Family Movie Review- “Woodlawn”

“Holly on Hollywood”

by Holly McClure


“Woodlawn” is a sports movie about the largest high school football game ever played in the racially charged city of Birmingham, Alabama in 1973 and the rise of its first African American superstar Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille), who went on to play for Bear Bryant and eventually, the NFL. But this family-friendly story is really about a spiritual awakening that was spawned by an on-fire-for-the-Lord chaplain (Sean Astin), who asked to speak to Coach Tandy Gerelds (Nic Bishop) football team and ended up winning the hearts of nearly every player to the Lord and eventually, the coach as well.  C. Thomas Howell plays a rival coach who’s a jerk to everyone until he too goes through a transformation of faith. And Jon Voight plays the lovable and determined Alabama coach, Bear Bryant. Kevin Downes, Devon Franklin, Sherri Shepperd and Kevin Sizemore all give great performances!  

The PG rating is for themes of racial tension with footage showing fighting, comments about segregation and a scene where a black player is told he can shower when the “whites are finished”. Mature themes make it best for mature pre-teens to adults. 

I remember when the “Jesus Movement” swept across America. Some were called “Jesus People” or “Jesus Freaks” and it birthed an exciting new spiritual culture in our nation. “Woodlawn” reflects that time, with an inspiring true story of perseverance, equality and a different kind of faith. With “John 14:6: One hope. One Truth. One Way.” on the poster, this is clearly a faith-based film from the folks who produce them for Christian audiences. But hopefully, the football driven “Woodlawn”, will reach a new audience, inviting them to simply believe – then see what God will do!

Check Out the Trailer Here:

“Remember to Choose Your Movies Wisely”

~Holly On Hollywood~

Holly_McClureHolly McClure is a multimedia personality with a career that spans over 20 years in the entertainment industry. Her background as a film critic, film and television producer, creative director, filmographer, radio and television host, author and pundit for family values, has established her expertise and made her a recognized advocate for family-friendly entertainment.

Holly was the first family film critic syndicated in over 365 newspapers with The Orange County Register. Her “Holly on Hollywood” movie reviews have been featured on TBN, Daystar and can now be seen on Uplift TV, The Word Network, UANetwork, and other affiliates.

In 2002, Mel Gibson asked Holly to come to Italy and film the behind-the-scenes interviews for The Passion of the Christ. She produced a one hour special, The Making of The Passion of the Christ (TBN, ION) and has since produced numerous press features for films like; Do You Believe, Dancer and the Dame, God’s Not Dead, The Frontier Boys, House, Thr3e, One Night With the King, Midnight Clear, The Visitation, Hangman’s Curse and others.

Holly is a charter member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and serves on the advisory boards of The Dove Foundation and The Parents Television Council. She is a proud mother, grandmother, mentor and Christian, and passionate about supporting and creating life-changing entertainment!

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