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The Longshots: C+

The Longshots: C+

'THE LONGSHOTS'

C+
PG; 1:34

Contains mild language, brief rude humor

Bottom line: Fair family flick

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In 2003, when she was 11 years old, Jasmine Plummer of Harvey, Ill., played quarterback for a Pop Warner football team that went all the way to the youth football league's national tournament.

Her unusual story — she was the first female quarterback in more than half a century of the championship tournaments — has resurfaced as the basis for a pleasant if formulaic family film starring Keke Palmer, the fine young actress who lit up the spelling-bee movie "Akeelah and the Bee."

Palmer is clearly a few years older than 11, but so are the actors who play her teammates in the movie, so the mix works.

The story is predictable. The coaches and the boys on the team initially are scornful of Jasmine's talents, but when she shows what she can do, they quickly come around. And the town is so inspired by Jasmine's feats that the citizens spruce up the deteriorating central business district.

What saves "The Longshots" from mediocrity is Palmer's convincing performance and the father-daughter chemistry that develops between the young actress and Ice Cube, who plays Jasmine's uncle, a former star quarterback who slid into depression and unemployment after he injured his leg.

The two play nicely off one another as the uncle teaches Jasmine how to play football and, in the process, redeems himself.

The movie was directed by Fred Durst, who is better known as the leader of the band Limp Bizkit. It is unabashedly sentimental and, at times sincerely touching, mainly when Ice Cube and Palmer are alone together on the screen.

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