Kevin Costner is in his element as gruff sports coach Jim White in this stirring sports drama set in 1987 and based on a true story. Fired from his job at an Idaho high school, White reluctantly takes a position in a Southern California town whose residents are almost exclusively poor and Hispanic. He and his wife (Maria Bello) and two young daughters couldn’t be more out of place. Yet when he gets to know his students, he comes to admire their grit and pluck. Inspired by the endurance they show running to and from the fields where they work before and after school alongside their families, he decides to form a seven-strong cross-country running team and take on teams from wealthier schools across the state. The movie treads a conventional triumph-over-adversity path, but its sympathy for its subjects ensures that you will have a lump in the throat and a tear in the eye by the time the runners reach the finishing line.