Now playing in select theaters, digital and VOD (Video on Demand) is the football themed drama, Under the Stadium Lights.
The film stars Milo Gibson, Abigail Hawk, Acoryé White, Carter Redwood, Germain Arroyo, Adrian Favela, Eddie George, Glenn Morshower, – with Noel G. and Laurence Fishburne.
Under the Stadium Lights was inspired by a book written by Chad Mitchell. The story is based on the real life Abilene High School Eagles football team.
The Abilene High School football team had horrible season in 2008. So much so that the players felt completed defeated. It seemed like nothing could bring up their moral. Most especially because many of the players had so much going on in their lives, and in a way, football was an outlet for them.
Are the Eagles were officially “down and out?” With a lot of encouragement, moral support and a bit of faith mixed in, will the players (team) find a way to change things for the better, and come out as winners during the next football season? To find out, you need to rent or go see Under the Stadium Lights. Look for it on digital, VOD and at a theater near you.
I’m all for a good football themed film (The Replacements, Concussion, The Blind Side, Remember the Titans…), so I was happy to review this film.
Although this film is “about” football, the primary focus is on the players, their home life, and the people in their lives (the team chaplain, a local diner manager…). Most of the team members come from broken homes, are surrounded by drugs and violence, and dealing with incarcerated parents. They all pretty much have horrific personal lives, so it’s understandable why they see football as an outlet to escape what is going on in their lives personally.
This film goes into a lot of detail behind several of the players. In fact, this film is more about the people than the game of football. In fact, there is not a lot of football to be seen in this film. Not like you did in films like The Replacements and Remember the Titans. If your main interest in seeing this film is to watch a lot of the game being played, you’ll be disappointed. The film is more so about kids with tragic lives finding a way to achieve something that means a lot to them – becoming a winning team.
The acting was decent enough. Laurence Fishburne definitely comes across as someone you’d like to have in your corner. He has a “fatherly” quality about him, which is something that many of the players need in their lives.
For me, the story didn’t flow all too well. Like I said, it focused on the players more than football, and the film spent a lot of time on each player individually, instead of focusing on all of them on a day to day basis. Hopefully that makes sense?
Some of the players come from terrible backgrounds and home lives. It made me really feel for them, and if their stories are real, my heart goes out to them and I hope and pray that they were able to turn things around in the end.
I don’t think I would put this film in the same category as a film like Remember the Titans. This film, for me, is more like something you would find on UP TV or the Hallmark Channel, especially with it’s religious elements.
I would consider this a “feel good” movie. It doesn’t seem like it would be initially, but towards the end, it most certainly does.
I enjoyed the movie. My husband lost interest in it not long after it started. I think it was thinking the same thing – that this movie was going to focus on the game, not the people. He’s not a big fan of drama films.
This is not a family friendly film. It’s rated PG-13 for violence, drugs, bad language and bloody images. I’m surprised that it didn’t get an “R” rating.
The film runs for 108 minutes.
Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.
*I received a free screener in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.