Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Woodlawn is a faith-based drama inspired by true events at a Birmingham, Alabama, high school in 1973. The movie focuses on how a sports chaplain helped convert nearly the entire Woodlawn High School football team to born-again Christianity after it was desegregated, helping the players deal with racial strife on and off the field. Part football drama, part evangelical success story, Woodlawn does have serious themes and moments, but they're generally not as heavy as similar scenes in Selma or other secular films about the era. There's no use of the "N" word (as would have been commonplace at the time), but white men do say "colored," "boy," and "Negro" several times, and scenes of violence against African Americans include a brick thrown at a house, footage of bombings and burnings, and fist fights resulting in a student being taken to the hospital. Viewers who aren't Christians or who don't go to church should know that there are clear messages that believing in Jesus is the one right way to live a meaningful life.
Quick kisses between couples. A mother makes a joke about fattening up her son's girlfriend so she can "birth her grandbabies." A father calls his daughter "trash," presumably because of her reputation.
Opens with footage of racial violence in Jim Crow Birmingham (text explains that Birmingham used to be nicknamed "Bombingham"). Skirmishes in front of a school that's trying to integrate. Someone throws a brick at an African-American family's home; it almost hits the youngest child. A cross is burned in his front yard. A fight involving knives leaves kids hospitalized; one is shown on a stretcher. A girl has a bruise that implies she's being abused at home.
"Coloreds," "Negroes," and "boy" are used pejoratively toward African Americans. One black student calls whites "crackers."
Messages about racial reconciliation and oneness in a shared faith. Promotes the idea that if you pray and dedicate yourself to God with your talents, you'll succeed. By seeing others as brothers and sisters, racial differences fall away and are replaced by love and understanding.
Drugs / Tobacco /
An adult says he's going to smoke a cigarette to blow off steam (it's not shown on camera); another adult holds a bottle in a paper bag.