When the Game Stands Tall
Rotten Watch Prediction
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As the resident "High School Football Film Expert" here at Cinema Blend, I’ll give a quick rundown of the historical rankings in the genre:

1. Friday Night Lights (T.V. Show) - So good it counts as a movie
2. Remember the Titans - cheesy but eminently re-watchable
2A. Friday Night Lights (Movie) - Only seems worse because show was so good.
4. All the Right Moves - Doesn’t exactly hold up, but whatever. It’s still good.
5. Varsity Blues - A lesser American classic.

These rankings are absolute and irrefutable. Will this newest high school football film crack the top five? I think we can come to a pretty quick conclusion by watching the trailer for When the Game Stands Tall below:



The answer is "No". If the trailer is to be believed, When the Game Stands Tall appears more an ABC Family movie than a film with any real stakes. I’m sure the filmmakers work to provide healthy doses of drama in and around the story of De La Salle High School’s epic winning streak through the ‘90s and early ‘00s. But this drama appears artificial and stale. Again, a trailer does not a movie make, but if it’s supposed to tell the story of the film’s major beats then we are looking at a football flick that could become instantly forgettable.

Director Thomas Carter has some experience in the "undefeated high school sports team" realm, having previously made Coach Carter (65%). It’s not a bad film, but it could lay the groundwork for how we perceive his latest. Coach Carter was a safe, albeit fine, fine movie that stuck to the sports drama playbook with more than its share of "feel good" to it. When the Game Stands Tall feels like it will cram a lot in without ever really getting anywhere.

Because I’m the definitive voice on high school football movies, I’ll be forced to see it and properly rank it’s slot in movie history. But the odds aren’t great. There’s too much drama, not enough at stake, and no Coach Taylor.

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