The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The movie can risk being patronizing, at times. And boy, is it manipulative. But all art is manipulative, in some way. And maybe being manipulated to have a little hope isn't such a bad thing after all.
Yes, it's a bit corny and convenient at times, but there's an admiration here for hard work, ambition and battling adversity that overrides cynicism. "McFarland, USA" is a good film about good people; nothing wrong with that.
Yes, there's a formula. Yes, it's corny. But running is about the journey, not the destination, and Disney sports movies don't know how to quit until everyone has crossed the finish line. Bless them for it.
At this point the inspirational coach drama has become as ritualistic as the Catholic mass, but it's also developed an admirable social agenda of breaking down racial divisions, which is exemplified by this heartwarming Disney release.
Caro's direction, Costner's performance and the winning cast, along with the shining of a sliver of light on the plight of field workers, however thin that sliver may be, combine to make "McFarland" a much better movie than it has any right to be.
The real underdog story is how this by-the-numbers film about cross-cultural friendship, tenacity and strong work managed to go the distance without my rolling my eyes too heavily. Coach Blanco did all right.