Facing the Giants
|Facing the Giants|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alex Kendrick|
|Produced by||Stephen Kendrick|
|Written by||Alex Kendrick|
|Music by||Mark Willard|
|Distributed by||Samuel Goldwyn Films|
|Box office||$10.2 million|
Facing the Giants is a 2006 American Christian drama sports film directed by and starring Alex Kendrick. The supporting cast was composed of volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church, and it is the second film that Sherwood Pictures has done. Shot in Albany, Georgia, the film relates an underdog story about American football from a Christian worldview. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but made $10.2 million on a $100,000 budget.
In 2003, Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick) is the head football coach at Shiloh Christian Academy, and has yet to post a winning record in his six-year tenure. After his seventh season begins with a three-game losing streak, the players' fathers begin to agitate for his firing. This is not the only problem Grant is facing; his home has a leaking roof, his appliances are breaking down, and his car is an unreliable embarrassment. Then, crushingly, he learns that he is the reason that his wife Brooke cannot become pregnant.
Suffering intense emotional turmoil, Grant stays up all night praying and studying scripture. Finally he is inspired by his old football coach to create a new coaching philosophy and decides to praise God regardless of on-field results. At the same time he influences his players to give far greater effort and tells them that they can win under God's guidance. The improved attitudes of his players influence the rest of the school. From that point on, the Eagles win all their remaining regular season games and qualify for the state playoffs.
A team father, grateful to Grant for his son's improved attitude and their healed relationship, anonymously gifts a pickup truck to Grant. Then in a shocking turnaround the school gives Grant a substantial raise in salary instead of firing him.
The Eagles lose their playoff opener, but are declared the winner because the opponent used ineligible players. The Eagles then advance all the way to the state championship game against the three-time defending champion Richland Giants.
The Giants start off strong, quickly putting 14 points on the board, but afterward, the Eagles tighten down their defenses, placing pressure on the Giants, and manage to score off of an interception as the first half ends. Realizing they cannot overpower and outrun their opponent, Grant decided to add a few trick plays to their arsenal. As the 2nd half starts, their first trick play works and they manage to tie the game, but the Giants deliberately injure their kicker, forcing backup kicker David Childers to take the spot. The Giants tack on another touchdown and a field goal before the Eagles manage to score another touchdown, and David's kick just makes it over the bar, bringing the Eagles to within 2.
As the clock winds down, the Giants come to within one yard of sealing the game with a touchdown. Defensive lineman Brock Kelley is exhausted and begs for someone else to lead, but is encouraged by Grant to give him 4 more downs. Brock agrees, and the Eagles manage to get a sack, a stop, and a pass block, taking it to 4th down. Richland head coach Bobby Lee Duke, insisting on a touchdown to put the game away, calls for the Giants to go for it. However, Brock causes a fumble, and the Eagles are able to take it to the 34-yard line with 2 seconds to go.
Grant, realizing again that they cannot outrun or overpower the Giants, decides to take a huge gamble, and asks for a 51-yard field goal from David, who insists that he can't kick that far. He goes out there anyway, and despite his assistant coach's warning that the kick won't go far, Duke decides to call his timeout to ice the kicker. After a rousing speech from Grant, and seeing his father Larry Childers, who is wheelchair bound, stand beyond the fence and holding his arms up, David begs for God to help him with the kick. Seemingly in response, the wind suddenly turns favorable, and Grant tells them to kick it. David makes the kick, which manages to make it just far enough for the field goal to be good, allowing the Eagles to stun the Giants and win the game.
After the game, Grant tells his players that they are not inferior or lacking in ability, and that nothing is impossible with God. Later that night, Brooke reveals that she's finally pregnant, causing Grant to break down in tears of joy. Two years later, it is revealed that they have a young baby, that another one is on the way, and that the Eagles have won a second state title.
- Alex Kendrick as Grant Taylor
- Shannen Fields as Brooke Taylor
- Bill Butler as Neil Prater
- Bailey Cave as David Childers
- Steve Williams as Larry Childers
- Tracy Goode as Brady Owens
- Jim McBride as Bobby Lee Duke
- Tommy McBride as Jonathan Weston
- Jason McLeod as Brock Kelley
- Chris Willis as J.T. Hawkins Jr.
- Ray Wood as Mr. Bridges
- Erin Bethea as Alicia Houston
- David Nixon as Mr. Jones
- Mark Richt as Himself & former coach of Grant Taylor
Most of the cast and crew were members of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. For example, the role of Bobby Lee Duke, the opposing coach in the state final, was played by Sherwood Baptist associate pastor Jim McBride.
The movie was shot on high definition digital video tape (using the Panasonic Varicam) and transferred to film. Using real high school football teams, the football action sequences were shot by the film's director of photography, Bob Scott, who is a veteran cinematographer for NFL Films. Another NFL Films technician, Rob Whitehurst, recorded the movie's sound. Principal photography began on April 27, 2004.
|Facing the Giants: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Released||October 3, 2006|
- Come Together - Third Day
- Voice of Truth - Casting Crowns
- Facing the Giants Theme (Score) - Mark Willard, Alex Kendrick
- Finding You - Bebo Norman
- The Deathcrawl (Score) - Mark Willard
- Completely - Ana Laura
- A Gift from God (Score) - Mark Willard
- Come on Back to Me - Third Day
- Never Give Up on Me - Josh Bates
- The Fight (Score) - Mark Willard
- With You - Mark Willard, Mark Harris
- Attempting the Impossible (Score) - Mark Willard, Alex Kendrick
The film was released to DVD in early 2007 and made its television debut on September 21, 2008, on Trinity Broadcasting Network.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2015)
The film received mostly negative reviews from mainstream critics. According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 13% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 4.14/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "The tropes of both football and evangelical movies are gracelessly on parade in this banal, insipid drama." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 38 out of 100 based on 4 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
In its first weekend, the film opened on 441 screens nationwide in the United States. Despite such a small number of theaters, the film opened in twelfth place with $1,343,537. The film ultimately was shown in over 1,000 theaters and grossed a total of $10,243,159. The film opened in South Korea on April 16, 2010, eventually grossing $64,828. DVD sales have totaled 2.3 million units sold in 57 countries.
In May 2006, the producers of Facing the Giants received notice from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) that the film would be receiving a "Parental Guidance Suggested" rating, or PG rating. The Drudge Report picked up the story on June 8, 2006, which sparked a controversy alleging that the film was being given a "PG" rating solely because of its religious theme. The New York Times, Good Morning America, Fox News, and many talk radio programs covered this story.
According to the film's producers, they were told the motion picture received a PG rating because of its strong religious themes and because it elevated one religion over another. However, MPAA later explained that Facing the Giants contains football violence and also deals with the mature topics of infertility and depression.
The Kendrick brothers expected the PG rating because of the movie's mature themes and did not appeal the board's rating.
- "Facing the Giants (2006) - Box Office Mojo". September 29, 2006. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
- "Internet Movie Database". Facing the Giants. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
- "Facing the Giants (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- "Facing the Giants Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- "Facing the Giants". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
- "Film Rating Upsets Christian Groups". ABC News. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
- "Facing the Giants MPAA Ratings Controversy". Carmel Entertainment Group. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2007.