This morning I watched the family friendly movie rental “25 Hill”. Set in the small town of Taft, CA, it’s the story of a 12-year-old boy whose soapbox derby dreams are left in pieces when his Army father is killed while serving in Afghanistan. Trey is left with his devastated mom, an unfinished car and a dream that’s all but dead. His teacher teams Trey up with local fire chief Corbin Bernsen, whose firefighter son died in New York on 9/11. In a story of faith and redemption, they embark on a journey to build the soapbox car and complete the derby. Along the way, they form a strong friendship and learn that together they can mend old wounds and accomplish more than they ever imagined.
As they work on the car, and Trey begins to race in various derbies, getting better as he goes, Roy keeps training him. Roy won some of his own races in the past. They encounter a few bumps along the way, including Roy’s drinking problem, but Trey persists in opening his eyes to the problem it’s beginning to cause.
It’s a heartwarming family movie with realistic grieving, however there are also terrific themes such as carrying on when life is difficult and being open to new friendships. Trey names his car “Faith & Courage” which could be the movie’s subtitle. 25 Hill will pull a couple tears out of the toughest critic and leave you feeling uplifted.
This movie was awarded the Dove “Family Approved” Seal in 2011.