• PG-13, 1 hr. 30 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    William Friedkin
    In Theaters:
    Feb 18, 1994 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 29, 2005
  • Paramount Home Video

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Blue Chips Reviews

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Film4

Watching various hoop stars and legends trying to act is cringeworthy, O'Neal particularly bad, but Friedkin's movie, written by sports film specialist Shelton has a lot of passion.

Full Review Source: Film4

March 25, 2008

TV Guide's Movie Guide

A good concept fails to become a good movie in this predictable tale of corruption in college basketball.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 25, 2008
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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A deafness-inducing but otherwise ho-hum would-be expose of shady recruiting practices by college basketball programs.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 25, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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Not even an unsentimental basketball fan like director William Friedkin can wash away all the corn syrup.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 25, 2008

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This hard-hitting college basketball drama marks a notable return to form for William Friedkin.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

[An] effective, if overlong basketball drama.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 3/4

May 26, 2006
Janet Maslin
New York Times
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If Mr. Friedkin didn't have to work so strenuously framing two-shots of Mr. Nolte with this seven-foot athlete, it might be hard to remember that Mr. O'Neal has a day job.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 20, 2003
Scott Weinberg
eFilmCritic.com

Worth seeing for Nolte's force-of-nature performance and the novelty of Shaq "emoting."

| Original Score: 3/5

July 25, 2002
Scott Renshaw
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The on-court action is fairly bland, and photographed from all the wrong angles.

Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Original Score: 3/10

January 1, 2000
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

Much of the movie's problem, I suspect, comes from the vast use of non-professionals in dramatic roles, whose charismatic abilities should be restricted to the basketball court and not the dramatic arena.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/5

January 1, 2000
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews

It is a very homogenized movie that never offends, yet never seems to be for real either.

Full Review Source: Internet Reviews | Original Score: 2/4

January 1, 2000
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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If it wasn't for some exciting roundball action, Shaquille O'Neal's hulking-dunking presence and a wonderfully guttural performance from coach Nick Nolte, you'd slither off the bench asleep.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
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The filmmakers don't get the ball into the Shaq-man's hands enough -- both literally and figuratively -- to make this personable giant's screen debut memorable.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
Chris Hicks
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The film is quite entertaining in its own right and Nolte does give it a tremendous boost.

Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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What Friedkin brings to the story is a tone that feels completely accurate; the movie is a morality play, told in the realistic, sometimes cynical terms of modern high-pressure college sports.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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A rare example of an entry into this genre that attempts to be honest and unique.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C+

September 7, 2011
Chuck O'Leary
Fantastica Daily

| Original Score: 3/5

October 9, 2005
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com

| Original Score: 2/5

August 16, 2005
Todd Jorgenson
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

| Original Score: 2/5

February 17, 2005
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