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Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: Inspired by a true story, When the Game Stands Tall brings to life the incredible winning streak of the De La Salle High School football team: 151 straight victories over 12 years. Along the way, Coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) has always emphasized purpose and significance rather than streaks and titles. But when real-life adversity leaves the team reeling, the Spartans must decide if the sacrifice, commitment, and teamwork they have always trusted in can rebuild what is now disintegrating around them. [Sony Pictures Entertainment] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 24
  2. Negative: 6 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Aug 21, 2014
    75
    More in the tone of the big screen "Friday Night Lights" than "Rudy" or "The Blind Side," it succeeds as mainstream entertainment without relying on a conventional storybook framework.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 21, 2014
    60
    There's no question that a soft-spoken person can be a great leader, but Caviezel underplays Ladouceur to the point that you wonder how the players could even hear him, much less be inspired by him.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 22, 2014
    50
    When the Game Stands Tall is one of those cliché-riddled feel good movies that, by trying too hard to be inspirational, ends up as cloying and overly sentimental.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    Aug 20, 2014
    40
    It’s too blandly acted and directed to make much of an impact.
  5. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Aug 21, 2014
    40
    The movie is more effective as sports fantasy than as theology.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Aug 22, 2014
    38
    The script depends entirely too much on a succession of reporters, announcers, and spectators to provide context and detail in clunky, implausible dialogue.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Aug 21, 2014
    30
    While discipline and self-control certainly figure into Ladouceur’s teachings, there’s also a passion and drive that’s totally absent from Caviezel’s performance. It’s not that the film needs any more goosing—it’s broad and shameless even by inspirational-sports-movie standards—but its basic lack of plausibility starts with him.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Aug 31, 2014
    10
    This movies is amazing, and very empowering with such real life situations and resolve in healthy ways,
    It s a movie for everyone and I wish
    everyone would see it. It has certainly changed my life, I am not a person who watches football at all, but the movies is much much more that a game, it is about the game of life,
    We all suffer and have defining, critical times in our lives, when we have to make hard decisions, This movies will always live in my mind to do the right thing, not the thing I can rationalize,
    Please take anyone you can children included to see this movie. it is clean, wholesome but real.
    Expand
  2. Aug 23, 2014
    9
    Highly recommend this to everyone who enjoys a good sports movie with a positive message! While I knew there was a good chance I would like the movie I was pleasantly surprised to find I loved it!!! Expand
  3. Aug 29, 2014
    9
    This is a very inspiring story and the movie is very authentic in its portrayal of the real events (as evidenced by clips from the actual people in the closing credits). I love Jim Caveizel as an actor and as a person. No one has taken a hit in Hollywood over the past decade more for his principles. I wanted to see the film just to support him and the message of the film. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie on its own merits. This is a very noble and worthy film. Caveizel does not come across as a typical high school football coach but he very effectively captures Coach Ladouceur's demeanor and integrity. The basic messages of giving perfect effort (even if one cannot guarantee perfect results), becoming someone of integrity and what it means to be someone others can count on really resonate. This is such a refreshing movie compared to most of the nihilistic alternatives currently out there. Please see this movie and take your kids. Expand
  4. Sep 14, 2014
    9
    I thought this movie is as good as any other sports movie around. Comparable to Remember the Titans in my opinion, although it is not your typical underdog movie. De La Salle high school is not really an underdog school but you get to see them deal with all the pressures of being so successful. Great acting from the whole cast. Another inspirational football movie. Expand
  5. Aug 22, 2014
    0
    This is the worst movie I have ever seen. It drags on for much too long and has characters that are so dull and plain that I can not remember any of their names even though I just saw this movie earlier today. The movie also has a habit of trying to tackle heavy subjects such as cancer, murder, strokes, and child abuse; but doing so with such sloppiness that it comes of as darkly funny rather than sad. Another odd thing the movie had was its Christian undertones. For most of the movie it wasn't too obvious but near the end it just got weirdly blatant. Seriously, don't see this movie. Expand

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