My movie review of “Draft Day”

Sonny Weaver is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns and as you in the football world know, that team has had some bad times for many, many years. But this year, with the 7th overall pick, Weaver decides that it’s time for him to make a splash. He trades up to the No. 1 pick where the “can’t miss” quarterback prospect is there for him to take. But as he ponders his decision, he must make sure that this prospect is the right pick at No. 1.

Balancing the pressure of reconciling with his mother, the heartbreak of the death of this father (who was the team’s last coach), a new head coach who previously won a Super Bowl (Denis Leary) and a relationship with a co-worker (Jennifer Garner), the story is more about redemption and finding peace within Weaver’s own life.

But there’s still plenty of football to talk about.

Resurrecting the Cleveland Browns to relevance is hard enough already. But there’s an added pressure when you have the No. 1 pick.

The top prospect has Ryan Leaf qualities. There’s an agent that is played by Diddy that reminded me of Jay Z. There’s a prospect (Arian Foster) whose father (Terry Crews) once played for the Browns. And there’s one prospect (Chadwick Boseman) that the general manager loves but isn’t considered a Top 10 player.

All of that comes down to a decision of who Weaver decides to make the top overall pick after mortgaging future draft picks to get it.

It’s hard to take this film as anything serious if you’re a true NFL fan. Such trades like these are rare. The Browns, knowing their history, could never strike something like this and possibly succeed. After all, they had to make this movie Hollywood-friendly to captivate the audience.

But it does captivate because we get to see what really goes on in the war room during the draft. Sure, the fact that all teams apparently showed no signs of any kind of research on the prospects is worrying but that’s just for show. The constant back and forth calling between coaches and general managers and struggling for power is an everyday deal that happens in the NFL. And when you have a good quarterback who’s coming back from an injury, the draft day decision is a little harder.

It’s a real depiction of the day of the draft in the NFL with some fantasy plot twists that go with it. It’s not really a movie about football, but more so about finding one’s self in the realm of football. And maybe that’s the side of a general manager’s life we know about, but never see.

I enjoyed the movie and I’d watch it again. Of course, this is because I am a football fan. I saw this with a friend who isn’t a football fan and he still enjoyed it. It’s a good story and since it’s a story about the underdog Cleveland Browns, which every person can support.

Overall, the movie gets a 3.5/5 stars. I do recommend this film and if you’re big on films that deal with the human struggle and the deep roots of character of people, you’ll like this.


Other notes:

  • Do not go into this film and compare it to real-life events from the NFL. Imagine it as an alternate NFL universe. Just enjoy the movie for what it is.
  • The rocky relationship between Weaver and his girlfriend Ali, which they’ve tried to keep secret, mirrors what lots of people go through in life when work consumes them daily.
  • The calls between general managers during the draft in trade negotiations was done real well. The split screens were unique in how they presented it.
  • It was nice to see clips of NFL players in the movie and during the credits.
  • Arian Foster didn’t have many lines in the movie, but that make up sure made him look like a 20-year-old all over again.
  • No sponsored logos were present on the college uniforms during scenes in which scouts were watching film. However, you can see a Nike logo on one Browns polo shirt I saw and Adidas for a scene with the University of Wisconsin.
  • There were good comedic breaks in the movie, which was nice for a film that dealt with serious issues.
  • Commissioner Roger Goodell, Deion Sanders, Chris Berman, Jon Gruden and Rich Eisen are among some NFL personalities you’ll recognize.

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