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Gridiron Gang (2006)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 42
Rotten: 58

Critics Consensus: The role of probation officer Sean Porter fits Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson like a glove; however, the execution is so cliched, the youths' stories (based on real events), fail to inspire.

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 21

Critics Consensus: The role of probation officer Sean Porter fits Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson like a glove; however, the execution is so cliched, the youths' stories (based on real events), fail to inspire.


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 286,183


Movie Info

The true story of the football team that proved sometimes second chances can make a difference comes to the screen in director Phil Joanou's tale of self-respect and social responsibility on the gridiron. Sean Porter (The Rock) is a detention camp probation officer who oversees the inmates at Camp Kilpatrick in Los Angeles and isn't willing to simply write off the violent offenders who have been placed in his care. Though their prospects for the future are decidedly bleak, Porter is convinced … More

PG-13 (for some startling scenes of violence, mature thematic material and language)
Drama , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
Jeff Maguire
In Theaters:
Jan 16, 2007
Box Office:
Sony Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Gridiron Gang

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (58) | DVD (17)

If The Rock could clone himself to appear in juvenile halls across the country, the recidivism rate would get body-slammed within a few weeks.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

Well intentioned, but way too corny, way too over the top...

Full Review… | September 18, 2006
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

... as Robert Aldrich proved in The Longest Yard, a football movie should be able to hit harder.

Full Review… | September 15, 2006
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

... a lugubrious tutorial on the importance of being a winner.

Full Review… | September 15, 2006
Washington Post
Top Critic

Auds will respond, either to the uplifting message and the solid action sequences.

Full Review… | September 15, 2006
Top Critic

Gridiron entertains and makes a powerful point about the faults inherent in the penal system, particularly for youths with hopes of rehabilitation.

Full Review… | September 15, 2006
USA Today
Top Critic

It's a difficult balancing act between gang life and the sports film where inspiring moments can very easily become maudlin and wearing. Gridiron Gang slips and stumbles a bit in the second half but for the most part makes it across whole.

Full Review… | March 22, 2011

Dwayne Johnson pushes his emotionally charged performance so hard that you think he might pop a blood vessel.

Full Review… | April 25, 2009

The surprisingly effective Gridiron Gang will find its way into that harshly defended emotional endzone, even if they might not necessarily admit it to their friends.

Full Review… | March 24, 2007

Despite the occasional mixed message and overwrought moment, Gridiron Gang is a sincere, moving film about a worthwhile subject

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

Watchable, decently made drama with some strong performances, but the script is disappointing given the real-life story behind the film.

Full Review… | February 1, 2007

What begins as a series of pleasant revelations and a deft example of genre defiance is nearly crippled by cliche in its second half, but The Rock's surprising dramatic magnetism will hold you until the final whistle.

Full Review… | January 29, 2007
Empire Magazine

It's unfortunate that what was undoubtedly an inspirational story could end up onscreen as such a been-there done-that hack job.

Full Review… | January 17, 2007

...the film's various problems [are] exacerbated by a ridiculously overlong running time (it's 125 minutes!)

Full Review… | January 10, 2007
Reel Film Reviews

It's technically well-made, but lacks the writing or acting skills to make it work.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
Shadows on the Wall

Gridiron Gang is enjoyable enough, but it is also manipulative, melodramatic and pretty much interchangeable with the recent basketball film Coach Carter.

Full Review… | October 9, 2006

The trite script waters down and trivializes its subject matter, almost to the point of negating any emotional impact.

Full Review… | October 9, 2006
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

At once uplifting and banal, "based on a true story" and abjectly "Disneyfied," the formula is also -- apparently -- endlessly profitable.

Full Review… | October 1, 2006

The philosophy espoused in Gridiron Gang places the team above the individual, but the film is carried on the broad shoulders of the charismatic Johnson.

Full Review… | October 1, 2006
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Mostly the movie barrels toward you, stiff-armed.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006
Austin Chronicle

But can The Rock pull off a dramatic role? Surprisingly, for the most part, the answer is yes, and the film is a success for it.

Full Review… | September 20, 2006
Premiere Magazine

Another 'true story' inspirational sports movie, and you pretty much know whether or not it's your brand of jockstrap from that fact alone.

Full Review… | September 20, 2006
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

No sappy sports cliche or trite inspirational slogan is ignored.

Full Review… | September 20, 2006

Bad News Bangers

September 20, 2006

Audience Reviews for Gridiron Gang


Gridiron Gang was a pleasant surprise. I did not expect to enjoy it, and at times it6 did have some so-so moments, but when you see it, you can see that the film has a driving message of hope, which is the key to the film's success. Far from great, but quite entertaining, the film is an impressive feat for The Rock who is able to deliver a good dramatic performance here. Sports film, especially football films are a bit overdone, and we all know how they'll turn out in the end. However, this is an interesting angle on the genre, and it works. Some viewers will surely enjoy it for The Rock range, and he lights up the screen. The film at times could have been a bit better and there are a few scenes that should have been reworked in order to make the film stands. Luckily there are plenty of much better scenes that give this film its power, and it is a thoroughly engaging experience for those that enjoy this genre. Although never too original, this is an interesting twist on a football film, and like I said it's got a good message, which plenty of viewers can get behind and appreciate. A fine mix of performances and a good screenplay rounds out the film to make this a film not to miss, and even for people that are skeptical about such films; Gridiron Gang has something for everyone and it is a well acted, directed film that is far better than many other films in the genre,

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


An electrifying performance by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in a cliche but good-hearted movie. This, admittedly, was a guilty pleasure of mine. DON'T HATE

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

This is without a doubt my absolute favorite sports movie of all time. It had fantastic acting, an inspirational story, and some of the best sports quotes out there and fantastic character development.

The main reason people want to see this movie will be because of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and I can tell you guys that he certainly does not dissapoint. His performance as coach of the Mustangs was the bescoach portrayel I've seen since Buttermaker from Bad News Bears. It was emotional, and realistic.

However, If Dwayne gets my lead for best performance in the movie, Jade Yorker get's a close second as Willie Weathers, a former 88 gang member who shot his heavily abusive father after he tried to hit his mother, and ends up as running back for the Mustangs. He was my favorite character, and I found myself cheering for him all the way.

The story is great to. It is about a former NFL player turned coach named Sean Porter, who organizes a high scholl football team out of slightly misunderstood gangsters serving time at a youth correctional facility. The lesson is "Not everyone get's a second chance, so use it well" and what a lesson it is.

The football action was pretty good too.

Bottom line, this is the best football and sports movie I've ever seen, period.

Marc L.
Marc Lewis

Super Reviewer


It could have been a little more original, but I find that I could watch this movie any day!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Gridiron Gang Quotes

Sean Porter:
Everybody listen up! The Gridiron is a football field. On the Gridiron, we do it my way, not your way. Your way got you here. Whatever gang you claim, whatever hood you're from, this is your hood now.
– Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)

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