Sandra Bullock's performance, as Leigh Ann Touhy, a well-to-do mum with a heart of gold and strong Christian values, is outstanding.
She takes in Big Mike, or as he prefers, Michael, played by Quinton Aaron. Michael is a friend of her son, SJ, played by Jae Head. He is homeless, having been removed from his drug addict mother, and his entire possessions fit in one small plastic bag. Michael is black, a gentle giant, has a low IQ, and is an underachiever at school, but scores 98% for protective instincts.
He has to drastically improve his academics, helped by understanding teachers, and his tutor Miss Sue (Kathy Bates), before he is even allowed to start to develop his great promise at sports. Once he is able to relate his protective instincts to his fellow team mates he makes a formidable player, being wooed by university coaches across the country.
This is a truly heartwarming story, all the more so as it is based on a true story. This is definitely a movie to restore your faith in human nature.