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Pride (2007)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 107
Fresh: 48 | Rotten: 59

Pride features a typically stellar performance from Terrence Howard, but ultimately falls victim to its over usage of sports movie clichés.


Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 20

Pride features a typically stellar performance from Terrence Howard, but ultimately falls victim to its over usage of sports movie clichés.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 103,953

My Rating

Movie Info

A college-educated African-American schoolteacher frustrated by his inability to find a job repairs an abandoned recreational pool hall in hopes of starting Philadelphia's first African-American swim team in this inspirational drama that takes its cue from the true-life story of charismatic 1970s-era schoolteacher Jim Ellis. The year is 1973 and the job market is tight. Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) may have a college diploma, but despite his education he still can't seem to find a job. An



Michael Gozzard, Kevin Michael Smith

Jun 26, 2007


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All Critics (110) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (59) | DVD (6)

Director Sunu Gonera does a nice job with the swim meet scenes, and the cast of mostly unknown younger actors is extremely likable.

March 26, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not so much formulaic as elemental, this campy, would-be-inspirational jock weepy scrapes the barrel for life-lesson-imparting sports to exploit.

March 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pride is a fairly predictable entry in the highly predictable inspirational sports drama genre. But the movie is saved by the earnest, believable performance of Terrence Howard and by Bernie Mac in a more serious role than usual.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It really has nothing to be proud of but a central performance much better than the movie itself deserves. It's time for Terrence Howard to appear in a movie that rises to his level.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Terrence Howard's unforced charisma did a lot for Crash and Hustle & Flow, and he's the chief reason Pride is worth catching.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That Pride ultimately gets to you is more of a surprise than the outcome because it's not very well-constructed.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's another kinda, sorta based on a true story, inspirational sports film in the vein of any given Bruckheimer sports film.

April 25, 2011 Full Review Source:

Maybe because it focused on swimming, and didn't really capture the drama of the sport, it came off like a TV movie. It even borrowed from Dead Poets Society with an 'Oh Captain, My Captain' moment.

March 3, 2008 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

Feel-good swimming flick takes on racism.

October 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Howard anchors the film with a charismatic turn. He doesn't turn Ellis into a plaster saint but portrays a complex and complicated man.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

A movie that deserves to succeed, but falls just short because it shows us much more than it teaches us.

July 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

...undone by its reliance on exceedingly conventional elements.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Despite its shortcomings, Pride proves to be an effective feel-good sports drama.

June 25, 2007 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Directed by Zimbabwean-born Sunu Gonera, who seems fascinated with 1970s American 'ghetto' atmosphere; he overdoses viewers on afros, hoop earrings and graffiti, which at least keeps the movie watchable.

June 19, 2007
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The plot plays out as predictably as anyone might expect, but the fine details keep Pride squarely above average.

April 5, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Bodies are framed and lit to be seen. In a movie where characters appear in dimly lit interiors or near light-reflecting chlorine-blue pools, this is no small thing.

April 1, 2007 Full Review Source: PopMatters

While Terrence Howard is subdued in the role of Coach Ellis throughout much of the film, Bernie Mac provides a much needed lift especially early on.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

This is an inspirational movie that really touches the heart.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Pride's story was etched in stone ages ago by mysterious movie powers beyond our understanding, and all the Staples Singers' songs in the world won't keep it from its appointed rounds.

March 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

By painting in such broad strokes and playing up race-baiting that Ellis says he didn't experience, are they not couching the movie as somehow uniquely "black"?

March 28, 2007 Full Review Source:

I have seen Pride now too many times without actually seeing it.

March 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Swimming isn't exactly the most cinematic of sports and unfortunately the script gets waterlogged well before the big finale.

March 26, 2007

Been there done that.

March 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Greenwich Village Gazette
Greenwich Village Gazette

Well-intentioned, at best, regrettably, this fairly formulaic, Philly sports flick doesn't show enough brotherly love for anyone to be proud of it.

March 25, 2007 Full Review Source:

Sure it's predictable, but its virtues include its originality of theme (how often do we see films of African-American swim teens?) and a sharp performance by Terrence Howard

March 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Compuserve

Audience Reviews for Pride

I really like Terrence Howard, and this movie was pretty good. Despite being super-sweet (to the point of saccharine), and being emotionally heavy-handed, I still had tears well in my eyes from time to time. While not overtly racist, this film was subtly racist. In the entire film there was only one positive white character, and he was only shown briefly at the beginning. Many of the white characters were blatantly, and ridiculously evil. BUT..I understood the meaning of the movie, and I did enjoy it.
April 18, 2011

Super Reviewer

Swim films make good pick me up films with a very sporting motif underlying the movie pitch. Slightly let down in the fact that it was about this, haha, but still 4 stars for being good.
June 22, 2008

Super Reviewer

[size=3]"Pride" is one of those simple, conventional but uplifting movies about at-risk youth defying the odds and learning to believe in themselves.[/size]


[size=3]The film is set in 1974 Philadelphia in the heart of what is often called the "inner city." [I, by the way, live in the "inner city" -- Washington Heights, NYC -- aka "the ghetto."] The neighborhood is falling down around the people who can't afford to leave. Destitution and drugs are everywhere. It's a struggle for teenagers to escape the clutches of the local drug lords, who are the only people offering well-paying jobs.[/size]


[size=3]As usual in this genre, there's a saintly adult who teaches the kids to dream big, and as usual there's some kind of hobby in which they immerse themselves. In this case it's something that is especially counter to the inner-city lifestyle: swimming. There are few sports as white as swimming.[/size]

[size=3]The role of the encouraging adult is here played by [b]Terrence Howard[/b], the man who gave "Hustle & Flow" and "Crash" such remarkable soul. Unfortunately Howard here stays on the straight and narrow. He stays tightly within the conventions of this genre.[/size]

[size=3]The same goes for [b]Bernie Mac[/b], who acts against type by not cracking jokes but who also stays firmly within the conventions. I'm disappointed that first-time director [b]Sunu Gonera [/b]kept his actors in such check. This is not an auspicious directorial debut.[/size]

[size=3]Along with the story of the teenagers, there is the saga of the local Recreation Center, which was allowed to fall apart just like everything else in the neighborhood. As the kids are building their swimming skills, they're also working to breathe new life into the downtown Rec Center, hoping that the city will start funding it again. I'll let you guess as to whether they succeed.[/size]


[size=3]What would have been great is more complex story-writing about the Howard and Mac characters. All we get here is that their lives were hemmed in by racism. Of course that should be part of the story, but it's just about all we learn about these men. The same goes for the boys in the story. We never really get into these boys' hearts. Lord knows that black kids aren't only faced with battles against racists and drug lords. There's a lot more going on in the ghetto than that.[/size]

[size=3]But as predictable and platitudinous as the story was, I was still moved. I cried during the film a number of times. You'd have to be made of stone not to. I still enjoy seeing movies about Black and Latin kids resisting the forces that be. And it's also still important to nurture filmmaking about Black experiences, even when the output isn't stellar. Ghetto kids who see this film will be moved; there's no doubt about it. That's worth a lot more than an artistic masterpiece, at least on certain levels.[/size]

August 16, 2007
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Pride (2007) (DE)
  • Pride (2007) (UK)
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