My All-American {Courage} (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Freddie Steinmark was trained all his life to play college football.  When he finally gets his chance at the University of Texas, he takes the opportunity to let his work ethic stand out.  He tries to make a difference with everyone he meets, all the while planning his future with his girlfriend.  But as Freddie drives to be better and better, although the team improves around him, his health begins to deteriorate.  He tries to shake it off, but the day finally arrives when he can no longer ignore his poor health.  Freddie will have to make tough decisions and remember why he got to where he is.


Production Quality (2 points)

With obvious funding and professional equipment, My All-American sports clear video quality, great camera work, and good audio quality.  The props that are used look very realistic and specific to the time period.  The sets and surroundings are fairly diverse, if somewhat too varied, as scenes jump all over the place.  The soundtrack is okay for a generic inspirational sports film.  Action sequences are executed very well, but choppy editing plagues this movie.  As previously mentioned, the film jumps all over the place and leaves the audience extremely confused as to what is going on or what may happen next.  This will be discussed in depth next, but the main point here is that a lot of money was spent to make this film look good, but it’s clear that the effort was only ever meant to go skin-deep, so to speak, as the project has little substance underneath the pretty lights.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

This was a very good idea for a film based on a true story, but far too much content is crammed into a small time frame.  Trying to cover a character’s several years before college plus his four years in college in less than two hours calls for dizzying time jumps and information-dump dialogue that creates cardboard characters.  One minute, characters we barely know are in high school, then they are teleported to college one fall, then suddenly it’s spring, then we watch an interlude to discuss the historical time period in an obvious fashion, then it’s back to fall and all over again.  Thus, there is far more telling than showing, since there’s not enough time to show everything the writers want to shove into the plot.  The main focus of the film is sports action sequences, which definitely have their place, but their constant presence leaves little room for character development.  Non-action sequences of characters talking are head-scratching in that we are not provided enough context; we cannot appreciate them or their struggles because of the breakneck pace of the storyline.  As a side note, there is minor inappropriate language throughout for some reason.  The bottom line is that the creators never intended to make this a movie of substance—they just hoped to make a quick buck off of the inspirational audience.

Acting Quality (.5 point)

Despite the presence of ‘big name’ actors and actresses, no care was given to coach them or guide them.  Some cast members show potential, but they are not properly developed in their skills.  Emotions cannot be felt or appreciated.  Line delivery is sloppy and forced, probably because there’s not much time to say things in preparation for the next scene.  Like the rest of the film, this area is half-hearted for a reason.


With the rise of successful inspirational films, mainstream creators are trying to dip into the cash pile.  My All-American is one of these movies that is strictly designed to make money at the box office by marketing it alongside more popular inspirational films.  They invest only in production quality and one or two ‘big name’ cast members and let everything else fall by the wayside.  In their opinion, audiences only care about a nice looking feel good movie, but we beg to differ.  Movies like this one are a waste of your time and only designed to get your money.  But Christian film makers can take note: unless your production quality is as good as half-effort films like this one, you’re also wasting your time.


Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points