There are so few good personally-inspiring movies for Christians that it’s always noteworthy to point them out when they come along. My All-American is just such a film. I found in on Netflix, although it may also be available on other services. This is a PG-rated film that would be good for kids above 10, in my opinion. There are a few mild obscenities.
The movie is about an exceptionally-motivated young man named Freddie Steinmark, a football player who has big plans. But he’s also grounded in his Catholic faith. Freddie becomes exceptional in academics and sports, and is a faithful Christian, never allowing the lack of enthusiasm around him to lower his expectations of himself.
To me, this is the central theme of the movie. How can someone who always drives himself to excellence never allow himself to be lowered by those around him who are not similarly driven?
Parents of kids in middle school and high school will find Freddie a great way to talk to them about their own motivations. What made Freddie tick? Why was he driven? Freddie tells us himself when he says that his father always expected him to give 100% in everything he does.
Freddie is small for a football player, but his drive brings him to a scholarship at the University of Texas in the 1960’s. Obviously, we see success on the gridiron, but there is plenty of other drama around him. Yet he never, ever, allows those around him to give up.
The only drawback is that there are a couple of times in the movie where we are allowed to wonder “Why would a good God allow such a terrible thing to happen?” The movie does not offer any answers, but it would be good for any parent to be ready to discuss with their children.
There are some sweet and truly heart-rending moments. A few times, I looked at my wife to see if she was crying. I highly recommend this film.