Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Gridiron Gang tells the gritty and powerfully emotional story of juvenile detention camp probation officer Sean Porter (The Rock), who, along with another officer, Malcolm Moore (Xzibit), turns a group of hardcore teenage felons into a high school football team in four weeks. Confronted with gang rivalries and bitter hatred between his teammates, Porter teaches some hard lessons (and learns a few himself) as the kids gain a sense of self-respect and responsibility. (Sony) Expand
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The film is a pleasant surprise.
  6. As sports movies go, Gridiron Gang isn't bad, just not top-line material.
  7. 50
    Some movies present their whole story in a two-minute trailer, but Gridiron Gang says it all in its poster.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. FooreB
    Apr 25, 2009
    A great sports movie, with a great message. This is one of Dwayne Johnson's best.
  2. EugeneM.
    Sep 17, 2006
    I am giving this movie a ten out of ten because, it tells a great story. It's good to see something that is positive and has a good ending. We need to know that there is still good in all of us, especially in the midst of all the world's crisis. Expand
  3. KariK.
    Oct 1, 2006
    This was an uplifting movie with an awesome moral. Even if the story seems unbelievable it is nice to escape to a place where bad guys can become good. Expand
  4. MarkB.
    Nov 30, 2006
    Fade this football drama to black and white, substitute Pat O'Brien for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, omit the street language and drive-by shootings, and include more than just one White guy on the team, and you've got a 1938 "B" movie that would play fairly well as Turner Classic Movies 2 AM fodder. In short, this shouldn't work nearly as well as it does, so why does it work so well? Unlike its closest current rival, the true-life-with-disclaimers rah-rah saga Invincible, whose pretentiousness only serves to accent how hokey and threadbare it is, Gridiron Gang's utter simplicity, conviction and sincerity really help it to score. Director Phil Joanou (Three O Clock High, U2 Rattle & Hum) and writer Jeff Maguire (In The Line Of Fire) are seasoned movie pros, but a measure of just how nicely their collaboration works is that one of its Big Moments--in which opposing gang members and other juvenile detention facility inmates in unison refuses a command, which of course tips him off that they're finally working together as a team--is lifted straight from The Dirty Dozen's playbook, but is handled so deftly that it took me days to realize it. Trevor Rabin's full-bodied musical score is, like the music for Patch Adams and last year's Shopgirl, one of those highly manipulative efforts that tries to tell me how to feel, but I forgave and even enjoyed it because Joanou rather daringly used it in place of the standard gangsta-rap CD jukebox wallpaper that you'd normally expect to hear in a movie dealing with gang warfare; the movie avoids the hypocrisy of speaking out against violence in the dialogue while inadvertently endorsing it on the soundtrack. Excellent pacing, characters worth rooting for, some wonderfully effective off-the-field sequences (the one where an assistant coach talks the dean of a Christian college into allowing the prison team to play by quoting Bible verses verbatim is a favorite) make this an inspirational movie that really inspires: if it's not quite as effective as recent personal favorites Akeelah and the Bee and The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, that's largely because there are already lots of football movies, very few spelling bee movies and, as far as I know, NO other housewife-who-wins-"complete-this-sentence-in-25-words-or less" movies in existence. The Rock, who has delivered witty, sly performances in The Scorpion King, The Rundown and Be Cool, is called upon to project total altruism and dedication; he does so with equal charisma and charm. He's apparently the reason why reviewers almost never use the phrase "as an actor, he's a great wrestler" when describing the film work of Hulk Hogan, John Cena or matter how warranted! Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. DaveM.
    Sep 11, 2006
    Another, what I would call...excellent film by the standards of The Rock.
  7. JordanG.
    Sep 24, 2006
    A stupid gangster-version of the Longest Yard. This movie ties in gangsters and drug-attics with football. The Longest Yard at least had very funny comedy and a good story. This: No comedy, drama and stupid. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews