Working-class tough guy Jake Huard (James Franco) gets a chance to make good when he's accepted into the famed Annapolis Naval Academy, but his buddies and dad back at the shipyard doubt he'll last a month. The film moves through his first year at the academy, culminating in the big boxing tournament, which is Huard's chance to get revenge against his stoic-beyond-the-call-of-duty senior officer, Cole (Tyrese Gibson). First, though, the closed-off Huard must learn to ask for help, which arrives via a warmly attractive senior officer played by Jordanna Brewster (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS). ANNAPOLIS's director, Justin Lin (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW) brings an unpretentious visual approach to this film; he lets the story flow straight as an arrow, sweeping viewers up into the daunting rigors and the developing camaraderie of this challenging environment. A muscular orchestral score by Brian Tyler pushes everything along with maximum heart and impact, and the rich cinematography creates an invigorating sense of you-are-there closeness which, by the time the story gets to the climactic fight, is breathlessly intense. The standout performance is Gibson's--so composed and elegantly tough, he's like a coiled spring. Brewster is also good, lending a welcome contrast of feminine warmth to the sometimes cold world of military discipline. As an inspiring tale of rising up and beating your limitations, ANNAPOLIS makes the grade.