Slap Shot - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Slap Shot Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 3, 2012
A sports movie? Well partially so, but besides being a fun- loving cultural memento of its time Hill's film is a pointed social commentary on the huge insatiable public demand for extravagant sensationalism. The sports part of it hardly registers at all. Newman anchors the proceedings quite nicely and, of course, the dreadnought Hanson Brothers.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2007
Easily as fun as a barrel full of monkeys.
Super Reviewer
½ August 28, 2011
For me, sports movies are okay. Like all genres, they have their good ones, and their bad ones. Who would have thought that one of the best sports movies is actually an anti-sports movie? This film is this one- a nice little gem from the 70s that really exemplifies the zeitgeist of the era with it's crude language, bloody fighting, and general boorish nasty edge and nature.

The plot concerns a washed up veteran hockey and coach (who's not really good at either) who tries to take his awful, struggling minor league team and turn them around into popular winners, which he starts to do once he discovers that the audience reacts positively to goonish behavior. He's a fascinating guy to watch because the skills he lacks as a player and coach are made up for by the fact that he's a skilled con man who is good at manipulating people, especially other players.

Their team, the Charlestown Chiefs, is not the only one struggling. Besides looking at sports, the film also touches upon the current events of the time by addressing the dire situation of late 1970s industrial towns in the Northeast. The local mill is on the verge of closing, and, should that happen, the hockey team is likely to go too. This little detail is something I appreciated because it adds more to the film, but also helps cement it as a cultural timepiece, giving insight into what the world was like at that time.

So yeah, the film is dated to an extent, and the vulgarity and rawness of things aren't quite as shocking, but I still found the film fresh and eye opening because of the content. This film is undeniably a product of the 70s, and I think it's all the better as a result.

The cast are great. Paul Newman reunites with George Roy Hill (this time without Redford) and he is awesome as coach/player Reggie Dunlop. The guy is a mess, but yet, despite his attitude and actions (and the attitudes and actions of his team), you can't help but like these guys and root for them, even though you should feel otherwise. Supporting him are Strother Martin, Michael Ontkean, and tons of actual pro and minor leaguers.

Give this one a shot. It's entertaining, funny (though I don't think it was supposed to be a comedy), has wonderful music, and is a great look at the wild side of sports.
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2011
Slap Shot is one of the greatest sports comedies ever made. Starring Paul Newman in the role of Reggie Dunlop, Captain of the Charlestown Chiefs, this film set the standard for every other sports comedy that came after it. The film is full of memorable, hilarious scenes. After dwindling ticket sales, the Chiefs take on three goons by the names of the Hansons. After a while they start wining and become a household name. Slap Shot is a very memorable film because of the Hansons and all the other assorted crazy characters on the team. Slap Shot is definitely one of the genres great classics. The reason that Slap Shot has struck such a cord with fans of hockey and other audiences is because of the Hanson Brothers, I mean with every scene there in they deliver the laughs and a great time. The characters are all terrific. Aside from the Hansons a character I really like is "Killer" Carson. One scene that stands out for me is when Reggie tries to settle down for a nap and Killer calls Reggie up and says he wants the 100$ bounty that Reggie placed on an opposing players head. I personally thought it was a funny scene and one of the best of the film. Slap Shot is one of the best comedies that you can watch with friends, this film did for hockey fans what Animal House did for college students. One of the best in sports comedies, this is in a league of it's own. A well acted, hilarious ride with Reggie Dunlop, "Killer" Carson and The Hanson Brothers, Slap Shot will bring on the laughs.
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2011
Filthy, foul, and completely of the bend, this is an absolutely hysterical movie. Most people call it the best sports movie ever made, and while I can see why, I don't really agree. To me, it's not really about the hockey in this movie. The hockey is the backdrop and the characters, situations, and the over-the-top comic antics are all the stars of the film. I also love Paul Newman in this. He's always great but he really shines here. This is one of those great late night movies you can watch after a long day to have a few laughs and get your mind off of things for a while. Love it.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2008
A riot. Even if Hockey has never been my sport, I think this is the kind of movie that after a while you start to think about the characters as your buddies.
Nevermind the level of sarcasm, senseless violence and gutter language. It says more about the men in the rink, their issues and their needs, than the typical, preachy and over-sentimental hollywood crap.
Super Reviewer
½ April 30, 2007
Slap Shot is a hilarious and vulgar relic that will forever commemorate the decline of hockey during the reign of the Broad Street Bullies in the mid-70s, when the goon-laced Philadelphia Flyers were winning Stanley Cups with the afro-ed Bobby Clarke - parodied in this film as Ogie Oglethorpe - front and centre.

A somewhat disturbing dark comedy conjuring up some of Robert Altman's best work in its first 90 minutes, the ending leaves a lot to be desired. It makes a great point about hockey, but I really wanted the sports formula. Good performance by Paul Newman, and a piece of hockey lore worldwide, this is an offbeat movie that, even with its flaws, can be watched again and again.
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2008
This is the best sport comedy of the 1970s I ever saw and also the best Paul Newman movie of the year. This is very funny, marvelously acted movie. Lots of hilarious with Hanson Brothers on the ice hockey. I love it!
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2007
This is certainly not hilarious but it does hit the right buttons once in a while. The problem with the film is that, after gleefully catering to the bloodthirsty section of the audience for most of its running time, it then hypocritically back-pedals and preaches that violence in sport is disgraceful. Lindsay Crouse makes the most of her underwritten role as a disgruntled wife. Overlong and over-vulgar.
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2007
Reggie Dunlop: I am personally placing a hundred-dollar bounty on the head of Tim McCracken. He's the head coach and chief punk on that Syracuse team.
Jim Carr: A bounty?
Reggie Dunlop: Yeah, a hundred bucks of my own money for the first of my guys who really nails that creep.

Now here's a movie about fun. Paul Newman and his friend and director George Roy Hill combine forces again to make a great, fun, vulger sports comedy about Hockey.

This movie is R for a reason. All the players talk like real men, hockey men, they swear, curse, and shout obsinities. They are hard core.

The movie surrounds the minor-leage team, the Charelston Chiefs and how they suck, but don't want to stop playing. When the team learns that it may be their last season or they may be sold, new players are acquired.

This introduces the Hanson Brothers, a vicious mob of three players who destroy everyone in the rink, and the movie just gets funnier.

This is a funny movie, that's not afraid to ...pull punches.

McGrath: Good crowd out there tonight, boys, let's really try to win this one.
Ned Braden: You have to hand it to the old bastard, he's highly original.
Jim Ahern: That man traveled 15 hours by bus to say that?
Super Reviewer
½ March 27, 2007
Sports comedy that oozes kitsch and grim violence in a way only the 70s could combine. Imagine The Mighty Ducks crossed with A Clockwork Orange. If you can...
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2006
A bit overrated but it's still funny. Especially Newman's wardrobe.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2011
I watched this film with little knowledge of it and little enthusiasm about it. It didn't help that the film suffers from virtually no development, lack of engagement, slowness, periodic editing faults, a bit of a repetative soundtrack, unlikeable characters, crudeness, a moderate lack of plot and a cop-out ending. Still, the generally effective humor and other pros leave "Slap Shot" to be a reasonably entertaining, but still underwhelming and rather forgettable filler film.
Super Reviewer
½ April 18, 2010
1970's sports film with Paul Newman playing the down and dirty captain or a down and dirty team. Lots of blood and cussing. Not sure about the plot.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2006
This film has become beloved my both Canadians and hockey fans. I am a Canadian and a hockey fan ... yet for the life of me, I just cannot bring myself to enjoy it.

Slapshot is nothing more than another Cinderella-story sports film. The film is a comedy, yet I barely laughed. The Hanson brothers were somewhat humorous, but I can't get behind the cult following they've spurned. Please don't take away my citizenship for saying this, but I think a large reason this film has garnered any sort of following is simply due to it being a Canadian comedy about hockey.
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2007
This is the anti "sports movie" that goes where others don't dare, others that have a crap, unruly team learning to be professional. This sticks two fingers up at those movies.
There's a great soundtrack too, Newman on top form and a terrific pace and energy that keeps the film moving at full steam.
A sports movie for people who are sick of sports movies.
Super Reviewer
August 14, 2008
Great movie. Very entertaining tale about a bankrupt ice hockey team, With plenty of great characters and memorable moments, Slap Shot is worth looking out for.
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2009
One of the things I find most tiring about the sports movie genre is their tendency to take their subject too seriously often leading to cheesy moralizing. That?s not a problem at all with Slap Shot, in fact it?s probably the most gleefully amoral sports film ever made.

The story follows a minor league hockey team who?s so bad that their team is about to fold. There?s a small hope that they?ll be sold to Florida if they can turn their season around. In order to start winning the team gets a novel idea: play dirty. They begin to play a violent variation of the sport, often prioritizing bloodshed over goal scoring. Consequently they begin filling the stands with screaming fans looking thrills not seen since the days of the Roman Coliseum.

A lot of sports movies would dabble in this kind of off color humor only to devolve right back into sanctimonious lessons about the importance of good sportsmanship. But not this movie, just when it looks like its going to do that it pulls the rug right out from under the audience and continues to celebrate these players for their sociopathic behavior. And that?s not the only genre convention it subverts; one assumed that Paul Newman (not the kind of guy you expect to see in a movie like this) would be the kind of veteran player who would go out of his way to uphold the values of the sport, but here he?s pretty much the first person to sell out. One expects the dorky brothers that are introduced into the movie to be plucky underdogs who drive themselves to save the team through hard work, but they really end up just being even more violent and stupid than everybody else. This is like the ?Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia? of sports movies. The crudeness isn?t only confined to the arena either. The scenes off the ice are just as off color, the dialogue here has Apatow-esque levels of profanity and political incorrectness, and this must have seemed incredibly vulgar back in 1977.

I doubt that the sporting scenes here are particularly realistic, I know next to nothing about Hockey but everything I?ve seen about it isn?t anywhere near as violent as this. The referees seem to have almost no power over the proceedings and the players are rarely punished for their obvious transgressions. Also, aren?t these people supposed to be wearing helmets? It doesn?t really matter though, because the over the top behavior kind of lends itself to a heightened, almost slapstick atmosphere. I also think there might be some more sophisticated satire below all the mayhem, its established that the town this team is in a dire situation because of a steel mill shutting down in the environment of the late seventies recession. The town?s destiny mirrors the team?s destiny at the hand of a greedy financier who chooses extra profit over the welfare of their employees. This treatment seems to fuel the blood thirsty players and crowd. I?m not going to call this a classy satire, but there?s something there to be found.
Super Reviewer
½ February 28, 2009
Not always successful but still better than 95% of all sports movies. Some very funny moments, many involving the incomparable Hanson brothers.
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2008
The greatest all time movie about hockey ever made, plus very funny.
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