Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A man (Hackman) gets a last-chance job coaching a small-town Indiana high-school basketball team and faces the dual challenge of bringing this underdog team to the 1951 state championship and redeeming himself from a mysterious past. (MGM)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. The pieces of the drama are put forth like the shapes of the five fingers of a hand, and finally they find a kind of awkward unity that was predictable from the start. And yet, the gesture of it all is utterly captivating, the way a dream would be if it ever really came true. [27 Feb 1987, Daily Datebook, p.74]
  2. 100
    It's as engaging, as modest, as utterly American and as thrilling as the true-life story it's based on. [11 Dec 1986, Calendar, p.6-1]
  3. Reviewed by: Paul Attanasio
    Hackman anchors the movie with a performance of remarkable control. You see his hurt in his glances at his shoes, his little phony chuckle; you can feel him carrying his secret -- it's a rage held together with rubber bands. This is the Hackman of "The Conversation," not "The French Connection." [27 Feb 1987, Style, p.c1]
  4. This film's very lack of surprise and sophistication accounts for a lot of its considerable charm.
  5. 75
    There is enough intelligence and craftsmanship in the execution of Hoosiers to make it seem, if not exactly fresh, at least respectably entertaining. [27 Feb 1987, Friday, p.A]
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    The film clearly functions as wish-fulfillment for the kind of people who are nostalgic about all-white basketball, leaving a nasty aftertaste.
  7. Reviewed by: Pat Graham
    What matters most is feeding white-bread fantasies (the film is set in the slow-footed 50s, when blacks are only a rumor and nobody's ever heard of slam 'n' jam) and laying on the inspirational corn.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. JanaB.
    Jan 29, 2007
    This movie is the best sports movie ever!
  2. Ryan
    Jan 18, 2006
    Sweet movie. One you can watch over and over.
  3. Oct 28, 2013
    Really good film overall. Gene Hackman is fantastic in the lead role and truly makes this movie. Other than that, it pretty much follows theReally good film overall. Gene Hackman is fantastic in the lead role and truly makes this movie. Other than that, it pretty much follows the sports movie formula, but does it so well that you can ignore the carbon copy of a plot. Easy to see why this one is a classic. Expand
  4. Nov 12, 2012
    I don't care what anyone says. I couldn't wait for this to end. Hackneyed, corny and unrewarding.

See all 7 User Reviews