An inmate forms a football team to compete against the prison guards' team.
Almost all sports film invariably devolve into cliches. There's something elemental about sports that creates an inherent conflict that can carry a film. The good sports films are good because of their variations -- 61*'s portrayal of Maris's innate strength of character, Sugar's focus on the unheard of players, and A League of Their Own's hot women (jk). The fact that this film is set in a prison is supposed to be its interesting variation, but I don't find the prison setting to be particularly compelling or to be used in a profound way. Its attempt at a variation is also Burt Reynolds's character, Paul Crewe. Crewe is a wise-cracking, devil-may-care kind of guy, and Reynolds made a career playing parts like this. He does it well, handsome, charming, and witty.
Overall, The Longest Yard's attempts at breaking sports films' cliches aren't bad, but the film doesn't amount to anything extraordinary.