Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 32
  2. Negative: 10 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. What could have been an all-occasion Hallmark card turns out to be an emotionally genuine love letter to a young man who transformed the town of Anderson, S.C., in the 1970s.
  2. It's really Harris' movie, and he brings to it just the right blend of engaging affability, gruff strength of character and transcendent nobility of spirit to make it a genuinely enriching experience.
  3. 75
    There is no cynicism in Radio, no angle or edge. It's about what it's about, with an open, warm and fond nature. Every once in a while human nature expresses itself in a way we can feel good about, and this is one of those times.
  4. A feel-good flick that doesn't make you feel too bad -- in this genre, that almost qualifies as a ringing endorsement.
  5. A gentle film yet develops increasing dramatic tension beneath its easygoing, fair-minded surface.
  6. 60
    Radio is a film many people may be tempted to laugh off as button pushing feel-good fluff. Before doing so, they might want to ask themselves just what it is they find so funny about a little peace, love and understanding.
  7. Radio is assembled from small, hard stones of ignorance and intolerance paved over by large, mushy examples of community goodness.
  8. The real Radio, and the real coach -- seen together in the movie's feel-good epilogue -- deserve better.
  9. 50
    There's no arguing that Cuba Gooding Jr. is trying to do right by the mentally disabled James Robert Kennedy.
  10. Mr. Harris's coach is not a flashy role. But the actor, who effortlessly embodies an all-American ideal of strength and decency, drains as much of the syrup from his character as any actor could hope.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Though probably well-intentioned, Radio comes off as manipulative of its audience and exploitative of the mentally challenged.
  12. 50
    That the film rises above that level to the merely mediocre is an accomplishment of almost heroic proportions.
  13. 50
    A tall glass of hogwash that's terrified to declare itself the racial-healing melodrama it is.
  14. Radio is almost as bad as it gets. That it isn't is thanks to Ed Harris, who brings depth and focus to his performance.
  15. 50
    Trailers make it seem as though Radio is all about football, but it's not, and once the film leaves the fall sport behind it wanders around in no particular direction until it reaches an abrupt, poorly executed ending.
  16. Although his is not a perfect film, Tollin employs his soap-opera dialogue and aim-for-the-solar-plexus message quite unapologetically.
  17. The cast, which includes Alfre Woodard and Debra Winger, manages to give thoughtful performances that salvage the film's integrity.
  18. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    "Inspired by a true story" it may be, but inspired it's not.
  19. 40
    Harris tries his best to make something more out of his one-dimensional white-knight character, while Gooding plays his vaudeville Rainman routine to the rafters.
  20. 40
    The cumulative effect of the movie's many Kodak moments and stretches of greeting-card sentiment is that they kill us with kindness.
  21. The heavy-handed score by notoriously heavy-handed James Horner is often the only indication that there's supposed to be a point to this showcase for Gooding's relentlessly adorable mugging.
  22. Reviewed by: Jo Berry
    Sweet, slushy mush of a family film.
  23. Reviewed by: Sara Brady
    Both Harris and Gooding, Jr. are fine actors trapped in a mawkish, pandering production that wastes the latter and is a waste of time for the former.
  24. 30
    Anyone who already knows better than to taunt the disabled, or former Oscar winners, should probably give it a pass.
  25. Beyond mawkish, Radio would be harmless twaddle were it not for the offensive depiction of its hero, the real-life James Robert Kennedy.
  26. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Gooding is out there in almost every scene, and the destruction of his once-promising career proceeds apace.
  27. A train wreck of a film lying inert where the tracks of the Feel Good Line cross the Path of Good Intentions.
  28. You don’t have to be a cynic to find Radio naive for suggesting that high school is a good place for emotionally fragile misfits, that racism is not a problem, that caring for someone is all it takes.
  29. This fact-based drama is very well-meaning but also cloying, sentimental, and simplistic. Gooding's fake-toothed grin deserves an Oscar for best makeup, though.
  30. What really makes the jaw drop is the presence of so many talented actors in what seems like traditional TV treacle. Saddest of all is Debra Winger, reduced to playing the wife-as-wallpaper role. For this she came back to Hollywood?
  31. 25
    It's hard to say what's more offensive about the out-of- tune Radio - Cuba Gooding Jr. trying to ingratiate himself by mugging up a storm as a mentally challenged man, or the mawkish narrative surrounding him like so much syrup.
  32. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    Based-on-a-true-story kitschfest.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 40
  2. Negative: 6 out of 40
  1. Jun 16, 2013
    The Worst about Radio that it has the same old elements of a sports drama. It gets very boring and melodramatic from this. A BIG DISAPOINMENTThe Worst about Radio that it has the same old elements of a sports drama. It gets very boring and melodramatic from this. A BIG DISAPOINMENT FROM THIS MOVIE. Full Review »
  2. AshleyK.
    Nov 18, 2003
    Definitely a great movie!!! I cried through the whole thing. It really makes you think about life and what it should be about!
  3. AshleyK.
    Nov 18, 2003
    Definitely a great movie!!! I cried through the whole thing. It really makes you think about life and what it should be about!