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Hoosiers (1986)



Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 38 | Rotten: 5

It may adhere to the sports underdog formula, but Hoosiers has been made with such loving craft, and features such excellent performances, that it's hard to resist.


Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 2

It may adhere to the sports underdog formula, but Hoosiers has been made with such loving craft, and features such excellent performances, that it's hard to resist.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 49,807

My Rating

Movie Info

Hoosiers tells the true story of a group of underdogs who become champions. Set in the 1950s, Hoosiers is about a hard-luck, unemployed college basketball coach (Gene Hackman) who gets a chance to coach a small-town Indiana high-school basketball team. Facing resentment from the community and the team itself, Hackman manages to inspire his young athletes, leading them to the state championship with the help of the assistant coach (Dennis Hopper), who happens to be a recovering alcoholic. ~


Sports & Fitness, Drama

Angelo Pizzo

Dec 9, 1997

Hemdale Film Corporation

Watch It Now



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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (5) | DVD (25)

Hackman is wonderful as an inarticulate man tense with the struggle to curb a flaring, mysterious anger.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shameless, yes, but open your eyes, close your mind, sit back and enjoy.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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Bobby Knight would not be amused, though Tark the Shark might've had a good laugh at the naive masquerade.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Basketball movies don't get any better.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pic belongs to Hackman, but Dennis Hopper gets another opportunity to put in a showy turn as a local misfit.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cloyingly nostalgic.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An enjoyable, if conventional and manipulative small-town sports melodrama, boasting strong turns from Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper, who received his only acting nomination for his part.

April 22, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A tale of heroic sportsmanship.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The kind of corny and manipulative pic that makes me glad I'm not a basketball fan.

June 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The filmmakers are at the top of their game.

October 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

[A] compelling, enjoyable yarn.

August 5, 2008

The setting in early 1950s Indiana adds nice texture to the story, but the endless games with the usual ups and downs outstay their welcome.

March 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comment (1)

It should come as little surprise that this solid, sentimental movie about basketball is set in Indiana, where babies are given roundballs before they get rattles.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Barely a single frame of this movie is less than compelling.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid's easy enough to see why Hoosiers has become one of the most endearing sports movies in cinematic history.

October 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Any list of the best sports movies has to include Hoosiers.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source:

Why fight it?

April 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Comments (2)
Film Freak Central

Not a false note and a great performance by Hackman.

April 15, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

One of the greatest sports movies ever made!

April 12, 2005

Hoosiers works the underdog formula so expertly that it's no surprise the film still has the ability to uplift audiences.

March 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for Hoosiers

Hoosiers is one of the finest sports dramas that have ever been made. The film managed to set the standard for all to follow. I've seen my fair share of sports films, and Hoosiers ranks among the essential films to watch. The film has a simply story, yet has plenty of heart to really make it a standout feature that boasts a great cast of actors headed by Gene Hackman. The film is engaging from start to finish. Hoosiers for me is one of the better films dealing the sport of Basketball. There has been other films tackling the sport, but none has had the power of capturing your attention that Hoosiers. The film, I thought wasn't clichéd, unlike every recent genre film. I much prefer this subtle Sports film due to the fact that it doesn't overdo anything. Hoosiers is a well constructed drama that will surely appeal to genre fans, and if you're skeptical about seeing this due to that fact that there have been countless films of the same nature in recent years, well be prepared to enjoy this film as it is a well acted, directed movie that tells a terrific story. Even if you're not a fan of the sport, this is worth seeing due to the cast, its story and its heart. Filmgoers will surely love this movie, and it still is a genre classic that has yet to be outdone. If you love a good, well structured drama, Hoosiers is the film for you. Hackman is terrific in his performance and it adds so much to the overall enjoyment of movie. Hoosiers is a terrific Sports film than anyone can enjoy no matter if you follow the sport or not.
February 11, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Coach Norman Dale: Welcome to Indiana basketball. 

"They needed a second chance to finish first."

Hoosiers is one of the most manipulative films you'll ever see. Everything the movie does is designed around manipulating the audience as much as possible. Every foul seems to be against Hickory. The referees seem very one sided towards the opponent. The townspeople are against the coach. The underdog story is amped up twentyfold here and no ones hiding that fact. Yet, unlike other films, the manipulation here doesn't piss me off. It seems almost necessary, while in other films, it seems all to unnecessary. 

When I was a young kid, my whole life was sports. I wouldn't watch a movie unless it had something to do with sports. Hoosiers was one of my favorites. I haven't watched it in probably 8 of 9 years, except for glimpses on the television, so reuniting with it was special and enjoyable. The film is very heartfelt in all regards. While it is a story about an underdog team who makes it to the state championship; it is more about second chances then anything else. Coach Dale was suspended from his collegiate coaching job and hasn't coached in something like 10 years. This is his second chance. There's a drunk father, who knows a lot about basketball, who gets a second chance when Coach Dale asks him to help out. A player walks out during the first practice, but gets a second chance when the coach allows him back on the team. Another player doesn't listen to his coach and gets benched, but gets a second chance when he is allowed to play again. The second chance theme is all over this film. It's basically a walking advertisement for the saying, "Everyone deserves a second chance" and just about everyone in the film gets one.

Hoosiers is a film that is just a good time to watch. You really find yourself cheering for the team, which is a trait of a good sports oriented movie, like Friday Night Lights. If you don't feel like a fan of the team who is being filmed then the film has failed. You'll definitely cheer for this team, and if you don't, you probably don't have a heart. The movie has some really good performances from Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, and Dennis Hopper. All in all, it's a one of a kind sports drama, that although predictable and as I said earlier, highly manipulative, is one you should be able to enjoy time and time again.
April 29, 2012
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

They needed a second chance to finish first.

Good decent basketball film. Dennis Hopper was actually nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor for this film in 1986. I don't particularly have a taste for Gene Hackman film's but I just had to watch this film, basketball is in my blood and I love sports movies.

A classic tale of redemption, this film features a volatile coach and a former star player-turned alcoholic leading a small-town basketball team on an improbable run to the Indiana high school championship game. Coach Norman Dale encounters several hurdles in his path: a feisty teacher determined to keep the best player from going out for the team, a town chock full of second-guessing fathers, and a group of undisciplined athletes. Story inspired by the Milan (Indiana) Indians' state title of 1954.
August 3, 2011
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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