Netflix True Story Tearjerker Hits Top 10

By Douglas Helm | Published

The 2009 feel-good sports drama The Blind Side recently hit Netflix and has climbed into the Top 10. Undoubtedly, the interest behind this movie climbing the ranks is that this feel-good true story might not be so feel-good or true after all. The subject of the film, football star Michael Oher, and his relationship with his adopted family entered the news last year due to a lawsuit filed by Oher that specifically relates to the film.

Based On A True Story

Sandra Bullock

The Blind Side was written and directed by John Lee Hancock based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis, and tells Michael Oher’s story. Oher became an offensive lineman for the NFL and the movie portrays his struggles to get there, along with his relationship with Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, his adoptive partners. Sandra Bullock stars as Leigh Anne, Tim McGraw stars as Sean, and Quinton Aaron stars as Oher.

An Award-Winning Hit

As far as sports dramas go, it’s fair to say The Blind Side hits all the notes you expect, with Bullock and Aaron giving solid performances as Leigh Anne and Oher, respectively. The movie was also a massive, unexpected success, raking in $309 million at the global box office and earning Bullock the Academy Award for Best Actress. This happened despite relatively mixed reviews from critics, and the success takes a bit of an ugly turn once you dive into what happened after the release of the film.

Criticized For Using An Old Trope

As far back as 2012, Michael Oher expressed how he wasn’t a fan of The Blind Side in his book I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blind Side, and Beyond. Particularly, Oher took issue with how the movie portrayed his intelligence and that his adopted family allegedly taught him football, despite the fact that he understood the game of football since he was a kid.

The movie has also been fairly criticized for perpetuating the “white savior trope,” seemingly attributing a lot of Oher’s ultimate professional football success to the Tuohys rather than his talent.

The Real-Life Controversy

However, The Blind Side became a real point of controversy again in 2023, when Oher filed a lawsuit against the Tuohys that alleged they tricked him into signing a conservatorship rather than a normal legal adoption. This conservatorship would have allowed the Tuohys to make business deals in his name without his permission, and the lawsuit further alleged they used this conservatorship to get their family millions of dollars in royalties from the film while Oher got nothing.

Streaming Now On Netflix

Oher’s lawsuit asked to end the conservatorship, to issue an injunction that prevented the Tuohys from continuing to use his name and likeness, and to pay him his fair share for the profits, along with other compensatory and punitive damages. 

The Tuohys denied Oher’s allegations, and the conservatorship was later terminated by the judge. Overall, the controversy behind The Blind Side does paint it in a slightly different light when watching it, and honestly the movie was already pretty mid to begin with. But if you’re interested in checking out this controversial flick, you can now stream it over on Netflix.