Woodlawn Reviews

  • Jan 18, 2019

    The message of the gospel isn't a sexy one to a secular audience, and Christian movies usually drive home the "christians are good, atheists are villains" narrative with some squeaky clean characters who go through little adversity. Woodlawn is different in that it uses God as he should be- a beacon of hope to a broken world who realizes they'll never solve racial equality on their own merits. The fact that this was a true story obviously helps the authenticity of a premise that would otherwise be scoffed at.

    The message of the gospel isn't a sexy one to a secular audience, and Christian movies usually drive home the "christians are good, atheists are villains" narrative with some squeaky clean characters who go through little adversity. Woodlawn is different in that it uses God as he should be- a beacon of hope to a broken world who realizes they'll never solve racial equality on their own merits. The fact that this was a true story obviously helps the authenticity of a premise that would otherwise be scoffed at.

  • Nov 28, 2018

    "Woodlawn" is the true story of one of the first high schools in Alabama to become integrated. This initially caused a lot of friction, especially among the football players who did not want black players on their team. In an effort to stop the fighting, a local evangelist makes a request to speak to the Woodlawn football team and the coach reluctantly agrees. After an hour long talk the evangelist, Hank, is able to convert the entire team into followers of Jesus. At this time in the early seventies, what was known as the Jesus Movement was in full swing and this is a grand example of that movement's power. The evangelist, Hank, continues to mentor the team with Bible studies after practice and the black and white players work together to turn in an unexpected winning season. One black player, Tony Nathan, who is an amazing talent, turns out to be the star and is courted by legendary university of Alabama coach Bear Bryant. The following season starts with a summer practice that includes the cross-town rival team and all the members of that team end up being converted to followers of Jesus as well. In the end, the Woodlawn coach is threatened with termination if he continues to pray with his team before games but in the play-off game with the cross-town rivals who are also believers, they recite the Lord's Prayer with the entire stadium in defiance of the school board. Tony Nathan goes on to play for the University of Alabama and the Woodlawn High School coach ends up selling insurance; however, before the credits roll it is revealed he later returns to coaching. This is a story well told. For believers, this is a joyous celebration of what God can do: The whole team is converted, they then have a winning season, a star player is born, the bitter cross town rivalry is dissolved into respectful sportsman-like play - all because of Jesus. If I didn't know it to be a true story I would say it's too contrived - but it's apparently all true. Keep in mind this is a story about football; so if you're not a football fan it might not be for you. Ultimately, this is a story about God working in the lives of a group of young people and how that empowerment changes a community. Overall, I think most followers of Jesus Christ will find this story inspiring.

    "Woodlawn" is the true story of one of the first high schools in Alabama to become integrated. This initially caused a lot of friction, especially among the football players who did not want black players on their team. In an effort to stop the fighting, a local evangelist makes a request to speak to the Woodlawn football team and the coach reluctantly agrees. After an hour long talk the evangelist, Hank, is able to convert the entire team into followers of Jesus. At this time in the early seventies, what was known as the Jesus Movement was in full swing and this is a grand example of that movement's power. The evangelist, Hank, continues to mentor the team with Bible studies after practice and the black and white players work together to turn in an unexpected winning season. One black player, Tony Nathan, who is an amazing talent, turns out to be the star and is courted by legendary university of Alabama coach Bear Bryant. The following season starts with a summer practice that includes the cross-town rival team and all the members of that team end up being converted to followers of Jesus as well. In the end, the Woodlawn coach is threatened with termination if he continues to pray with his team before games but in the play-off game with the cross-town rivals who are also believers, they recite the Lord's Prayer with the entire stadium in defiance of the school board. Tony Nathan goes on to play for the University of Alabama and the Woodlawn High School coach ends up selling insurance; however, before the credits roll it is revealed he later returns to coaching. This is a story well told. For believers, this is a joyous celebration of what God can do: The whole team is converted, they then have a winning season, a star player is born, the bitter cross town rivalry is dissolved into respectful sportsman-like play - all because of Jesus. If I didn't know it to be a true story I would say it's too contrived - but it's apparently all true. Keep in mind this is a story about football; so if you're not a football fan it might not be for you. Ultimately, this is a story about God working in the lives of a group of young people and how that empowerment changes a community. Overall, I think most followers of Jesus Christ will find this story inspiring.

