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Coach Carter (2005)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 145
Fresh: 94 | Rotten: 51

Even though it's based on a true story, Coach Carter is pretty formulaic stuff, but it's effective and energetic, thanks to a strong central performance from Samuel L. Jackson.


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 17

Even though it's based on a true story, Coach Carter is pretty formulaic stuff, but it's effective and energetic, thanks to a strong central performance from Samuel L. Jackson.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 405,389

My Rating

Movie Info

The true-life story of a coach who tries to teach his players that there's more to life than basketball is brought to the screen in this sports drama. Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) was once a star player on the Richmond High School basketball team in Richmond, CA, and years later, after establishing himself in publishing and marketing, he returns to the school and to the team as the new basketball coach. Carter quickly sees that his work is cut out for him -- the team is having an awful season,



Mark Schwahn, John Gatins

Jun 21, 2005


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (151) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (94) | Rotten (51) | DVD (36)

This is supposed to be about setting high standards, yet it's full of fudged ultimatums; in the end I couldn't be sure whether its morality was complex or just confused.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Samuel L. Jackson shouts, yells, bellows, and screams his way through the fact-inspired film

October 6, 2006 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although this is an inspirational genre pic that pushes all the requisite buttons throughout, you canâ(TM)t help but feel that rather than benching the team, director Thomas Carter should have benched a few of those ham-fisted sporting clichà (C)s instead.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Saved by bursts of energy and inventiveness.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Carter gives every sports-drama cliche a chance to play. No bad idea is benched.

January 27, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Too vicious to speak to bleeding-heart liberals, too pro-academia to speak to No Child Left Behind advocates, and too preachy to speak to youths.

January 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Village Voice | Comments (3)
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With another in a long line of strong performances by Jackson, and some excellent basketball choreography, Coach Carter is fun, hopeful, occasionally silly and, what can I say, inspiring.

March 18, 2011 Full Review Source:

Engaging film with a terrific message.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Samuel Jackson returns to form behind a long string of disappointing performances as an ethically minded basketball coach at a tough inner city high school in Richmond, California.

April 16, 2009 Full Review Source:

While the film is over the top at times, Coach Carter has a big heart that doesn't shy away from challenging the American education system.

December 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Views

How terribly ironic that the story of an educator who dared to challenge the mental capacity of his students can produce a film that so shamelessly spoon-feeds its audience.

December 22, 2008 Full Review Source: DVD Review
DVD Review

By making the choices the filmmakers did here, we get a movie that may not be profound, but it's both highly entertaining for its sports and fascinating for its social issues.

December 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

...the movie is more concerned with the characters than with the sport. So it's a movie for anyone to enjoy.

December 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A worthy addition to familiar triumph-of-the-underdog stories.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

There's a kick butt performance from Samuel Jackson, the master of the take-no-prisoners motormouth school of acting, even if it is only a high school gym.

March 24, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

Far from groundbreaking--in fact, it doesn't have an original bone in its body--but as inspirational sports movies go, it's not half-bad.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Its main flaws are an overabundance of sports-movie clichés and hackneyed phrases, but at least the final game doesn't have a predictable ending; I'll give it that much.

September 11, 2006
Christianity Today

On paper a routine sports yarn. On screen, thanks to Jackson refusing to phone it in, far more satisfying than you might expect.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Cinematographer Sharon Meir and film editor Peter Berger brilliantly capture the magic, thrills and extraordinary talent of the fear-inspired players, putting their hearts and souls into the game.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Formulaico, é verdade, mas inteligente o bastante para utilizar os clichês a seu favor, sem se esquecer de incluir bons diálogos e uma mensagem relevante.

September 11, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Slam Dunk!

July 12, 2005 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Without Sam L. Jackson on hand, I suspect Coach Carter would be almost too generic to even deal with.

