Review by Lynn resident Steve Duffy –
McFarland, USA is another Kevin Costner feel-good and inspirational sports film that is based on a true story set in the late 80’s. Costner portrays Jim White, a white coach who leads a team of rag-tag Latino runners to beat the odds and compete in a cross-country championship.
Having been recently fired from his job as a high school football coach in Idaho, Jim (Kevin Costner) accepts a low-paying job as an Assistant coach teaching P.E. in McFarland, California. Along with his wife, Cheryl (Maria Bello), and their two daughters, they take up residence in this small community whose population are mostly Mexican-Americans.
Costner is definitely in his element for this role. He doesn’t overact and keeps its simple.
All the supporting performances are solid. Unfortunately, Maria Bello’s role was overlooked and ended up being more of a side character. Except for Carlos Pratts, who plays the team’s best runner, all the other actors are newcomers that were discovered in the area and do a great job in their individual roles.
McFarland, USA is your typical underdog sports film that shows its emotions on its sleeve. There is nothing really surprising in the film and it is everything you expect it would be. The storyline will have you cheering until the very end.
PG for thematic material, some violence and language
Run Time: 2 hr. 9 min.