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The Long Game (SXSW Movie Review)

Sport movies have always been a genre that I never really got too much into. Although, the ones that I always gravitate towards the most, are the underdog stories and ones that are based on true events. Luckily for me, I saw a movie during SXSW that was exactly both of those things. The Long Game, directed by Julio Quintana, is about a group of Mexican high schoolers who make a golf team and work their way up the ranks. They have to band together to overcome adversary at an all-white country club, because they are unwelcome for the color of their skin, which makes the stakes high. A movie that showcases the racism they have to hurdle over and have everyone see the talent they have on the course. The movie has a majority of an all Mexican cast with some exceptions like Dennis Quad, who is seen as the “big star” for this movie. A great diverse film that defiantly feels like a passion project. The Long Game really get a hole in one, in what they tried to achieve with the story. The movie is a blast and really made me smile a lot. Seeing the dedication and commitment of the players really showed on screen because of how great the acting is. An important underdog team that you are rooting for from the start. This very much felt like The Sandlot movie for golf and I’m very much here for it.

The cast did an absolutely incredible job and the chemistry of the kids was impeccable. They felt like real friends and all the jokes/banter hit every time. With so many hurdles that the team had to go through, I was happy to root for them every step of the way. The only complaint I have is that the actors did look a lot older than high schoolers. I’m not sure if the actors are actually teenagers, but I don’t think they are. That is literally the only complaint I have for the movie. The pacing and build up of them going to different tournaments was great. Their main goal is to make to the championship at the country club they work at and win. Seeing their journey and conflicts getting there is some of the most inspiring things I've seen in recent time. Knowing that this is based on a true story, you can tell that the director really cares about the story. I’m not a big golf fan to begin with, but this movie really got me interested in the sport and really made me more knowledgeable on how difficult the game is. The sport takes a lot discipline and skill and the movie showcases that. There is also this huge community that I never really noticed that surrounds the sport of golf and the pressure these players have to go through is intense. The movie does such a great job to really drive the pressure and dedication it takes to make it in the sport. This team was really able to make the sport any person’s game, no matter who you are or where you come from. A very important story that is both informative and entertaining to watch. This movie is just pure fun and had a great time getting to know these kids.

Overall the movie really brings the underdog story to a new light. A golf movie that has everything to do with the team and their passion playing the game. Every single character has their story to be told and the character development was deep enough to connect with everyone. The coach, played by Jay Hernandez, was charming and was really the glue that kept the team together. He really saw something magical in these teens and wanted to make a difference. The Long Game is brilliant on how the movie really drives inspiration. There was never a sense of doubt that they wouldn’t make it. They pushed as hard as they can and you see that type of method, really have success. It’s a powerful movie in many ways and really shows the power of friendship and also is a sort coming to age story as well. We really see the growth within everyone's life and the struggles they have to overcome, even off the course. I highly recommend people to check this one out as soon as it gets released. One of my favorite watches from SXSW.

Reviewed By: Frederick Nuti

Score: 85/100


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