  • Sep 27, 2018

    Awesome movie. SO inspirational!

    Awesome movie. SO inspirational!

  • Sep 02, 2018

    Incredible film. Remember the Titans was very good, and had a QB from California who could do Tai Chi as the film honored a historic effort helping to overcome American racism and school segregation. It did not have, however, the truth that overcomes much of the hypocrisy of America and modernity´s fragmented soul. Woodlawn is the story of Tony Nathan at Woodlawn High School and shows how Jesus is not a Fundamentalist tool, nor a trite joke for ridicule. There are many paths to the truth, and I will honor the Buddha, Gandhi, Mohammed Yunus, Mary Baker Eddy, and Wangari Maathai the African Nobel Prize winner. This film may not make that truth clear explicitly. However, if Tony Nathan can come to tell his white coach, who is anti-religious at the outset, how he feels, if Nathan´s minister can get blessed by that white coach´s involvement, and if Nathan can overcome a cross-burning on his family´s lawn, then that´s OK, too. History and a stirring spirituality of Christianity go a long way in this film, which should inspire Christian films that have admittedly been showing increasing heart. There are ridiculous Christian films, and there are bearable ones. I ate this one up with its deft directing and acting, and engrossing sense of historical biography. Rather, make that an engrossing story. The fact that it seems to be historical biography made me a little angry that it has only been made into this film now rather than years ago, and I had to wait to see it until now.

    Incredible film. Remember the Titans was very good, and had a QB from California who could do Tai Chi as the film honored a historic effort helping to overcome American racism and school segregation. It did not have, however, the truth that overcomes much of the hypocrisy of America and modernity´s fragmented soul. Woodlawn is the story of Tony Nathan at Woodlawn High School and shows how Jesus is not a Fundamentalist tool, nor a trite joke for ridicule. There are many paths to the truth, and I will honor the Buddha, Gandhi, Mohammed Yunus, Mary Baker Eddy, and Wangari Maathai the African Nobel Prize winner. This film may not make that truth clear explicitly. However, if Tony Nathan can come to tell his white coach, who is anti-religious at the outset, how he feels, if Nathan´s minister can get blessed by that white coach´s involvement, and if Nathan can overcome a cross-burning on his family´s lawn, then that´s OK, too. History and a stirring spirituality of Christianity go a long way in this film, which should inspire Christian films that have admittedly been showing increasing heart. There are ridiculous Christian films, and there are bearable ones. I ate this one up with its deft directing and acting, and engrossing sense of historical biography. Rather, make that an engrossing story. The fact that it seems to be historical biography made me a little angry that it has only been made into this film now rather than years ago, and I had to wait to see it until now.

  • Jun 14, 2018

    Amazing movie! Such a good story!!

    Amazing movie! Such a good story!!

  • Jun 01, 2018

    Best faith-based film of 2015!!!!

    Best faith-based film of 2015!!!!

  • May 26, 2018

    Woodlawn is a true story it was pretty good if you like football see it

    Woodlawn is a true story it was pretty good if you like football see it

  • Mar 24, 2018

    Charming, intelligent and earnest. Based on a true story, "Woodlawn" is a film that is fascinating to watch, not only for the faithful, but for everyone.

    Charming, intelligent and earnest. Based on a true story, "Woodlawn" is a film that is fascinating to watch, not only for the faithful, but for everyone.

  • Mar 18, 2018

    Incredible TRUE story! So much more than the story of a football team-the true story of changes in the racially charged state of Alabama-all started because of what God did with 2 football teams. Loved it!

    Incredible TRUE story! So much more than the story of a football team-the true story of changes in the racially charged state of Alabama-all started because of what God did with 2 football teams. Loved it!

  • Jan 30, 2018

    This movie is one of the most stunning and exciting stories of true and life changing faith.

    This movie is one of the most stunning and exciting stories of true and life changing faith.