Movie Review- Woodlawn

01 Woodlawn movie

Pure Flix Entertainment, who brought us God’s Not Dead and Do You Believe? are on an incredible role. Directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin, Woodlawn is based on the incredible true story about a school that helped bring together a city through football and faith.

After Woodlawn High School is desegregated, racial tension runs high. Fights break out daily, some resulting in injury. Football Coach Tandy Gerelds finds himself caught in the middle. However, a “sports chaplain” named Hank Erwin comes to the school and leads the team to salvation in Jesus Christ. Through some tentative steps, the boys on the team come together and all cheer when African-American student Tony Nathan becomes the star running back.

I will be honest, I had not heard the story of Woodlawn, and though the movie takes some poetic license, it was an inspiring story of a football team that helped lead a racially divided city to a better understanding of one another.

Woodlawn is a great film. It has a few mistakes and cliches, but those are few and far between. It is a great film that shows how faith can unite a whole city and bring former enemies together as friends. Though the film mainly follows Coach Gerelds, Tony Nathan’s plot is equally as important and just as, if not then more so, as inspiring.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE: Racially charged dramatic scenes, football and sports related violence

FAVORITE QUOTE: Adversity is the crucible for greatness.


  • Sean Astin as Hank Erwin
  • Nic Bishop as Coach Tandy Gerelds
  • Caleb Castille as Tony Nathan
  • Sherri Shepherd as Momma Nathan
  • Jon Voight as Paul “Bear” Bryant
  • C. Thomas Howell as George “Shorty” White
  • Kevin Sizemore as Coach Jerry Stearns


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