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Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson weeps gentle tears in this sappy sports drama about Sean Porter, a probation officer at a Los Angeles juvenile detention facility who turned a collection of teenage felons into a competitive high school football squad. The coach's mother is dying of cancer, the kids are all emotionally wounded, and the score swells at every opportunity; you have to admire such bleeding-heart tenderness in a conservative genre, but as Robert Aldrich proved in The Longest Yard, a football movie should be able to hit harder. The end credits are accompanied by clips of Porter from the Emmy-winning documentary Gridiron Gang (1993), which prove that key scenes from this movie were lifted straight from life and that life needs better writers. PG-13, 120 min.

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