The Blind Side

Rated PG-13 126 min. 2009

John Lee Hancock’s The Blind Side is the kind of film that works on you while you’re watching it, but is finally like a second helping of dessert that leaves you feeling ever so slightly sick afterwards, especially when you start unravelling its messages.

The fact that it’s made with some degree of skill by writer-director Hancock and played with even more skill by most of its cast (see Sandra Bullock shoot for an Oscar) does nothing to mitigate the overall feeling of condescension and shameless manipulation. It may be the most effective shameless manipulation money can buy, but it’s still shameless manipulation.

Based on the true story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), a poor black kid who gets adopted by a wealthy white family and goes on to football glory, it’s surefire crowd-pleaser material, and it always has been in whatever form it’s appeared. The major difference, of course, is that what we have here is an upscale white family adopting a black kid — and that difference is compounded by the fact that it’s an upscale white family of card-carrying NRA member conservative Christian Republicans. And not only do they adopt this black kid, but they hire a Democrat tutor (Kathy Bates) to help raise his grades so he can get a football scholarship.

Well, why not? There are enough movies out there that work on liberal guilt; it’s high time conservatives have one they can call their own. The problem with the whole thing is that it all seems just a bit hollow and condescending.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: John Lee Hancock

Writer: John Lee Hancock and Michael Lewis

Producer: Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Kathy Bates, Tim McGraw, Ray McKinnon, Quinton Aaron, Ashley LeConte Campbell, Eaddy Mays and Irone Singleton


The Blind Side

The Blind Side

The Blind Side

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