McFarland, USA Movie Review

Kevin Costner + a true story + a team of underdogs + a happy ending = McFarland, USA. And if any one of those elements is a good enough reason to see this movie, then the combination is simply wonderful.

McFarland, USA is a feel-good movie about down-on-his-luck Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) and an unwilling (and unlikely) team of cross-country runners who have more potential than anyone dreams is possible. But the secret to the team’s success is more than just learning to run, it is learning to work as a team and believe in something more.

Team McFarland USA
Like other Disney sports-related movies, McFarland, USA is much more than just a movie about runners. What makes this movie so touching is the underlying theme of family and the importance of family on and off the track. Throughout the movie as White gets to know the students on his team and sees their loyalty to their family, he realizes the importance of his own family. As he helps his team grow, he grows as a father, a husband and a coach. 

Kevin Costner McFarland USA Movie

Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream. 

McFarland USA Almond Stacks
I loved everything about this movie. Although it is still beyond my daughters (who believe all movies need to include princesses, fairies, magic and pink), I can’t wait to re-watch it again when they are older. It is the kind of movie families can enjoy together and walk away from talking about. 

Be sure to bring your tissues because team McFarland will tug at your heartstrings. There wasn’t a dry eye in the theater when the credits rolled.

McFarland, USA Movie Trailer


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