The Winning Season (2010)
Set in suburban Indiana, the film stars Rockwell as Bill Greaves, an adult misfit recruited by the local high school principal (Corddry) to coach the school's floundering girls' basketball team. Initially retreating from what appears to be a hopeless situation, Bill perseveres and manages to help the team and its captain (Roberts) ratchet up its competitive spirit, while the girls offer Bill a renewed life focus. THE WINNING SEASON also stars Shareeka Epps, Emily Rios and Margo Martindale.-- (C) Lionsgate … More
Related News & Features
Critics Consensus: Machete Is Trashy Fun
– Rotten Tomatoes
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Winning Season
In its final lap The Winning Season collapses into a sentimental farce that even Mr. Rockwell, now playing the clown, cannot redeem from cringe-inducing hokum.
Rockwell does a typically fine job -- he's funny, touching and appalling -- as an alcoholic mess of a former high school basketball coach who's been reduced to washing dishes in a restaurant.
The story deepens through the clownish, heartbreaking exertions of Rockwell's gruff misfit, still working things out at the final buzzer.
Forget AA; according to the movies, there's no better cure for alcoholism or depression than good ol' precollegiate athletic coaching.
The Winning Season respects its misfits (and its audience) by not stripping away their foibles in the service of sports-movie clichés.
Doesn't win points for originality, but the film keeps to a steady rhythm of entertainment, delivering a few laughs and tears along the way on DVD before it settles into its rightful home on basic cable.
Sam Rockwell's never-ending ability to create intriguing characters proves essential to writer/director James C. Strouse, whose formulaic tale of redemption for a washed up basketball coach would otherwise be instantly forgettable.
I want you to see this movie On Demand to witness the most underrated actor in all of the world, Sam Rockwell. That way, he won't have to make another movie like this ever again.
"The Winning Season" teeters hither and thither on its tonal seesaw, never quite sure where its going and often forgetful of where it's been.
Rockwell charms us into giving the film the benefit of our many doubts.
A shaggy underdog worth seeking out, primarily for [Sam] Rockwell's sensational performance.
A mildly entertaining sports flick about a girl's basketball team and a chauvinistic coach who knows a lot about the game.
Aims for both the heatstring-tugging power of sports classics like Hoosiers and the kind of gritty indie drama you might normally see Rockwell in, but falls well short of both.
A film that feels fresh and insightful in a generally pretty played out genre.
Considering its status as merely a puddle of regurgitated elements, The Winning Season is, to be as coarse as its protagonist, the cinematic equivalent of vomit.
A welcome surprise...Rockwell gives a performance that's always funny, never sentimental...this one is worth finding.
As the film progresses, its identity crisis becomes increasingly evident as standard indie tropes are interrupted by cackhanded attempts at comedy of the broadest type.
Audience Reviews for The Winning Season
Sam Rockwell and Margo Martindale are excellent but the film is an ordinary impowerment story that's been done a million times. It does have a positive message about being true to who you really are though. Not a bad film but very average.More
I didnt expect to like this movie. The start was a little slow, and I wasn't sure how well put together this movie was going to be. Before too long, however, I was all on board! Very dry, quirky, understated humor here, which seems to be Sam Rockwell's forte, and I love that. The girls were fantastic. Just an all round fun Independent film.More
It took a bunch of girls to make him man up.
Great Film! This is not a bad film at all, It was shockingly impressive and good. Sam Rockwell was so hilarious and into his role, he's a very talented actor. He seems to be the reason why this film is pretty good. He's basically a drunken asshole, very unlikable, but he completely draws you in so there's a real emotional connection for the dramatic elements. And as he has demonstrated before, his physical comedy antics are perfect making the comedy scenes pretty funny. "The Winning Season" has been done many times before, but here they managed to do it without being cheesy, while providing quality scenes of drama and comedy. If you like the genre, it is certainly worth a look. Highly recommended!
In a Hoosier town, boys' basketball is king. Bill is a former athlete and high-school coach who drinks too much, rarely sees his daughter from an old marriage, and busses tables at a local cafe. A friend who's now a principal offers him a job coaching girls; Bill takes it without much spirit. Six come to practice; one has a broken foot. They're awful in their first game, and Bill has to figure out, with help from Donna, the school's burly bus driver, if he actually can coach girls. They respond, and Bill suddenly has a family of sorts, just as his own relationship with his daughter worsens. With a winning season in reach, will Bill blow this chance?
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts, Margo Martindale, Rob Corddry, Jessica Hecht, Shana Dowdeswell, Shareeka Epps, Meaghan Witri, Emily Rios, Melanie Hinkle
Director: James C. Strouse
Summary: Searching for a coach for his hapless girls' basketball team, school principal Terry (Rob Corddry) turns to his friend, Bill (Sam Rockwell), a divorced, drunken dishwasher who isn't even involved in his own daughter's life. But Bill's life changes as he bonds with the team. He develops a special connection with team captain Abbie (Emma Roberts), and while the girls start winning, Bill and his players still have a lot to overcome off the court.
My Thoughts: "This is a great dark quirky comedy. I really enjoyed the relationships the girls formed together. How in the end, they had each other's backs and created a sisterhood. It's kind of like a basketball version of "Bad News Bears". Sam Rockwell did a great job as Bill. He started off as an asshole but ended being a great male figure for these girls that he hadn't been for his own daughter. They taught each other a great deal in the movie and it is a great inspirational story. All the girls were great in the film. A good film to see with your teenagers."
The Winning Season Quotes
- Listen, you know, kids are stupid.
- Yeah, but it's not just the kids.
- Well, you know, people are stupid. lt starts in childhood and then continues all the way to death.
Discuss The Winning Season on our Movie forum!