It was my mother of all people who told me that I had to go and see The Boys in the Boat. This is based on a very popular and critically acclaimed book from 2013. My mother read the book and for a while was always telling me that I needed to read it and that I would love it. After seeing The Boys in the Boat, I actually think I am going to make an effort to read the book as I have heard the book is even better and I thought the movie was pretty damn good!
How to Download The Boys in the Boat
The Boys in the Boat was released on December 25, 2023. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform such as Amazon Prime Video. Click on the Download button at the end of this review.
The Movie Review: A Tale of Underdogs and Triumph
As well as my mother badgering me about going to see the movie, George Clooney as the director also had me interested. I have been a fan of George Clooney as an actor for years, but I also think he is great as a director and he does have another sports movie to his name, Leatherheads.
The Boys in the Boat is the true story of the University of Washington rowing team and their quest to make it to the 1936 Olympics. It is a sports drama, a real underdog kind of story and it is one that manages to tug on the heartstrings and really make you root for this team, which as I had no idea about this actual true story, I did!
Captivating Characters and Historical Setting
The 1934 setting of the movie is great. The Great Depression is in full effect and rowing is seen as an elite sport, mainly contested by the wealthy. The University of Washington rowing team could not be any further from what this sport usually is about, this team is made of “lower class” people, but people who are willing to give all they have and whatever it takes to make it.
I would say that the main character is Joe Rantz, who is played by Callum Turner. Joe comes from pretty extreme poverty, ditched by his family and he lives in a tent city, but he is a good athlete and has a good heart. I found him to be a very compelling protagonist and you cannot help but love this guy.
Overcoming Challenges: The Journey to the 1936 Olympics
Another great performance is that of Joel Egerton who plays the coach, Al Ulbrickson. We get to see this rowing team take shape as they are put through their paces with brutal workouts by the coach. These lower-class hard-working athletes are sneered at and joked about by the “elite” rowers from the other schools.
The University of Rowing team really manages to come together. They do this through hard work and teamwork, the message of family and working together, it is great stuff and you just start to love these guys. As they start to win battle after battle, their dream of making it to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics seems like it could be a possibility.
Final Thoughts on The Boys in the Boat
I was very entertained by The Boys in the Boat. From start to end, it is a solid sports drama and a really engaging underdog story that has you really rooting for these young guys to succeed. I know nothing about rowing, but I still found this to be a fantastic story. If you want to see a feel-good and entertaining drama, I highly recommend you go and see this.
- This is great if you like a good underdog story
- It is a sports drama that does not require you to love the sport
- I loved the visual style of the 1930s setting
- There are some great performances here
- Some characters could have had a little bit more development
- I have heard that the book is way better