Facing the Giants
|Facing the Giants|
|Directed by||Alex Kendrick|
|Produced by||Stephen Kendrick
|Written by||Alex Kendrick
|Music by||Mark Willard|
|Distributed by||Samuel Goldwyn Films Destination Films|
Facing the Giants is a 2006 American Christian drama 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 was released to DVD in early 2007 and made its television debut on September 21, 2008, on Trinity Broadcasting Network.
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Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick) is the head coach for the Shiloh Eagles football team at Shiloh Christian Academy, and has yet to post a winning record in his six-year tenure. After his seventh season begins, he learns that his running back, tired of losing, has transferred to a rival school, as he moved in with his dad in that school district. Grant is frustrated, as this is the third time he has spent developing key players, only to have them transfer schools in their senior year. Consequently, the team is discouraged and write the season off, since he was the one who scored a third of their points last year. Not surprisingly, the discouraged Eagles get shutout 23-0 in their first game.
Larry Childers, who is confined to a wheelchair, and his son David have recently moved from Athens, GA where David is entering his junior year at Shiloh. David is a soccer player, but Shiloh does not have a soccer program, so Larry encourages him to try out for the football team as a kicker despite David's reservations. David is nervous due to his small stature and lack of experience in football, but his dad tells him not to be afraid of failure. After tryouts, the coaching staff sees promise in David, and he makes the team. As the day ends, Grant notices a player on his team named Matt disobeying his father's orders to come straight home, instead heading off to hang out with his friends.
In the next game against Dewey County (a game which the Eagles are favored to win), the team totally falls apart and loses 21-7, frustrating Grant to the point where he holds a closed door team meeting and berates the team for giving the game away due to their poor offense, as well as lecturing certain players for missing practice due to having detention for slacking off in class. At the end of the meeting, Grant angrily asks "If we're not here to win football games, then why are we here?!" Later that night, when David discusses the game with his dad, he agreed with the coach and was glad to not have played that game and get berated, but his dad again brings up the point that he still has fear in him due to excuses.
After locking up the school for the night, Grant overhears several parents of the football team trying to convince principal Dan Ryker to fire Grant as a coach and find someone else. Grant also notices Brady Owens, one of his assistant coaches, present. This is not the only problem Grant is facing. Outside of football, his car is breaking down and he cannot afford to get another one, some things in his home are not working properly, and he discovers that he is the reason that his wife Brooke (Shannen Fields) cannot become pregnant. With all the issues that Grant is facing, he breaks down with Brooke. The following morning, he begins asking God for help, and God begins to change his perspective on life and his approach to the team.
The following game, Grant decides to allow David to kick. David fails, and because of this, they lose the game, making their season 0-3. After the game, David reveals that he already figured that he would fail, but Larry tells him that the more he accepts defeat, the more likely he is to receive it. Meanwhile, one of the school preachers, Mr. Bridges, approaches Grant and tells him that the Lord isn't done with him, and encourages him to have faith. Grant returns home and creates a new team philosophy.
During the next team meeting, Grant offers anyone $10 if they could guess the team who won the sports championship 10 years ago, then 5 years ago. When nobody comes up with the correct answer, he tells the players that trophies and other material awards, as well as personal recognitions, only last for a short while. He then challenges the players when it comes to their future in life and their true purpose for playing football, as well as focusing on praising God, no matter what the result.
During practice in preparation for their next game against Westview, Grant calls out one of his influential players, Brock, to do the death crawl (crawling across the football field with the knees and elbows off the ground and with another, lighter player on their back) after hearing him write off their next game as a loss. Grant tells Brock to crawl to the 50 yard line, but makes him do it blindfolded for the purpose of maximizing his potential. With Brock struggling, Grant encourages him not to quit along the way and to persevere and Brock crawls all the way to the end zone. Grant sees Brock as an influential team member and tells him that the team will sink or swim with his attitude. Before heading home, Grant rebukes Matt, telling him that he must respect his father because he is his father.
Inspired, the Eagles come together as a team and defeat their opponent. Things begin to take a turn for the better, as the players begin to take their studies more seriously after having previously boasted about their low grades. There is a revival at the school, as students start openly praying and sharing their burdens and sins with each other. As a result, the Eagles begin a winning streak resulting, in a post-season appearance and a pay raise for Grant, Matt reconciles with his dad, and they secretly buy Grant a brand new pickup truck.
During the post season game against Princeton Heights, the Eagles put up a valiant effort, but come up short. Learning from Grant's previous lessons, they praise God despite the loss. As the team begins packing up their gear and calling it a season, Grant receives a phone call. Later, he calls an impromptu meeting with the team and informs them that Princeton Heights has been disqualified for cheating, as they played two ineligible 19 year-olds during the game. As a result, the Eagles have advanced to the quarterfinals, which eventually leads to the state championship game against the three-time defending champion Richland Giants.
Even though the Eagles have only a third as many players as the Giants, the Eagles hold their own through a series of trick plays, including creating a "Stone Wall". Richland Coach Bobby Lee Duke gets cocky and refuses to go for field goals at all. The Eagles use their Stone Wall defense and stop 4 downs at the touchdown line, the last of which end in a fumble towards the 49-yard line. However, with just a few seconds left, Grant has David kick a field, despite the fact that he had never kicked more than a 39-yarder before. Grant implores David to believe in God, but to never walk off the field having done less than his best. David kicks the field goal, winning the game 24-23. In the locker room afterwards, Grant and the team praise God and realize that nothing is impossible when God is on their side.
At home, Grant's prayers for children are finally answered as Brooke reveals that she is pregnant, something they had been trying to accomplish for four years. Two years later, Grant is shown to be playing with his two-year old son, while a pregnant Brooke watches. It is also revealed that a second state championship victory occurred for the Eagles, with a quote in the middle of the award: "With God, all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).
- Alex Kendrick as Grant Taylor
- Shannen Fields as Brooke Taylor
- James Blackwell as Matt Prater
- 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
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. Filming started 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
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The film received mostly negative reviews from mainstream critics. It holds an average ranking 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 24 reviews. Site consensus reads: "The tropes of both football and evangelical movies are gracelessly on parade in this banal, insipid drama." The film also received criticism from some Christians for portraying a prosperity gospel version of Christianity, where one simply gets whatever they want the minute they follow Jesus.
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. Only three films in the top ten released that weekend grossed more per theater. For such a small budget of $100,000, the film ultimately was shown in over 1,000 theaters and grossed a total of $10,178,331. The film opened in South Korea on April 16, 2010, eventually grossing $64,828. The worldwide total (as of June 20, 2010) for the movie stands at $10,243,159. DVD sales have also been strong, with 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". Metacritic.
- "Facing the Giants". rottentomatoes.com. 29 September 2006.
- "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. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
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