A long-overdue if somewhat standard inspirational biopic about the great Jesse Owens (Stephan James, Selma), who famously pissed off Hitler, boosted America and broke down racial barriers when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Like 42, the film does a good job of explaining Owens’s struggles and historical importance, and it doesn’t shy away from its subject’s human flaws. But it lacks the spark that would have lifted it out of History Channel territory. We never learn what drove him. SNL alumnus Jason Sudeikis does surprisingly well in the dramatic role of coach Larry Snyder. Japanese title: Eiko no Runner: 1936 Berlin. (134 min)