The Best Disney Movie: McFarland USA
The movie McFarland, USA is an iconic Disney movie of the 21st Century. For fifty-one years, Movie Studios Review, the top American movie rating company, has watched and reviewed every film to hit the box office since 1969. I am a senior movie critic at Movie Studio Reviews, and McFarland, USA is the most memorable film since October Sky. McFarland, USA is a true story of one team’s aim to achieve greatness for their school in cross country and their personal struggles along the way. McFarland, USA is a well-acted film about the struggles of young athletes and their coach trying to achieve greatness against all odds.
The Characters of McFarland, USA
McFarland, USA’s talented actors make the film come alive on the screen. Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Costner plays Jim White, a new turn for Costner who honed his acting chops in such classics as Dances with Wolves and The Bodyguard. Morgan Saylor and Elsie Fisher play White’s young daughters who are close to their mother, played by Maria Bello. Victor Puentes (Sergio Avelar), Thomas Valles (Carlos Chalabi), and Johnny Samaniego (Hector Duran) make their debut as McFarland High School students by day and migrant farmworkers by night. Rafael Martinez, Ramiro Rodriguez, and Michael Aguero star as the lovable Diaz brothers and Johnny Oritz plays their close friend and teammate, Jose Cardenas. The young men’s performance in the film makes viewers believe the actors may be professional runners off the screen. Valente Rodriguez of Blood In, Blood Out and Happily Divorced plays Principal Camillo, a humorous principal who gives White permission to start a running team. Even though the runners’ fathers are not shown in many scenes, Ben Hernandez Bray and Omar Leyva do a spectacular job at playing the runners’ disapproving parents. The terrific acting in McFarland, USA, especially by its newcomers, contributes to the film’s ability to connect with its audience.
The Plot of McFarland, USA
The film opens with Jim White, recently fired from his well-paying job as a football coach at all-white high school, driving to his new home in McFarland, California. White is forced to move and take a job at impoverished McFarland High School where most of the student body are children of Mexican immigrants. White begins teaching Physical Education, but quickly notices the speed of students Victor, Thomas and Johnny in gym class. After watching the students in action, White decides to start a cross country running team at the school. At first, Thomas is reluctant, but Principal Camillo forces Thomas to join or face suspension for violating school rules. White also recruits the Diaz brothers and Jose Cardenas to round out the seven spots on the school running team. Parents Ernesto Valles and Señor Diaz are not initially supportive of their sons’ running as it takes away from time spent in the fields by the young men earning money for their families. Just as White is starting to put roots in McFarland, he receives an inquiry from a coach at a posh high school in Palo Alto to leave McFarland for a higher paying job, safer neighborhoods, and better education for his daughters. While considering a potential move, White continues to train the boys for the cross country state championship. In a highly-riveting climax, the McFarland cross country team clinches the championship through stunning physical on-screen performances by Thomas, Victor, and Danny.
Rating for McFarland, USA
McFarland, USA is one of the best non-animated Disney movies of the decade and garners a solid “nine” on the Movie Review Studios’ scale. Moviegoers will find themselves rooting for White and for his unpolished team of “wannabe” long-distance runners. Not only will Disney’s story capture viewers’ hearts, but it will not disappoint them with its heartwarming ending. McFarland, USA has been nominated for several awards, including the 2015 Teen Choice Award for Best Movie and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture. Whether or not it captures the ultimate prizes, Movie Review Studios wholeheartedly recommends the film for young and old alike.
McFarland, USA promises to be one of Disney’s newest classics given its thoughtful acting, wonderful plot and endearing message. The film resonates with audiences because it tells a human story, that of growing up poor but defying the odds to accomplish something great. Viewers of all ages and walks of life will relate to the movie’s characters and their struggle to achieve something bigger than themselves. McFarland, USA is a Cinderella-story of its time that will bring a tear to viewers’ eyes, and a smile on their faces.
"McFarland, USA." IMDb, Amazon. Google, www.imdb.com/title/tt2097298/?scrlybrkr=
5c6c0fc6. Accessed 16 Jan. 2020.
IMDb is owned and operated by Amazon. It is a great site for facts,
reviews, and photos for films. This website provided facts about
the awards McFarland, USA were nominated for. Also, it showed
how much the general public enjoyed the film and if they would
"McFarland USA (2015)." Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango, Nov. 2015. Google,
www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mcfarland_usa. Accessed 16 Jan. 2020.
This site, owned and operated by Fandango, is very helpful when it
comes to the cast and crew of movies. Rotten Tomatoes provided facts
about the actors, their awards, and other films they had starred in
before McFarland, USA. This information fits perfectly within the
“characters” paragraph of the essay.