Ed reviews 'The Blind Side' 

4 stars, (PG-13)

I'm a sucker for based-on-fact inspirational sports-related stories. The Blind Side is a crowd-pleaser about a well-to-do family taking in a disadvantaged teenage boy who has football player written all over his mountainous frame. It feels unseemly, giving this film four stars the same week that the incredibly powerful film Precious opens locally. But even though both films feature massive teens that have lived a hard life, the movies couldn't be more different. The challenging Precious gets five stars, an "A" grade, because it's tough, uncompromising and rewarding. The Blind Side, which is a relatively light, drama-free, feel-good formula film, gets four stars, a solid "B," because it earns it. There's no shame in being a crowd-pleaser.

Have I justified my rating enough?

Quinton Aaron plays Michael Ober, the gentle, but powerful teen giant, but the star of this story is Leigh Anne Tuohy, played with authority and gusto by Sandra Bullock. Usually, the maverick in these kind of flicks is a man, but Leigh Anne is clearly in charge here, with Tim McGraw doing a nice job as her supportive spouse. Lily Collins is fine as teen daughter Collins and Jae Head is delightful/borderline annoying as SJ, the family's smart ass young son.

The story is simple. The Tuohys see Michael walking in the rain and offer him a ride. Once they learn that he is virtually homeless, they take him in. What happens from there isn't terribly dramatic, but it's involving, often amusing and touching. The going gets cutesy at times, but not too badly. I'm glad the filmmakers didn't elect to ladle on some contrived situations to give the story more oomph. The Blind Side is a thoroughly agreeable, feel-good based-on-fact, family film. Nothing wrong with that, at least not to me, and as I said, I'm a sucker for this stuff.

Have I justified myself enough?

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