12 MIGHTY ORPHANS
Release Date: June 18, 2021
Director: Ty Roberts
Stars: Luke Wilson, Martin Sheen, Wayne Knight, Vinessa Shaw
Plot: A teacher at a Texas orphanage starts a football program that quickly becomes one of the best in the country
Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee
This film is inspired by a true story, and what a story it is. There is no way a movie could live up to the real-life story, but the people behind this film did everything they could to get it as close as possible. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite play as well as I would have hoped.
Is it a good and inspiring film? Yes. Is it a great film that makes you want to hit the field? No. Is it one that you should see? Sure, if you like underdog sports movies.
I think the thing this movie missed was the character development, which is not easy to say because the film spends a lot of time on character development. It just feels like there could have been more, or it could have been done more effectively to help me care about the players.
Luke Wilson does a pretty good job, but I never felt like he was a football genius or an inspiring leader like the real Rusty Russell was. It just felt like he came upon his innovations by stumbling into them and how he handled the teachable moments weren't powerful or emotional.
This is by no means a bad movie. It is inspiring, emotional, and somewhat powerful, but it isn't one of the upper tier sports movies. It's middle of the pack.