This film is an in-depth look at the NFL draft through the eyes of the Cleveland Browns and brings you within the process they undergo to try and secure a successful draft. It goes inside the life of a General Manger and his staff centered on the twelve hour count down during the course of the first round of the draft.
This story starts twelve hours before the draft with the Seattle Seahawks wanting to trade their number one pick to see if they can get more value out of this draft pick. They decide to contact Cleveland Brown’s General Manger Sonny Weaver, Jr. (Kevin Costner), who has the seventh pick overall and is desperately trying to build a successful program. Seattle’s General Manager Tom Michaels (Patrick St. Esprit) thinks he can pull a fast one on Sonny considering the situation he is in with having to win now.
Sonny is in his third year as General Manager of the Brown’s and is coming off of a year where he had to fire the team’s long time head coach and his father. The team owner, Anthony Molina (Frank Langella), is now pushing Sonny to take chances and do what he has to do to secure the best draft ever. With the trade with Seattle complete, Cleveland is now able to draft the top prospect, a quarterback from the Wisconsin Badgers, Bo Callahan (Josh Pence). But, Sonny knows that their current quarterback, Brian Drew (Tom Welling), is the real deal.
Now Sonny is in a predicament that he needs to find a way out of. He prefers to draft Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker, Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman) at the seventh pick, which he now does not have. He also is getting pressure from the local public to draft Florida State Seminoles running back Ray Jennings (Arian Foster) who is the son of former Cleveland Browns great, Earl Jennings (Terry Crews). On top of it all newly hired head coach Vince Penn (Denis Leary), doesn’t want to draft a rookie quarterback and is putting extreme pressure onto Sonny. With the only support coming from his secret girl-friend and co-worker Ali (Jennifer Garner), he now has the job to overcome those obstacles and show everyone.
Director Ivan Reitman does an excellent job presenting the NFL draft into this story format. He does well showing the detailed intricacies of the draft process and goes one step further by putting it all together with the cunning strides the characters use to better the team’s draft stock. He expands the story by introducing a new process by blending scenes together with a new state of the art procedure. This method makes it seem that actors from different locations are in the same scene frame of other actors that are not, giving you the feel that everyone is in the same room. This is an amazing feature that may change the film industry in the near future.
This excellent detailed story about the most televised recruiting system in the world, now tells all how difficult it can be. It is a great film for all those sports enthusiast that love everything about the NFL and it will also entertain those that want to just see a well-directed film.
Final Grade: I give this a B+ for its excellent storyline and detailed look into the NFL draft.
Release Date: April 11th, 2014
Director: Ivan Reitman
Runtime: 109 minutes (1 hour and 49 minutes)
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references.