Disney would be proud to have his name on. Based on a true story, "McFarland, USA" is truly inspirational.

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  • (Male) Catholic News Service

    ages 3+ | Worth Your Time

    Kevin Costner turns in a restrained yet compelling performance as the central figure in the fact-based sports drama "McFarland, USA" (Disney). As for the story unfolding around him, faith- and family-friendly values -- together with the absence of any genuinely problematic elements for parents -- make director Niki Caro's uplifting tale one that can be enthusiastically recommended for moviegoers of almost all ages.

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  • (Male) Deseret News Critic

    No Maturity Rating | Worth Your Time

    On the surface, “McFarland, USA” feels about as original as another repackaged Beatles’ greatest hits album. And yet, “McFarland” carries an undeniable appeal.

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  • Dove Foundation

    ages 10+ | Worth Your Time

    “McFarland USA” is the perfect family movie! It is a remarkable film based on a true story and combines drama and humor to present a coach and his athletes as underdogs who work hard and learn to believe in themselves. The results are pretty spectacular.

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  • ages 10+ | Worth Your Time

    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.

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  • (Female)

    ages 8+ | Worth Your Time

    PG, 2 hours 9 minutes Grade: A In a Nutshell: While this underdog story isn’t unique, the newest Disney film has a lot of heart and shows how to do the proven formula for inspiring sports films right. Like the sign says that the town’s kids hold up to cheer on the cross country team, “McFarland es mas macho.” I especially love inspiring movies about true stories when, at the end, they show the real people the film was based on and where they are today. Hollywood cranks out movies about football and baseball, but rarely do you see high school cross country featured. My two oldest sons ran cross country when they were in high school in San Diego. I remember cheering them on and eagerly waiting for the judges to score the races and announce the winners. It’s an admirable sport whose athletes impress me with their tenacity and calm endurance. You’ll be even more in awe when you see what this coach and team were able to accomplish in real life. Maybe I was in a sentimental mood, but I got teary-eyed several times in this movie. If you don't feel anything during this movie, you need to run until you cry. Uplifting Theme: · You’ll be introduced to the small town of McFarland, USA , “the fruit bowl of California” and you’ll look at the plentiful produce in your grocery store differently. Hopefully, you’ll look at Mexican Americans, especially “pickers”, in a different way too. · Like all good sports movies, this one includes lessons on sportsmanship, dedication, humility, hard work, persistence, and vision. Things I liked: · Kevin Costner seemed to disappear from the big screen for awhile, but now he’s starring in two movies currently playing in theaters: McFarland USA and Black or White. He does a great job in both. · I always appreciate the details in movies. This movie painted a broad brushstroke of Mexican American cliches, while also providing details like yard chickens, tortas, quinceanera parades, and dusty car windows to give you more of a flavor of the culture and town. · The Star Spangled Banner montage reminded me that America is the home of the brave and how truly brave those who leave their own countries to work this land are. The boys on the team are charismatic, which makes for a good story, but the fact that they are real people is awesome. Things I didn’t like: · While I love Maria Bello’s biceps, she looks pretty beat up in this film. Maybe that was intentional? The script doesn't address illegal migrant workers. Funny lines: · “Nobody can hold a grudge like a teenage girl.” – Cheryl White (Maria Bello) · “Nice shorts dude.” – cocky runner on a different team, making fun of the McFarland team outfit “You play golf?” – Thomas Valles (Carlos Pratts) “Yeah.” – cocky runner “This ain’t golf.” – Thomas smirks as he runs ahead of the other player · “You go slow, right?” – Jim White (Kevin Costner) to Javi (Rigo Sanchez) who is driving his daughter in a Quinciniera parade “”It’s the only way to we go…low and slow” - Javi · “We certainly don’t want a fire in this place. It could cost tens of dollars in damage.” – McFarland High School janitor · “Where’s Danny? He’s slower than 911 to a Mexican’s house.” – Jose Cardenas (Johnny Ortiz) · “You think I’m picking on you, Diaz? Go faster and I’ll pick on someone else.” – Coach White · “Congrats, White. They’re treating you like a picker.” - Johnny Sameniego (Hector Duran) Inspiring lines: · “We don’t practice to lose.” – David Diaz (Rafael Martinez) · “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Johnny “It depends on the dog.” – Coach White “Now we know what we didn’t know. Let’s hit it again.” - Coach White Tips for Parents: This movie can provide a great opportunity to talk to your kids about sports, determination, cultural differences, prejudices, expectations, bullying, and working hard.

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  • (Female) Movie Mom

    ages 12+ | Worth Your Time

    It is a poor community. No one in the boys’ families has more than a 9th grade education. The high school is next door to the prison, with a barbed-wire fence. The families see sports as “not essential,” a distraction that keeps the boys away from paying work on the fields. “Every hour with you is food off my table,” says one father. But White and the community learn to trust each other, even after a scary encounter. Director Niki Caro (“Whale Rider”) has a sensitive touch and a trust in her story and characters that gives them space to breathe. The running scenes are vivid and exciting. By the time we get to the end credit sequence, showing the team now in their 40’s and still running every day in McFarland, we see that more than the state championship has been won.

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  • (Male) Plugged In

    No Maturity Rating | Worth Your Time

    Disney does know a thing or two about creating underdog sports flicks. With the likes of The Rookie, Miracle, Secretariat and Million Dollar Arm under its belt, the House of Mouse has demonstrated it can find that winning family blend—something that appeals to moms and dads while keeping it clean and inspirational for the kids. And with the stirring true tale at the heart of McFarland USA, Disney hits the bull's-eye, er, wins the big race once again.

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  • (Male) Crosswalk

    No Maturity Rating | Worth Your Time

    What happens when you mix a coach with no experience and a team with no prospects in a town with no hope? When it's McFarland, USA you get the kind of heart-warming story Disney was known for back in the day. This inspirational tale—based on a true story, yet—is the kind of movie the whole family can enjoy together and leave feeling glad they came.

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  • (Female) USA TODAY

    No Maturity Rating | Worth Your Time

    McFarland, USA is a feel-good sports movie that actually lives up to the notion. The idea of an inspirational saga anchored by Kevin Costner doesn't elicit the hopes it might have when Field of Dreams came out in 1989. Such movies have come to rely heavily on formula and cliché, possibly more than any other genre. So it's a particularly happy surprise that McFarland turns out to be a cross-cultural charmer an endearing true story told with intelligence and warmth by director Niki Caro (2002's Whale Rider).

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Okfor ages12+