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Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

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Movie review

'Radio' has a perfect wavelength

Published October 27, 2003

Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris in Radio
[Columbia Pictures]
In Radio, Cuba Gooding Jr., left, and Ed Harris star as a mentally challenged man and the high school football coach who gets him involved in the team’s activities.
Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


Rating: PG

Summary: This film, based on a true story, is set in 1977. Harold Jones (Ed Harris) is the well-liked football coach at T.L. Hannah High School in Anderson, S.C. James Robert Kennedy (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is a mentally challenged young man who always pushes a shopping cart around town while listening to his radio. He is timid and has never caused any trouble, but he becomes the victim of teasing and harassment by the members of Jones' team. Jones decides that the players need some sensitivity training, and he invites Kennedy to help the team at practices. Jones can barely get him to speak, but he quickly discovers the man's fondness for radios and soul music, and nicknames him "Radio." Radio's kind but protective mother is skeptical of Jones' intentions, because her son has never really had friends. As Radio gets more involved in the team's activities, it becomes apparent how much he has come to mean to the coach, the team, the school and the community.

My view: Gooding and Harris are spectacular in this heartwarming film, and they are supported by a solid cast. Every film based on a true story has elements of triumph and tragedy that dominate it. This movie is filled with emotion, but the sensitive acting keeps it from being overdone. The movie focuses on Radio's everyday triumphs. At times, Gooding's acting was so enthralling that I forgot I was watching the guy who won an Oscar for his in-your-face performance in Jerry Maguire. It's impossible to leave the theater without smiling. We get to see the real Radio 26 years later as the credits begin to roll. That adds genuineness to the film and is a beautiful way to end it.

Recommendations: This is a great movie! Don't miss it.

Grade: A

- Billy Norris, 15, is in 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified October 24, 2003, 14:15:54]

Here's the rest of today's Xpress

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  • Movie review
  • 'Radio' has a perfect wavelength
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