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Forever Strong (2008)



Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 9

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 9,664

My Rating

Movie Info

A talented but troubled high-school rugby star gets a second shot at redemption after being sentenced to serve time in a Salt Lake City boys' home and landing a coveted spot on the famed Highland High School rugby team in this inspirational sports drama from director Ryan Little (Saints and Soldiers, Everything You Want). Rick Penning (Sean Faris ) was the star player on his Arizona rugby team until his life took a turn for the worse. Now, after a fateful brush with the law, Rick finds himself



David Pliler

Jun 9, 2009


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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (15) | DVD (2)

This earnest indie production comes across like formulaic fiction while taking cues (and recycling cliches) from the 'inspirational sports drama' playbook.

September 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's definitely possible to make artful message movies -- just consider the filmography of ex-Mormon iconoclast Richard Dutcher -- but Forever Strong is generic faith-and-redemption fare, devoid of nuance.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club | Comments (2)
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As directed by Ryan Little and written by David Pliler, Forever Strong dredges up every sports movie cliché and stereotype ever invented. (Cue the slow-mo in the rain.)

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comment (1)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is well shot and edited, the rugby scenes are enjoyable (if likely puzzling to the uninitiated) and Strong's earnestness excuses at least some of its predictability.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comment (1)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The whole package here is warmed-over mush from a hundred other sports movies, a tale padded out with game footage, training sequences, absurd coincidences, life lessons that teach nothing and wasted casting.

September 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Comment (1)
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shares the secret sin of many a pigskin pic: Despite all the macho posturing, the corny story is just as sappy as anything on Lifetime.

September 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Comment (1)
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Uplifting jock drama is predictable but OK for older tweens.

June 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Created under the vague guise of "inspirational cinema," Strong is a sloppy, soggy pile of clichés, unable to sort itself out, grow a pair of cinematic cojones, and actually try to subvert some of its rancid formula.

June 10, 2009 Full Review Source:

The father-son relationship that bolts this rugby film together provides the textured backdrop for a sports film that engages

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The very Tom Cruise-like Sean Faris makes this respectable portrayal noteworthy considering the gritty sport's irrelevancy to most Americans.

September 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah) | Comment (1)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

[Director Ryan] Little and cinematographer T.C. Christensen make you feel the heat in every scrum.

September 26, 2008 | Comment (1)
Salt Lake Tribune

There's something disheartening about seeing real-life stories and their inevitable complexities put through the Hollywood sausage machine and transformed into bland parables.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comment (1)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Gives the word "forgettable" a bad name.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Comment (1)
Boxoffice Magazine

While it does boast some of the expected tropes and formulas of cinematic sports dramas, it's a competent, entertaining and involving movie that features a decent message about self-discipline and redemption.

September 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Comment (1)
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Contrived corniness abounds.

September 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Comment (1)
Lessons of Darkness

Adhering to the belief that action scenes are more thrilling when you can't tell what the hell is going on, the director gives us just the "highlights."

September 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Forever Strong

18/01/2012 (PS3, NETFLIX)
January 17, 2012

Super Reviewer

It's a pretty decent film. There's a lot of cliches and the classic father-son relationship issue that we all see in sports films, but it wasn't too bad.

Rick Penning had a pretty bad attitude for most of the film, but somehow I managed to like his character near the end. I like to see characters develop into a completely different one, and he definitely did. I felt like the video was sort of rushed. I didn't really get a good background on Rick until after the car accident. It was okay though.

I'd most likely watch it again. :)
May 16, 2011
Japes .

Super Reviewer

Cast: Gary Cole, Sean Faris, Neal McDonough, Sean Astin, Arielle Kebbel, Penn Badgley, Olesya Rulin, Julie Warner, Nathan West, Max Kasch

Director: Ryan Little

Summary: Rick (Sean Faris) is a star player on his dad's rugby team until a DUI lands him in a reformatory. While he's serving his sentence, tough rival coach Larry Gelwix (Gary Cole) allows him to play for his team, which helps Rick straighten up his act. Upon his release, however, Rick becomes a pariah to his former teammates and even his father when he refuses to divulge Gelwix's strategies.

My Thoughts: "I am a complete sports film nerd. I love them, and probably rate them higher then what they actually deserve to a non-sports loving person. But I really enjoyed this one, and it's always better when the film is based on true events. It has good acting, an inspiring story, and a lot of heart. I am even more impressed that their is a coach out there like this. Coach Gelwix has some really great quotes in the film like, "I'm more interested in turning out champion boys than champion teams", and "I want you to be forever strong on the field so you will be forever strong off it". Other coaches should take note.
Sean Faris is really good in the film. He goes through the motions like a pro. Rugby is a tough sport, kudos to those who play it. Great sports flick, see it if you like them, skip it if you don't. But it's a good story either way."
May 8, 2011

Super Reviewer

During the trailer, I was like: no no no no no no no!
But during the movie I was like: yes yes yes yes yes yes!
This was actually a really good sports drama!
January 13, 2010
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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