10 May 2013

Movie Review: "The Blind Side"

Rated: PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, and Tim McGraw
Released: November 20, 2009 (theaters) / March 23, 2010 (DVD/Blu-Ray)
Synopsis: Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is a kid with a hard life.  Born in a poor neighborhood to a drug-addict mother, and with no father in sight, he escapes his destitute living situation...only to end up homeless.  Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock, While You Were Sleeping) is an opulent wife and mother who takes Michael in, if only to give him a home.  After finding out that Michael has superior athletic ability, he joins his private school's football team.  However, his classmates and others harass him because of his size and skin color, and his skills on the court need some sharpening.  With his adoptive family behind him, though, Michael will prove to the entire nation that he is not to be counted out.

Plot: 5/5
Though neither "based on a true story" films nor sports flicks are really my thing, I found The Blind Side to be the most engaging movie I've seen in either category in a while.  Even an annoying storytelling device--showing the end before the beginning--didn't detract at all from the narrative.  The entire film speaks of the gift of having a family, the need for an education, looking out for your fellow man, and, at times, the joy of literacy.  What could be better than that?

Production Values: 5/5
The acting, the sets, the sports sequences...what was there not to like?  Everything in this was amazingly done.  Of course, when a movie is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, you know it's well-made.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A husband and wife are seen passionately kissing.  Terms--slang and otherwise--for private parts are mentioned.  Women are described in unkind terms.
  • Nudity: Leigh Anne is almost always seen wearing a low-cut top.  Cheerleaders are seen in their typical sleeveless, short-skirted outfits.  A minor male character has his coat open every time you see him, and it exposes some of his chest.  One bare midriff is seen.
  • Violence: Rough-and-tumble football action, along with a fight where gunfire is heard.  A car crash ends with two people being bloodied.
  • Drugs: Usage of drugs is mentioned.  Beer is consumed.
  • Language: A-words, b-words, d-words, and h-words appear more frequently than they should.  Slang terms for private parts are also used.
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The fight mentioned above could be freaky to some viewers, and the car crash might be as well.
  • Other: A clip from the song "Bust-A-Move" appears; though what you hear in the movie itself is innocent, the entire song is not.
Conclusion: I have a feeling this is going to join Rudy, Hoosiers, and Remember the Titans as part of the pantheon of classic sports flicks.  Not being a sports fan myself, I still found the movie to be mostly enjoyable, though the problematic content kept it from being what it could have been.  Those who don't mind the above content, or have ClearPlay or a similar service to filter their movies, should definitely watch this inspiring story.  Others might have some quibbles with the content.

Score: 3.75/5

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