Remember the Titans Triumphantly Throws a Hail Mary

“This is no democracy. It is a dictatorship. I am the law.”


Photo courtesy of IMDB

Solomon Kenworthy

     Remember the Titans was released in 2000, and was directed by Boaz Yakin. The film stars Denzel Washington and Will Paton. Based upon real events, in 1971, Herman Boone must deal with his hesitant community as he accepts the job of head coach of a high school football team which had just become racially integrated. 

     Every cast member brings their all. Washington and Paton, as Coach Boone and Coach Yoast respectively, play off of each other very well. All the players, including Donald Fasion, Ethan Suplee, Wood Harris, and Ryan Hurst are all really good. They all have unique traits, and nicknames like “Sunshine” that make everyone stand out. The tension between actors towards the beginning is felt not only in the dialogue, but in the acting as well, which makes it satisfying to see them work together at the end and defend each other on and off the field. 

     It is of note to add that Washington’s performance steals the movie. He commands every scene he’s in, and makes his character seem real. This, in part, is also due to the scripts wonderful dialogue. 

     The script is fantastic. Nothing out of this world, but well done. It does a good job at putting you in the 1970s with its use of music and the situations the characters find themselves in. The use of parallel structure within the script is natural, and adds value to the overall story. For example, one subplot is that if Coach Boone loses one game he will be removed from his current position. 

     It excellently provides a look at the team’s position on the political issues of the time without shoving it down the audience’s throat, but incorporating these aspects into the film’s story instead. For example, when Sunshine tries to take some of his teammates into a bar after the win their first game. The script is scrambled with several funny and memorable one liners. 

     The directing is extremely solid. Again, nothing outstanding, but if I needed to show someone an example of how to do tracking, medium shots, and other basic film shots, this is the film I would use. 

     There was a continuity error during one scene where they’re at a game, one of the Titans football players picks the ball up at a fumble, and runs in the wrong direction. It won’t take you out of this film. 

     Remember the Titans is a great example of how to integrate politics into a story without being unnecessary. It’s heartfelt message is felt in the script, and comradery of the actors. 


[My grade for Remember the Titans is a B+]