Run the Race Parent Guide
An authentic, charming Christian film with a good script, great music, compelling acting, and skillful editing.
Parent Movie Review
Run the Race is the “based on a true story” narrative of Zack and Dave Truett (Tanner Stine and Evan Hofer), and their journey out of their small Florida town, Bessemer, to college football. The two high school boys have lost their mother and are estranged from their alcoholic father. They play sports during the day and stock shelves during the night to take care of themselves and each other. The younger brother, Dave, is no longer quarterback for the high school team as he suffered a severe injury in the previous season and still has occasional seizures . But Zack is the star and hometown hero - a running back with big plans to get himself and his brother out of their “swamp” town.
However, the plan goes awry when Zack is injured at a teen party after a fight breaks out, and he is benched for the rest of the season, unable to catch the eye of college football scouts. The boys transition their hopes of “getting out” from football to track. Dave gets cleared by his doctor to compete for the high school team, and the tables turn. Dave’s the new star, winning track meets, trying to position himself for a track scholarship. While the road to success continues to be fraught with significant obstacles, the boys find a way by turning to each other, and to God, to find strength.
I have frequently found the genre of faith-promoting films to be disingenuous and frustrating. (And this is coming from a very religious woman.) I don’t think it’s necessarily their fault, though - it is inherently difficult to portray something as impactful and emotional as spiritual experiences in a genuine way that doesn’t feel fake or over the top. However, Run the Race accomplishes what no other Christian film I’ve seen has: it is authentic, charming, has a good script, great music, compelling acting, and skillful editing. The relationships are grounded and sweet; the dialogue is genuine; the spirituality feels real. It doesn’t all feel forced into a pretty box of faith with a perfect bow on top. There is room for pain, doubt and disappointment that feels genuine.
While alcoholism is a plot component, and the film depicts mild teen partying, it is all unfavorably portrayed. Run the Race is appropriate for any age, but I imagine that older children and teens would be most interested in the story. The relationship between the Truett brothers is the highlight, and the foundation of the film. Zack and Dave are kind, supportive, and protective of each other – exactly the kind of sibling relationship most parents want their kids to see. The movie also focuses on forgiveness, faith, and conversion. And it will leave you with a new mantra for you and your family: “God loves you. He loves you like crazy.”Directed by Chris Dowling. Starring Tanner Stine, Evan Hoffer, Frances Fisher. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release February 22, 2019. Updated February 25, 2019
Watch the trailer for Run the Race
Run the Race
Rating & Content Info
Why is Run the Race rated PG? Run the Race is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic content and some teen partying
Violence: Football violence. A fight breaks out at a party and a character’s knee is severely injured.
Sexual Content: N/A
Profanity: Not a single swear word is used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: One character is an alcoholic, and we see him frequently with drink in hand, or in a bar. A main character’s breath smells from a single beer he drank. There is a teen party with drinking, and games (beer pong).
Page last updated February 25, 2019
Run the Race Parents' Guide
What role does forgiveness, if any, play into the eventual success the Truett brothers find? Are there things that are inexcusable, but forgivable, as Nanny says?
Which part of Zack Truett’s spiritual journey did you connect with the most? Or did you identify more with Dave Truett’s spirituality?
Run the Race is a cross genre movie that is simultaneously a sports film, and a Christian film, so you may not be surprised to learn that Tim Tebow and his brother produced this movie. Does that change how you feel about the movie? What do you think they did well, that makes this different from other faith films you have seen? What makes it different from other sports movies you have seen?
Read books about Run the Race
Producer Tim Tebow has written several books about his football career and his Christian faith. These include Shaken: Disccovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms and This is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Life Your Purpose.
The story of another Christian NFL player is told in Steve Young’s memoir QB: My Life Behind the Spiral.
Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a gifted athlete whose faith was challenged by the horrors of his experience in a Japanese POW camp during World War II.
Related home video titles:
For one of the best movies that combines sports and faith, watch the classic Chariots of Fire. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian who is preparing to enter the mission field, heads for the 1924 Olympics in Paris. When he discovers that his race is being run on a Sunday, he has a difficult decision to make.
A young military widow struggles to regain her faith after devastating loss in God Bless the Broken Road. Four sisters support each other through the challenges of modern life in a Christian retelling of Little Women.