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.
A good concept fails to become a good movie in this predictable tale of corruption in college basketball.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A deafness-inducing but otherwise ho-hum would-be expose of shady recruiting practices by college basketball programs.
Not even an unsentimental basketball fan like director William Friedkin can wash away all the corn syrup.
This hard-hitting college basketball drama marks a notable return to form for William Friedkin.
[An] effective, if overlong basketball drama.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Worth seeing for Nolte's force-of-nature performance and the novelty of Shaq "emoting."
| Original Score: 3/5
The on-court action is fairly bland, and photographed from all the wrong angles.
| Original Score: 3/10
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
It is a very homogenized movie that never offends, yet never seems to be for real either.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
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.
The film is quite entertaining in its own right and Nolte does give it a tremendous boost.
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.
A rare example of an entry into this genre that attempts to be honest and unique.
| Original Score: C+
| Original Score: 2/5