HBO created a masterpiece with its new movie “Paterno.”
The Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal at Penn State is one of the darkest moments in American sports history. A college football coach preyed on young children for years, and little was done to stop him. Before it was all said and done, PSU coach Joe Paterno would be out of a job and several men would charged with crimes and Sandusky was sentenced to decades in prison.
Al Pacino gave one of the best performances of his life as the legendary Nittany Lions head coach.
Make no mistake about it. This movie doesn’t hold back at all, and it hammers those responsible for covering up the horrific crimes of Sandusky.
The whole movie takes place over the course of a few days. It opens with Paterno becoming the winningest coach in division one history, and follows his downfall in the coming days. This is not an overly easy movie to watch, but it’s worth it if you’re a sports fan at all. Graphic details are used to describe Sandusky’s molestation of young boys throughout the movie.
One of the best parts is how much time is committed to showing the riots after Paterno got shown the door. I remember watching that in my living room sophomore year of college with roommates. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Paterno got fired because he had essentially lost control of the situation, and a coach of his had abused children. Seems reasonable. The students have a very different view of the situation, and responded by going wild.
I remember one of the people watching the riots with me saying, “these dumb motherf***ers are going to feel real stupid when they have kids of their own.” That quote has stuck with me for a very long time, and it’s very true. The film makes it look like a war zone, which is similar to how it appeared on ESPN at the time.
This is a dark film, and a reminder of what happens when people turn a blind eye. It’s also one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. I give it a solid 8.5/10.