Movie Review: My All-American

At the beginning of My All-American, Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart) is asked who was the most motivating All-American player for him, and he says Freddie Steinmark. The reporter, confused, says that Freddie was not an All-American. Royal's response is, "He was my All-American." I was about to dismiss this movie as a Hallmark film right there and then, but luckily the film actually ended up being very good.

Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock) grows up in a small town near Denver, and all of his life he's wanted to play college football. He's a very good player, but is small in stature and weight, and when it comes time to look for college scholarships, he's not sure he will receive one. Coach Royal sees some footage of Steinmark playing, and asks him and one of his football buddies to come up to the University of Texas campus to meet with him; Freddie and his friend are both offered scholarships. Freddie's girlfriend is accepted to UT as well, and the three of them travel to Austin for college.

Midway into his junior year, Freddie has been having leg problems - he's been limping all season - but he wants to finish the last game before the Cotton Bowl prior to having a doctor look at it. What happens after that is something that will test Freddie's spirit and fortitude, and a situation that he must try to make the best of.

This film was based on a true story, one of which I wasn't aware of, but one that my dad, who attended the screening with me, vividly remembers, since he's a football fan and was alive during that time period. Both the football player (Freddie) and the coach himself were real people, and during the end of the movie we see some real footage of the UT stadium and a plaque of Freddie that they have. I couldn't figure out where I had seen Finn Wittrock before, too, but he was in Unbroken, another great movie; both him and Eckhart do well here, as do Finn's buddy and the actress that plays Finn's girlfriend.

Yes, see this movie, although I will say you can save it for a matinee. It definitely was very Hallmark-like but the story was an interesting one, and is worth knowing about/seeing, especially for myself since I had never heard of it before. I always enjoy sports movies, too, and this one had a lot of great football scenes, including training at UT and the games themselves. This is also a very family-friendly movie - it hardly had any language in it, and is rated PG - and one that you could take the kids to for an afternoon out.

My All-American is in theaters today, November 13th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 118 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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