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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Sandra Bullock
Tim McGraw
Kathy Bates.
Directors
John Lee Hancock.
Screenwriters
John Lee Hancock.
Running Time
128 minutes

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The Blind Side
Sandra Bullock 28, Ambiguity 0


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Plot
Home decorator Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock) stuns her family and community when she invites homeless black teen Big Mike (Aaron) to live in her home. As Leigh Anne strives to help Big Mike academically, she delves into his traumatic upbringing and discovers that the youngster shows promise as an American football player.


Review
The Blind Side
In the big blue shadow of Avatar, The Blind Side emerged as a minor phenom and hot-button talking-point at the end of last year. Confirming Bullock’s golden year at the box office — at a time when adult dramas were belly-flopping, The Blind Side pulled in $241 million — yet drawing criticism as a reactionary version of Precious (white family rescue poor black kid who subsequently gets marginalised in his own story), the film is
a sugar-coated, efficient, entertaining mix of sports movie clichés, it’s-hard-out-there-on-the-streets flashbacks and crusading-woman-takes-on-the-system drama.

Although it’s based on a true story, writer-director John Lee Hancock takes a broad movie-movie tone that stretches credibility almost to breaking point. As Big Mike (Quinton Aaron, who does a good line in vulnerable) gets inducted into the Tuohy family, struggles to get his grades up and tries to make it into the football team, this is never parlayed into compelling, believable drama — the stakes only get raised when he tries to get into college, but even these scenes are diluted by the presence of his younger brother acting as his agent.

Somewhere in this story there should be true grit — the scenes of Big Mike’s neighbourhood feel like a Disneyland version of The Wire — and Hancock, for all his emotional directness, decides to ignore it completely. Yet the movie’s saving grace is Bullock, seemingly a lock for a Best Actress Oscar, who niftily switches between big crowdpleasing moments, bossing around burly US football players, telling rednecks to pipe down or taking on Big Mike’s crack-dealer cohorts, and quiet scenes with her husband (country singer Tim McGraw, extremely likable). Bullock’s Leigh Anne is a feisty force of nature and she beautifully mixes up stinging sass, an iron will and unadulterated sentiment.

It’s a performance and a film (like Avatar) built on simplicity, rock-solid single-mindedness and an unswerving sense of good. Which is why, in these uncertain times, it has soared.


Verdict
Bullock delivers a towering performance that grabs the movie and the Oscar race by the scruff of the neck. You will be moved, but at the price of any nuance or complexity.


Reviewed by Ian Freer

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Blind Side
Empire Star Rating

The Blind Side Review

It might strike some viewers as a little too pat, but The Blind Side has the benefit of strong source material and a strong performance from Sandra Bullock. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 22:33, 03 March 2012 | Report This Post


Good. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reminn at 11:52, 03 November 2010 | Report This Post


The Blind Side

It was pretty painful to watch and no ones likes to see an annoying and ugly ginger kid. Sandra Bullock didnt win the award for her acting skills but because the academy liked her character. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Soprano168 at 22:32, 18 May 2010 | Report This Post


Not a great movie, but it's good fun and all. What must be highlighted is Bullock's legendary performance. Jaw-dripping and moving. I'm sure you won't see her the same way ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nc_jj at 04:44, 15 April 2010 | Report This Post


The Republican Side

OK, this is a feel good tale and there is some excellent acting. But where this falls down badly is the holier-than-thou white suburban take the black kid from the Projects feel about this. What absolutely nails the coffin is the 'Ive got a confession, Im a DEMOCRAT' line from the tutor. Also the American football thread of this will grate on many UK viewers, where , yet again, we have an underdog sports movie. There is some comedic value in the deans of various universities coming to the famil... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by filmsunlimited at 20:53, 29 March 2010 | Report This Post


Blind Side

if you want to see a simple but immensely feel good flick, then The Blind Side is worth a watch, but leave your cynicism at the door ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 20:51, 29 March 2010 | Report This Post


Blind Side

if you want to see a simple but immensely feel good flick, then The Blind Side is worth a watch, but leave your cynicism at the door ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 20:51, 29 March 2010 | Report This Post


Disagree!

... and how about the movie's latent racism? Seems to me this was NRA-friendly, patronizing, far-right propaganda. To wit: the portrayal of black people other than Big Mike (either gangsters or 'villains', except for the man who brings Big Mike to the school in the first place and in some ways saves his life, but strangely never gets HIS dues), Kathy Bates' character (which casts a Democrat as the slightly silly, well-meaning sidekick) and Sandra Bullock's cringeworthy NRA tirade ("The DA i... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kasper_t at 07:56, 22 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: The Blind Side

Watched this last night.  Enjoyed it. Pretty uncomplicated and without Bullock probably wouldn't have got any attention.  Though I'm not sure hers was an Oscar worthy performance.  Had no idea it was a true story until the end credits either. ... More

Posted by kata at 14:34, 18 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: The Blind Side

I feel-good movie with cardboard cut-out characters ... More

Posted by sarkark21 at 06:39, 18 March 2010 | Report This Post


More crocodile tears...

Is it just me or are there a hell of a lot more succesful artificially emotional films these days? Films like Precious, The Blind Side, The Lovely Bones, every Clint Eastwood-directed film ever or even Avatar all aim to tear-jerk us to death with stories or emotions which don't feel real for a second (even if they are) and have more in common with overblown melodramas of the 50's than gritty, well-executed tragic stories like The Wrestler. Strangely enough, it's films which don't have th... More

Posted by Edward Nygma at 16:55, 08 March 2010 | Report This Post


The film that I still had to see of all pictures nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0878804/]The Blind Sidehat Americans love stories that revolve around people living The American Dream is a well known fact. But the they love it so much that they nominate this Sandra Bullock vehicle for a Best Picture Oscar does take it a little far. It`s a well known storyline: a young guy from a bad neighbourhood works his way up with a talent he himself didn`t know he had, in... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 19:31, 07 March 2010 | Report This Post


It is what it is. A simple, uncomplicated feel-good movie with cardboard cut-out characters. Although I challenge any hot-blooded male to come away not having inappropriate thoughts about Bullock. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Prophet_of_Doom at 16:25, 07 March 2010 | Report This Post


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