Coach Carter (2005)

I honestly don’t think I could see someone like Lebron taking the SAT’s.

Samuel L. Jackson stars as the titular, controversial Coach Carter, a no-nonsense hardliner who firmly believes that scholarship and a sense of ethics go hand in hand with excellence on the basketball court. The coach is so firm in his convictions that he benches his undefeated team of high schoolers when they turn in poor academic grades, much to the chagrin of the players’ parents and many fellow teachers.

The inspirational sports film comes out about once a year, and there always the same. It just depends on who you have in it that makes it different.

The biggest problem with Coach Carter is that the script is terrible. When I mean terrible, I do mean, terrible. Every single line here is like a little cliche that has been used in almost every other sports film, and brings nothing new to the table. This all so generic and with everything that happens I just started laughing by how terribly predictable it was, and since these people are black it’s even more hilarious to listen to these “characters” talk “gangster”. Some of the most unintentionally hilarious stuff I’ve ever heard.

Another problem with this script and this film is that it’s way too long with a terribly preachy feel. This is all fact-based which I liked, but the fact that this film tries to keep on spoon-feeding us what and how we should feel about education when it comes to sports, just simply annoyed me. The social issues it explores kept me interested but they hit it over my head way too much. Also, this is a film that runs for about 2 hours and 16 minutes. Yeah, it’s a long one.

However, what this film does right is that it actually is somewhat entertaining and inspiring beneath all the cliches and preaching. I liked how they explore the fact that more student athletes should rely on school work, rather than sports to get them through life. I think I liked this mainly because not many sports film show this, and instead show that sports will get you through life and just make you happy forever. Some of the basketball game scenes were fun too, as they are shot with a nice and slick style to keep you in the game.

Samuel L. Jackson is the real reason why this film is a step-above from making this total crap. I like how subtle Jackson takes this role as Coach Carter in the beginning, but then when he has to, turns the knob and becomes this totally angry but still smart basketball coach who wants nothing more than just the best education possible for his players. Now of course there is the yelling, screaming, and hollering we have all come to know and love about Sammy, but there’s a lot more to that, and he makes it worth while. The rest of the cast is OK including Ashanti, Channing Tatum, Rob Brown, and Robert Ri’chard. Nothing special, mainly because Jackson knocks them all out of the water.

Consensus: Coach Carter is terribly-written because its huge amount of cliches and preachiness that bores along with its over 2 hour time-limit, but it’s occasionally inspiring, and an always reliable Samuel L. Jackson makes this easier to deal with.



  1. I thought the messages here were profound and deep. You’re right on with the cliches, I just went along with it.

    Jackson is great here. Good review.

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