American Underdog * An Unlikely Story Of A Football Player Ascending To The Heights Of The Game

American Underdog tells the inspirational true story of Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi), who went from a stock boy at a grocery store to a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback. The film centers on Warner’s unique story and years of challenges and setbacks that could have derailed his aspirations to become an NFL player — but just when his dreams seemed all but out of reach, it is only with the support of his wife, Brenda (Anna Paquin) and the encouragement of his family, coaches, and teammates that Warner perseveres and finds the strength to show the world the champion that he already is. American Underdog is an uplifting story that demonstrates that anything is possible when you have faith, family and determination.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “American Underdog is based on a football player’s unlikely true story of ascending to the heights of the game. This biopic features moments of drama, comedy, romance, nostalgia, frustration and religious events that will touch your core.”  Eshaan M. adds, “A touching, inspiring real life story that will have you hooked, American Underdog is the sports film you want to be watching this Christmas! American Underdog teaches the virtues of perseverance and hard work. Kurt Warner didn’t get what he wanted the first time, so he worked his tail off and earned it. Sure, he was dejected when sent home from the Green Bay Packers after a day on the team. But he didn’t let it stop him. See their full reviews and Ethan’s interview with the director below.

American Underdog 
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13


American Underdog is based on a football player’s unlikely true story of ascending to the heights of the game. This biopic features moments of drama, comedy, romance, nostalgia, frustration and religious events that will touch your core. 


This magnificent movie is about the legendary NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi) and his wife Brenda (Anna Paquin). This is the first faith and family film released by Lionsgate on Christmas Day. The movie depicts Warner’s journey from college all the way till he makes it to the NFL. During that journey, Warner meet his wife, goes through tough and challenging situations with Brenda and her sons, and he has to make a living—on top of all that, he struggles with being drafted into the NFL. My favorite part of this movie is the ending. Why? Because is a mixture of video showing real plays combined with scenes created for the movie. To see Kurt Warner executing his plays in real life gives the audience a sense of motivation and happiness, and sends the message that nothing is impossible when you have hope and faith.

The moral of this film is to never give up on your dreams, no matter how impossible they look or what it takes. Every time you fall, stand up. Every time you fail, try again. Have faith in yourself and in God, or the higher power, that you can achieve whatever you focus on or put your mind to.


I give American Underdog 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 10 to 18 plus adults. The movie releases in theaters on Christmas Day, December 25, 2021.

American Underdog

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

A touching, inspiring real life story that will have you hooked, American Underdog is the sports film you want to be watching this Christmas!

American Underdog follows NFL quarterback Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi) and his journey from bagging groceries, to the struggles of being an undrafted player, to playing arena football, to playing for the then, St. Louis Rams. While he’s experiencing ups and downs in his career, Warner also must balance his vacillating family life. It’s a saga for the ages, and it’s all true!

The production team of American Underdog led by Andrew and Jon Erwin don’t let a single detail go – the acting, music, cinematography and script of this film are all incredible. Zachary Levi owns his role as Kurt Warner, harmonizing the characteristic toughness of a NFL player with the emotions of a husband, son, dad and teammate. Dennis Quaid’s portrayal of head coach Richard Vermeil deserves a round of applause as well, and for a similar reason. It feels as if Quaid must have been a coach at one point. In his role as Vermeil, Quaid unrelentingly pushes Levi’s character, but encourages and supports him in equal measure.

American Underdog teaches the virtues of perseverance and hard work. Kurt Warner didn’t get what he wanted the first time, so he worked his tail off and earned it. Sure, he was dejected when sent home from the Green Bay Packers after a day on the team. But he didn’t let it stop him.

I give American Underdog 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to18, plus adults. American Underdog releases in theaters December 25, 2021.

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