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All Critics (15)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (10)
| Rotten (5)
Yes, Burlsworth was truly an angel among us, but Greater takes the audience through some heavy-handed hell.
Just sweet enough and slick enough to appeal to pigskin fans and Christian family audiences.
The life and untimely death of Arkansas football player Brandon Burlsworth is turned into a one-note sermon in David Hunt's leaden biopic.
Along with multiple music montages showing Brandon in training, the movie is cluttered with general churchy fluff.
As a basic football film Greater is perfectly adequate, but it could have truly lived up to its title with stronger convictions on its faith component.
A faith-based football weeper that fails on almost every level.
A movie that has some undeniable inspirational appeal, but also one that's so sluggishly told that the appeal is moderately blunted.
Moving, faith-based tale of football star's unexpected rise.
... not a movie for people who look to movies for something more than uplift or assurance, but that's all right.
Had the filmmakers not repeatedly returned to the "doubting Thomases" and instead just played the film out chronologically, it would have had more of an emotional impact. (Full Content Review for Parents - Profanity, Bullying, etc. - also Available)
While Brandon's own faith never wavers, the film cross-examines Christian pieties and even faith itself to a greater degree than any other faith-based film I can think of.
An inspirational sports drama that dares to ask difficult questions about faith.
Great film, fantastic story.
Despite not being a huge sports fan, the fact I'm from Arkansas weighs heavily into me seeing Greater AKA the story of Brandon Burlsworth AKA the story of the greatest walk-on in the history of college football. While I don't typically tend to venture out of my way to screen movies like When the Game Stands Tall, Woodlawn, or My All-American the significance of Burlsworth's story to the only sports team that matters in The Natural State made me feel something of an obligation to see what all the fuss was about. As I imagine those aforementioned films do (none of which I've seen) Greater means to be one part inspirational sports drama and another part inspirational faith-based film. There's nothing innately wrong with this, but movies with such reputations tend to be made on shoestring budgets and with amateur actors that only lessen the credibility of the cheesy sermons and singular perspectives typically conveyed. While Greater is certainly guilty of both of these things and at the same time essentially canonizes its main character the overall effect on this particular viewer, who I again recognize has stronger ties to this story than someone watching it in Vermont, is one that works in the way I imagine the makers of the film hoped it might. Executive produced by and starring Neal McDonough as Burlsworth's older brother, Marty, the film tells the inherently rousing and equally tragic story of Burlsworth's life from the cradle to the grave giving into the pratfalls of most biopics that tend to take this approach. At ten minutes over two hours Greater is a tad lengthy and it shows in certain spots. Not focusing in on some of the more interesting aspects of Burlsworth's journey such as the details and dynamics of how he was able to remain on the team and gain a scholarship ultimately take away from the films opportunity to really zero in on and explore a certain aspect of Burlsworth that might have better explained why he was the type of man this movie tells us he was. That said, director David Hunt (who wrote the script with Brian Reindl) offers some inspired and interesting ways of conveying certain story elements that will have viewers feeling the full weight of the loss of a person such as Burlsworth whether they are a fan of another SEC team or not a fan of the sport at all.
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