Set in the early 1970s, before all men became brothers, this self-congratulatory saga of a Virginia town facing integration on the gridiron is said to be based on actual events. It might be fun to guess what they were. Did the square-jawed white coach obliged to subordinate himself to a black interloper actually have a sports-loving daughter? No doubt. Was she the lippy little bundle of attitude on display in this film? No—children like her exist only in movies. Was a top white player truly laid low by a car crash? Must have been—the end credits generously tell us how many years later he died. Did the car crash occur just before the big game and anneal black and white athletes into a force equal to the occasion? Who knows? Certainly producer Jerry Bruckheimer, if not God, would have it no other way. The leads, Denzel Washington and particularly Will Patton, are so good they occasionally make you forget the material is shameless. Directed by Boaz Yakin from a script by Gregory Allen Howard. PG, 113 min.