June 12, 2005 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Coach Carter

It's a cliche storyline, but it's captivating, heartfelt and inspirational to some degree. Coach Carter is great blend of basketball and drama and coming-of-age. Lead by the charismatic Samuel L. Jackson, the film's young cast and fluid chemistry makes it a slam dunk. 4.5/5
August 5, 2013
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Coach Ken Carter: l came to coach basketball players, and you became students. l came to teach boys, and you became men. 

"It begins on the street. It ends here."

Coach Carter is a good sports movie, even though we've seen these type of stories played out in the same way countless times before and after this film. It still excels as we see all the predictable moments, all the "I'm not playing for this guy," all the "Coach I want back on the team," and all the adversity the players have to go through. The movie is what it's been labeled. It's inspirational and it's heartfelt. While, a lot of movies fail in trying to achieve this by working too hard, this one works too hard at trying to achieve that, but still manages to.

Ken Carter takes a high school basketball coaching job at a ghetto, "bad" school. The kids are undisciplined and don't care about school. They also are bad at basketball, having only won four games the previous year. Carter is there to change it all. He tells them the losing stops now. He tells them to either sign a contract stating you'll keep a 2.3 gpa, attend all your class, sit in the first row of all your classes, and wear a jacket and tie on game day. He makes them run endlessly to get them in shape and soon he has his team on track with an undefeated record into the middle of the year. But all that adversity is going to hit.

Samuel L. Jackson thrives in the role of Coach Carter. He looks the part and he sounds the part. I wouldn't call it his best performance or anything like that, but he is very good. The acting from everyone else, ummm.... I'll go with so, so. But the movie is called Coach Carter and thusly the fate of the film really rested on Jackson's shoulders and he was able to hold it up.

The movie has problems, most of them coming with the genre. Predictability, cliches, and heart tugging among them. Still, this is a better than average addition to the "Bad News Bears" type of story. Coach takes misfit riddled team and turns them into winners. Is it a masterpiece? Hell no. Is it bad? Hell no. I've seen it many times now and I still enjoy it. It's definitely a worthwhile film to watch if you haven't seen it yet. Try FX, it seems to be on that channel every other day.
February 2, 2013
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Average sports drama that is predictable, Coach Carter doesn't do anything new or original. I felt that Coach Carter though good, was nothing great, and it was nothing new to the sports genre. The film is the same old, predictable formula. Everything you'd expect happens, despite this; the film manages to be good entertainment. However, the fact that the sports drama genre seems to be comprised of the same old ideas, is a tad annoying. There are good performances here, nothing ever great, but for what it is, it's pretty entertaining. Coach Carter is no different than every other sports drama, and relies on the usual plot elements that you'd expect. The film is average, and if you've seen plenty of sports dramas, its pretty predictable. Nonetheless I liked the film The cast did a good job here, and it had a good plot despite the fact that it's nothing really new. This film will appeal to sports film fans. Coach Carter is entertaining, but like I said, it's the same old tired formula, luckily the cast keeps this film entertaining and watchable. The film relies on cliches but overall it remains constantly dramatic and entertaining like every other sports drama. A good cast, and good plot keeps this film rolling and fun.
January 11, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A very engaging film, this is Samuel L. Jackson at his finest.
October 2, 2011
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

    1. Jason Lyle: You said we're a team. One person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph.
    – Submitted by Yoga L (22 months ago)
    1. Timo Cruz: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    – Submitted by Sidney L (2 years ago)
    1. Ken Carter: Basketball is a privilege ma'am. If you wanna play basketball on this team, these are the simple rules you have to follow if you want to want to enjoy these privileges. If you decide to follow these simple rules, I need you and the boys to sign these contracts.
    – Submitted by Dennis L (3 years ago)
    1. Timo Cruz: Teachers ain't supposed to touch students.
    2. Ken Carter: I'm not a teacher. I'm the new basketball coach.
    – Submitted by Dennis L (3 years ago)
    1. Timo Cruz: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
    – Submitted by Brad M (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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