Forever Strong (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Forever Strong (2008)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 out of the spotlight and forced to ponder the consequences of his actions in a Salt Lake City juvenile detention center. As fate would have it, however, Salt Lake's famed Highland High rugby team could use a player like Rick. With a little help from coach Larry Gelwix (Gary Cole), Rick may even be able to lead the Highland High team to the national championships. When Rick discovers that the team they'll be competing against is none other than his old team from Arizona, which is coached by his father, Richard Penning (Neal McDonough), the deciding game takes on a newfound sense of gravity in the eyes of the ambitious young athlete. Arielle Kebbel and Sean Astin co-star.more
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material involving teen drug and alcohol use, and for some disturbing images)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David Pliler
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 9, 2009
Box Office: $0.5M
Crane Movie Company - Official Site


Sean Faris
as Rick Penning
Sean Astin
as Marcus Tate
Gary Cole
as Coach Larry Gelwix
Neal McDonough
as Coach Richard Pennin...
Julie Warner
as Natalie Penning
Nathan West
as Quentin
Max Kasch
as Griggs
Jeremy Earl
as Sanchez
Larry Bagby
as Coach Cal
Leroy Teo
as Bingham
Teddi Siddall Cole
as Cathy Gelwix
Teddi Siddall
as Cathy Gelwix
Olesya Rulin
as Emily's Friend
Elizabeth Hansen
as Judge Alvarez
Joey Miyashima
as Defense Attorney
Jimmy Chunga
as Max Griffin
Brian Peck
as Colton Mcdonald
Dave Fox
as Radio Commentator
David Fox
as Radio Commentator
Taylor Bateman
as Samantha Tate
Matthew Flynn Bellow...
as Highland Player #1
Britani Bateman
as Renee Tate
Mark Ormsby
as Field Referee #1
Mark Numbers
as Field Referee #2
Haloti Liavaa
as Field Referee #3
Larry Gelwix
as Field Referee #4
Dean Grace
as Field Referee #5
Mike Laws
as Field Referee #6
Rick Spencer
as Athletic Trainer
Irene Santiago
as Sports Reporter #1
Alema Harrington
as Sports Reporter #2
Yolanda Wood
as Young Mother
Peter Tuiaki
as Flagstaff Hooker
Johnathan Law
as Flagstaff Assistant
Ivan R. Bird
as Police Officer
Shareece Pfeiffer
as Marty's Girlfriend
James Airhart
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Dave Anderson
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Peter "Hollywood" Bl...
as Highland Rugby Playe...
David Cole
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Nathan Herrscher
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Ben Hill
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Cameron Kiser
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Trevor King
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Scott Nielsen
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Colton Phippen
as Highland Rugby Playe...
David Root
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Ryan Roundy
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Andrew Swingle
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Jorge Portal
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Sam Thorley
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Fau Tuuanaiaou
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Robert "Lopeti" Wolf...
as Highland Rugby Playe...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Forever Strong

Critic Reviews for Forever Strong

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (11)

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

Full Review… | September 29, 2008
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
AV Club
Top 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.)

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
New York Post
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 24, 2008
Orlando Sentinel
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 24, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Forever Strong


18/01/2012 (PS3, NETFLIX)

EightThirty .

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. :)

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."


Super Reviewer

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