McFarland USA - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

McFarland USA Reviews

September 24, 2015
McFarland, USA is a modern anomaly -- a Kevin Costner sports movie that's genuinely rousing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 24, 2015
You run with it, just.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 26, 2015
Yes, "McFarland USA" has the obligatory coda where we found out how everything played out for the coach and the key members of that 1987 team. You should stick around for that.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5
February 23, 2015
The latest in a long line of condescendingly inspirational sports movies about a catalog Caucasian who learns that people of other races are also capable of being decent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 21, 2015
Here's a movie that should be disposable at best, and racially condescending at worst, and yet it sticks with you. It comes by its emotions honestly and wins you over.
February 20, 2015
You fall for the kids playing the runners because Caro lets their souls come through in the bus rides and the race sequences and the shameless scenes of cabbage picking.
February 20, 2015
[Costner] could have sailed through this film but he gives his role an ingrained orneriness and melancholy that lifts the entire enterprise.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
February 20, 2015
Inspiration is for sale in here. And though more than a spoonful of sugar is slathered over the fact-based script, the movie delivers as promised on the thrill of the race and the lump in the throat.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 20, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 20, 2015
It's all a bit much.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 20, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B
February 20, 2015
There are good things to say about the inspirational Disney sports film McFarland, USA, starting with its up-from-the-scrap-heap story, which happens to be true.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
It took a village of fine performers to depict this close-knit town. And the list is too long to give a shoutout to everyone.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
The actors who play the young runners are a mixed bag of Hollywood unknowns and actual McFarland locals, all of whom are engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 19, 2015
McFarland USA has a distinction in that it's the rare sports movie directed by a woman. Caro's perspective is invaluable to the film's trajectory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
[It] aims to be rousing rather than revelatory, and it mostly succeeds.
February 19, 2015
A canny combination of elements unites with an unlikely true story to make this more effective than you might be expecting.
February 19, 2015
If they gave Oscars for overcoming mechanical plotting and perfunctory dialogue, Mr. Costner would be this year's shoo-in.
February 19, 2015
Kevin Costner's signature knack for sports movies does little to buoy a stilted culture-clash dynamic.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
February 19, 2015
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.
February 19, 2015
Based on the true story of a fledgling high school cross country team from an economically depressed Latino community, McFarland neatly delivers an uncomplicated, heartwarming message.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
February 19, 2015
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.
February 19, 2015
You've seen feel-good football and baseball movies, plus great underdog stories of boxing, basketball, soccer and cycling. So what's left?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 19, 2015
"McFarland, USA" invokes an old sports movie trope: the inspiring coach and his noble, suffering team. But the good intentions can't help it sprint past cliche.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
February 19, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
February 19, 2015
"McFarland, USA" could have been a sentimental film, but it's not, because Caro and the screenwriters bothered to know what that they were talking about.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
Based on the lives of several cross-country runners whose success story began in 1987, the script is crowded with scenes that ring true and rarely stray into conventional exposition.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
The premise may sound obvious and potentially forced, but it comes off as authentic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
A less talented and more shameless director might've turned it into cornmeal mush, but Niki Caro ("Whale Rider") has delivered unto the Disney corporation a Kevin Costner sports movie that works.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
Better than you might think, thanks to strong work from Costner and a cast of fresh faces.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
February 19, 2015
Kevin Costner reaches a welcome career high in this new movie, a live-action based-on-a-true-story inspirational tale of school sports, produced by Disney.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 19, 2015
Caro keeps the material picturesque, respectful, and respectable-without crossing the line into real inspiration.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
February 18, 2015
Given the film's Disney stamp, you can see the feel-good coming a mile away, though the plot's never fleshed out enough to really distinguish it within the underdog-team genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
February 17, 2015
The film's well made, well acted, and sometimes beautiful.
February 17, 2015
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 13, 2015
While the beats of the story are often stock, the picture benefits from sensitive direction by New Zealander Niki Caro and from a most appealing performance by Kevin Costner.
February 4, 2015
A feel-good movie that earns all those good feelings, "McFarland, USA" might be running on a predetermined track, but the heart it shows along the journey is what makes it a winner.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
February 4, 2015
Where the picture excels is as a straightforward sports drama, and Caro delivers the satisfactions of the genre with unfussy verve.