Remember the Titans
As late as the 1970s, schools across America were forced to integrate after court orders. Remember the Titans is based around the real-life events surrounding such a school in Alexandria, Virginia. Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is appointed football coach, displacing a white predecessor (Will Patton) in a championship season. This central pair and the team they lead move through distrust, grudge, and stereotype to the gradual buildup of comradery. One of the movie's better choices is to depict not just the players and coaches, but also the ways in which the community's racism adversely impacts them as the championship nears. Although whitewashed at times (no real racial epithets are used, for example), Remember the Titans avoids pandering via a balanced consideration of racism's reach. And then there's the football. No doubt about it, this is a sports film.
Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun, Gone in 60 Seconds, Coyote Ugly) produced the movie, installing his trademark high-octane, testosterone-enhanced filmmaking. Quarterbacks sprint, men collide, mud stains. All things considered, Remember the Titans is much more socially conscious and reserved than one would have expected. Washington could sleepwalk through the noble Negro roles he's so often given, but stays awake throughout the movie. This is thanks in part to playing off Patton as his dethroned white assistant coach. Remember the Titans is Disney fare, but more aware than the ordinary sports film.