Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Gridiron Gang gives you a lot more to think about during the ride home.
  2. 75
    The movie's inevitabilities (the humiliating loss, the ebb and flow of camaraderie, the triumphant finale) have deep resonance.
  3. Reviewed by: Bartley Morrisroe
    Can he (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ) act? Surprisingly, for the most part, the answer is yes, and the film is a success for it.
  4. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    A crowd-pleasing, uplifting, feel-good and not-so-rare hybrid -- the sports/prison movie -- in which Los Angeles gangbangers are taught the virtues of trading violence on the streets for violence on the field.
  5. 67
    None of their stories are particularly resonant, but the film is really about a grand social experiment gone right, and it succeeds well enough on that front, even while it isn't that convincing in the particulars.
  6. The best thing about Gridiron Gang is the performance of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He is engaging, affable and wholly believable as a former football star turned officer in a juvenile detention center.
  7. Reviewed by: Sam Toy
    What begins as a series of pleasant revelations and a deft example of genre defiance is nearly crippled by cliche in its second half, but The Rock's surprising dramatic magnetism will hold you until the final whistle.
  8. Feels less like a movie and more like a Tony Robbins motivational seminar.
  9. Ultimately, the script lacks the ambiguity, irony and heartfelt emotion that would make the conversion of a dozen hardened criminals very credible, and -- despite its obvious good intentions -- the movie seems pat, simplistic and slightly phony.
  10. 58
    It's sad that with everything it has going for it, this movie plays like a tall tale -- something too good to be true.
  11. Great material, but the film never catches fire.
  12. As sports movies go, Gridiron Gang isn't bad, just not top-line material.
  13. 50
    Gridiron Gang is not imaginative, but neither is it painful to watch.
  14. The Rock commits himself admirably to this trite tale, but by the end, even his enormous shoulders buckle under the weight of so many clichés.
  15. 50
    Some movies present their whole story in a two-minute trailer, but Gridiron Gang says it all in its poster.
  16. 50
    The film is relentlessly formulaic -- it's like a super-sized Afterschool Special with PG-13-rated bad language -- and is weighed down by Trevor Rabin's bombastic score, which telegraphs the appropriate emotional response to every feel-good moment.
  17. If you like your sports movies, especially your football movies, larded with more clichés than a politician's stump speech, Gridiron Gang begs to be seen.
  18. The film is a pleasant surprise.
  19. Parades itself as an ''honest'' message movie, a call for troubled kids to choose life over street nihilism, but the picture is so earnest that it leaves out the easy, old-school pleasure conjured by the last few years of Disney sports flicks (Invincible, Miracle, The Rookie).
  20. 50
    In a true-life sports tale like the recent "Invincible," you buy into all the inspirational clichés because the characters have inner lives and the movie is about something bigger; here, you keep hoping for something bad to happen to somebody just for the sake of balance.
  21. Reviewed by: Bill Gallo
    Never mind the obvious parallels to "The Longest Yard" and "Remember the Titans"; what we get here is one huge, indigestible sports movie platitude.
  22. The movie's good intentions are consistently undermined by its simplistic notion of redemption, and its inspirational thrust is diluted by an epilogue that suggests the program still has a ways to go in the life-altering department.
  23. 50
    Instead of a crackling good movie in which "The Longest Yard" meets, say, "The Bad News Bears," director Phil Joanou instead decided to make Gridiron Gang a lugubrious tutorial on the importance of being a winner.
  24. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    The end credits are accompanied by clips of Porter from the Emmy-winning documentary Gridiron Gang (1993), which prove that key scenes from this movie were lifted straight from life and that life needs better writers.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. May 25, 2014
    Another football movie based on true events this one though follows a group of teenagers at a juvenile detention center and with the help of their counselor (Dwayne Johnson) they work together to become a team and not just a bunch of punk kids that society will never accept. For the most part the film centers around Dwayne Johnson and his struggles to keep this team together. There is also Jade Yorker a kid that is shipped off to the detention camp after he shot at some guy in a store also he killed his moms boyfirend becuase they were fighing over her boyfriend hitting her. Dwayne Johnson does a great performance as the coach however the rest of the cast is pretty much forgettable and the movie is filled with stupid cliche events. its ok but id recommend it to people only if they havnt seen it and like the genre.

    Overall i give it a 6.0
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 9, 2012
    Gridiron Gang is a very inspirational true story about a group of juvenile delinquents coming together to form a football team. Although it is very easy to compare it to The Longest Yard, i think Gridiron Gang holds a more meaningful message. This movie is a root for the underdog, classic football story, that is truly inspiring. Full Review »
  3. Apr 15, 2012
    This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It has it's funny moments, dramatic and sad moments, and action scenes. It's an emotional journey based on a true story. This is not a film to be missed. Full Review »