Facing the Giants

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Facing the Giants
A player in red running the field, another player in white trying to tackle him.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlex Kendrick
Written byAlex Kendrick
Stephen Kendrick
Produced byStephen Kendrick
Alex Kendrick
David Nixon
StarringAlex Kendrick
Shannen Fields
Tracy Goode
James Blackwell
Bailey Cave
Jim McBride
Jason McLeod
CinematographyBob Scott
Edited byRyan Hensley
Alex Kendrick
Music byAlex Kendrick
Mark Willard
Production
companies
Sherwood Pictures
Provident Films
Caramel Entertainment
Kendrick Brothers Group
Distributed bySamuel Goldwyn Films
Destination Films
Release date
  • September 29, 2006 (2006-09-29)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$100,000[1]
Box office$10.2 million[1]

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 made $10.2 million on a $100,000 budget.

Plot[edit]

In 2003, Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick) is the head football coach of the Shiloh Christian Academy Eagles, and has yet to make the state playoffs or even 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.

The Eagles lose their playoff opener, but are awarded the win by forfeit after their 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 race out to a 14-0 lead, but the Eagles manage to tie the game at the start of the second half. The Giants tack on another touchdown and a field goal before the Eagles manage to score another touchdown.

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 kicker David Childers, who was forced to take over when the starting kicker was knocked out early in the second half. David insists that he can't kick that far, but goes out there anyway. After a rousing speech from Grant, and seeing his father Larry Childers, who is a wheelchair user, 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's kick just barely clears the uprights, 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 son with another one on the way, and in the interim the Eagles have won a second state title.

Cast[edit]

  • 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.

Production[edit]

The movie was shot on high definition digital video tape (using the Panasonic Varicam) and transferred to film.[2] 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.

Soundtrack[edit]

Facing the Giants: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score
ReleasedOctober 3, 2006
GenreChristian
Track listing
  1. Come Together - Third Day
  2. Voice of Truth - Casting Crowns
  3. Facing the Giants Theme (Score) - Mark Willard, Alex Kendrick
  4. Finding You - Bebo Norman
  5. The Deathcrawl (Score) - Mark Willard
  6. Completely - Ana Laura
  7. A Gift from God (Score) - Mark Willard
  8. Come on Back to Me - Third Day
  9. Never Give Up on Me - Josh Bates
  10. The Fight (Score) - Mark Willard
  11. With You - Mark Willard, Mark Harris
  12. Attempting the Impossible (Score) - Mark Willard, Alex Kendrick

Release[edit]

The film was released to DVD in early 2007 and made its television debut on September 21, 2008, on Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mostly negative reviews from mainstream critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, 16% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 4.30/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "The tropes of both football and evangelical movies are gracelessly on parade in this banal, insipid drama."[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 38 out of 100 based on reviews from 4 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4]

Box office[edit]

In its first weekend, the film opened on 441 screens nationwide in the United States.[5] 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.[5] 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.

Rating controversy[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7][8][9][10]

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.[6] The 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.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Facing the Giants (2006)". Box Office Mojo. September 29, 2006. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  2. ^ "Internet Movie Database". Facing the Giants. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
  3. ^ "Facing the Giants (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  4. ^ "Facing the Giants Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Facing the Giants". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Film Rating Upsets Christian Groups". ABC News. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Facing the Giants MPAA Ratings Controversy". Carmel Entertainment Group. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
  8. ^ Jim Puzzanghera (21 June 2006). "Christians on Football Film: Give Us a G!". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ Snyder, Gabriel (22 June 2006). "MPAA in the cross hairs". Variety.
  10. ^ "PG rating is 'too restrictive' for Christian film". The Guardian. 21 June 2006.

External links[edit]