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Draft Day

Draft Day

In Theatres: 
Apr 11, 2014
Running Time: 
109 minutes

The NFL Draft is one of the most important events of the season for coaches and potential players. It dictates how the team will be organized for the upcoming season, and a team’s placement in the draft can be the deciding factor on who stays and who is let go in terms of management. Basically, everything is on the line come Draft day.

Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns and after a dismal 13-year losing streak is looking to put together a winning team this year. Draft Day follows the days and hours leading up to the NFL Draft as Sonny does his best to manage a sports team while juggling his own personal life as well. In a way, the film acts almost as a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the NFL Draft, focusing on the dozens of trades and calls made between teams.

As the clock ticks down to decision time, Sonny must decide on which player he needs to draft with the number one pick of the Draft. Fans and statistics have quarterback Bo Callahan (Josh Pence) as the surefire pick that will lead the team to victory, but Sonny has his doubts and must convince the rest of his team and everyone else to trust him.

Draft Day is an interesting football movie that isn’t really about football. It’s about all the decisions and chaos that ensues behind closed doors by people in suits and ties, not shoulder pads and uniforms. Director Ivan Reitman does a good job at conveying the tense nature and stress surrounding the NFL Draft. As fans, all we see are the moments when players are picked and not the insane amount of debating that goes on from upper management. Things go down to the absolute wire. Even when teams are put on the clock and have 10 minutes to make a decision on who they’re going to pick, they’re still negotiating with other teams trying to get a bigger piece of the pie.

It’s tense up until the very end. At that point, however, everything falls into place a little too perfectly. The entire film is built up by these all-or-nothing Hail Mary decisions that mean practically nothing by the time the actual draft rolls around. Kevin Costner becomes this decision making guru all of a sudden and sweet talks his way into making a better deal with the same people he dealt with earlier on in the film. Nothing really changed him as a character throughout the film; he just decided that that was the time to “turn it on.”

Football fans are sure to get a kick out of Draft Day, but a mediocre storyline and minimal acting aren’t going to win over the masses. With the actual NFL Draft a mere weeks away, now is a better time than any to get this movie out.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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