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The Express | 2008 | PG | - 3.3.4

Based on the real-life story of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961. A two-time All-American running back for Syracuse University, he led his team to the national championship in 1960. Also with Dennis Quaid, Nelsan Ellis, Kris Wolff, Darrin DeWitt Henson and Charles S. Dutton. Directed by Gary Fleder. [2:10]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A young man and a young woman lie in bed together (both are clothed), they kiss, he unfastens her blouse, kisses her neck (cleavage and bare abdomen are revealed), and they are interrupted.
 Men and women dance together in a few scenes. A young man admires a young woman from a distance.
 An African-American young man is advised by his coach to not get involved with "white girls."
 Young women wear low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage in a few scenes.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - During a football game an African-American player is tackled and punched repeatedly by white players. After injuring a hamstring a young man is tackled and punched repeatedly in his injured leg.
 There is a huge fight between two teams on the field with punching and kicking. Glass bottles are thrown from stands at African-American players as they enter a stadium and people in the audience jeer and yell insults at them.
 After a hard tackle a player tries to help another player up, but the player on the ground pulls the other one on top of him and they fight briefly.
 Several white boys approach, surround and threaten two Africa-American boys: one boy jumps onto a passing train, and the other runs (he is not harmed).
 Several games include hard hits and tackles and several include pile ons and multiple punches thrown; one scene shows a young man being tackled and falling over a bench (he's OK) A player threatens another player on the field in several scenes.
 A player collapses on the field and is taken to the hospital for tests. A player falls to the ground with an injured hamstring. A young man slams into tackle dummies repeatedly until he's exhausted and falls to his knees.
 A young man gets news that his grandfather is dead, and we see people gathered at the graveside and see a hole and a casket. We see a picture of a person hanging.
 Two men argue at a dinner table. We see several notes that include death threats against African-American players and their coaches. We see signs during a protest that read "No to desegregation," etc. A young white man makes a derogatory remark about an African-American young man shining his shoes.
 Three young African-American men are refused access to a hotel through the front door. A man is threatened for being friendly to African-Americans, and an African-American young man talks about "knowing his place."
 During several practice scenes, young men are pushed to their physical limit, we see some in pain and breathing heavily, and we see one vomit into a garbage can (we see goo). A young man has nosebleeds in a few scenes.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 6 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms (1 mild), 11 mild obscenities, 24 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (stupid, retarded), 8 religious profanities, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - People drink beer in a club.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Racism, football, prosperity, Southern attitudes toward race, speech impediments, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, President John Kennedy, dreams, goals, disappointment, Leukemia, Jim Crow, victory, glory, making history, NAACP, segregation, equality, coal mining, the Hiesman Trophy, Nation Championships.

MESSAGE - Racism and discrimination are wrong and irrational.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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