When the Game Stands Tall

Rated 2.0

A high-school football team with the longest winning streak in the history of any sport—151 games over 13 years—has to cope with what happens when it finally loses a game. Based on the story of De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., and coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), the movie can blame sportswriter Neil Hayes' book for its clumsy and borderline-nonsense title (how does a game “stand tall,” exactly?), but the dreary parade of nonstop clichés has to be laid squarely at the feet of writers Scott Marshall Smith and David Zelon (the latter is also one of the movie's producers). Caviezel does what he can, as do Laura Dern as his loving wife and Michael Chiklis as his loyal assistant, but the tsunami of triteness overwhelms them. Director Thomas Carter provides some decent game scenes between the banalities.