‘Woodlawn,’ based on the true story of Birmingham, Alabama’s Woodlawn High School football team, which converted to Christianity and helped heal racial tension in their community, opened in theaters this weekend. It is an independent film produced by brothers Jon and Andy Erwin. The reviews are impressive for a faith-based movie that would typically be dismissed by Hollywood. Cinemascore gave the movie an A+, a grade it has awarded only 60 times. Check out the company ‘Woodlawn’ is keeping with this stellar rating.
The film earned an A+ Cinemascore rating – the industry standard for measuring audience opinions about films for more than 35 years. Only a few films on average receive the coveted A+ each year – those getting it along with WOODLAWN this year include Oscar nominees AMERICAN SNIPER and SELMA.” Just over 60 films have received the A+ rating in Cinemascore’s history, including THE BLIND SIDE, TITANIC, TOY STORY 2, DRIVING MISS DAISY and A FEW GOOD MEN.
It’s not just Cinemascore that enjoyed the film. Reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes and typically liberal outlets like the L.A. Times and The Huffington Post also had praise for ‘Woodlawn’’s message and heart.
As of this writing, the movie has a 100 percent fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes – not exactly par-for-the-course for faith-based films. Michael Rechtshaffen of the L.A. Times says the film “gets high marks for its attention to period detail and committed performances.” Jackie K. Cooper of the Huffington Post says “WOODLAWN scores big” and “revs up the chill factor, and sends you out of the theater resolved to be a better person.” James Ward of Gannett News Service says “it’s impossible not to recognize the skill and power of the way the filmmakers tell their story.”
We liked it too.
It’s encouraging, to say the least, that this independent film is getting the recognition it deserves. Too often faith-based stories are overshadowed by movies consumed with sex, violence, and the f-word. Might this be the start of a Christian renaissance in Hollywood? ‘Woodlawn’ star Caleb Castille thinks so, noting that the quality of this genre of films is noticeably improving.
Read our interviews with the star studded cast, including Oscar winner Jon Voight - and then get your tickets!