Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. The movie is also brisk and wholehearted and smarter than you expect.
  2. A paint-by-numbers story that offers no surprises and a hero and villain etched in white and black with few shades of gray.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Musgrove
    This flick has modest ambitions, but it delivers the goods in a fresh manner.
  4. 63
    If you are willing to overlook the occasional missed block, clumsy tackle or dropped pass, there is more than enough in Varsity Blues to keep you engrossed.
  5. 63
    Unfortunately, Voight is not in every scene, and, when he's absent, Varsity Blues has a tendency to flounder, descending into the realm of formulaic sports movie melodrama.
  6. 60
    Director Brian Robbins ("Good Burger") and screenwriter W. Peter Iliff ("Prayer of the Rollerboys") have wrapped their moral fable in a glossy package of hard football action and towel-slapping, hard-body fun that might seem exciting if you've never seen a movie before.
  7. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    It is an ostensibly serious story about being young and struggling to wrest control over one's life from the hands of fools, yet it doesn't behave like a serious drama that wants to lead us anywhere.
  8. A trashy little movie about drinking, football and drinking, is also one of those films that pretends to moralize about the very behavior it milks for every giggle it can get.
  9. Originally, somebody may have wanted the film to be a serious exploration of the dark side of high school sports, but it ended up as just one more sports picture.
  10. 60
    Its depiction of teenage behavior appears calculated to seem irreverent while satisfying expectations.
  11. 50
    A movie that doesn't buy into all the tenets of our national sports religion; the subtext is that winning isn't everything.
  12. We are aware going in that Varsity Blues' cannot be a landmark of world cinema. Yet working within the tired formula, the picture turns out to be not so bad.
  13. Reviewed by: Sandra Contreras
    This coming-of-age drama scores big points for trying to honestly tell a story rather than just pass the time.
  14. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    It is not quite as stupid as it looks. I'm not saying it ISN'T dumb, though, just not as bad as I think even the studio thought.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    Eventually fizzles out badly.
  16. Reviewed by: Ted Gideonse
    A flat, cliched film in a flat, cliched genre.
  17. 40
    Its vague stabs at moralizing and goofball shenanigans are an odd mix. It's not the high school experience I had, nor is it probably like yours.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    An unappetizing mix of raucously vulgar comedy and teen-angst melodrama.
  19. The story is mildly entertaining in its hackneyed way, but there's no excusing the picture's exploitative treatment of almost all the female characters.
  20. Reviewed by: Craig Marine
    Half-comedy, half-coming-of-age movie with another half or so of sports film and maybe another quarter of soundtrack that adds up to 175 percent of a bad movie.

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