• PG-13, 1 hr. 44 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    James C. Strouse
    In Theaters:
    Sep 3, 2010 Limited
    On DVD:
    Nov 23, 2010
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The Winning Season Reviews

Page 1 of 7

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2012
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.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

December 16, 2011
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.

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2011
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?

Super Reviewer

December 19, 2010
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."

Super Reviewer

July 9, 2011
The Winning Season is a Bad News Bears rip off in every way. A coach who has past experience in the sport but never fulfilled his potential takes over a terrible team. He's a drunk and doesn't really care about the team at first. But throughout the season he starts to and his team begins to win, while he tries to forge a relationship with his daughter. The negatives of this movie are that it's cliche, predictable, and poorly acted by a few of the young girls.

With everything I just said in mind, I still didn't hate this movie. I actually liked it.... I think. Sam Rockwell is good in everything he does and this in no exception. I'm also a Rob Coddry fan and even though he doesn't have a big role, his presence alone helped the movie. I'm also beginning to like Emma Roberts, although I don't find her acting to be great. She has a really likable way about her.

Not a great movie or probably even good one, but it's entertaining and it does have some heart.

Super Reviewer

February 5, 2009
"It took a bunch of girls to make him man up."

A comedy centered on a has-been coach who is given a shot at redemption when he's asked to run his local high school's girls basketball team.

At least The Winning Season knows that the whole down-on-his-luck coach and group of misfit girls basketball team who learn about life and winning together type of story has been done before. They did unfortunately follow the exact same formula, but with a hint of whimsy and self-awareness, it's above average for the genre. Emma Roberts and the other girls comprising the team actually come across as real teenage girls. I found them cute and funny. As a big fan of Sam Rockwell, 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.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

July 25, 2011
Rockwell turns this otherwise beaten-to-death-story into a memorable film full of several perfect moments including a nice balance between comedy and drama. Emma Roberts also shines in the midst of a no-name female cast.
June 30, 2012
Just another "coach saves the day" movie minus the inspiration and plus a bunch of stupid comedy. I watched about half an hour of this and couldn't put myself through any more of it. Don't waste your time.
October 27, 2011
This was a rip off version of the Bad News Bears. The plot was very similar from the drunk coach who doesn't seem to like his team, to the remarkable comeback. As much as I would like to believe it, this story just can't happen and is not made believable. I don't understand how a drunk can turn a team of five or six girls into a championship caliber team in just one season. This relationship with the players and the coach seems to magically come together and there is very little back story on Bill and his marriage which occasionally made parts of the movie confusing. A decent performance by all, but certainly does not surpass any expectations.
August 31, 2010
This is a nice heart-warming movie about a girl's basketball team and their alcoholic coach overcoming many adversities. They may have a winning season, but it isn't the usual cliched ending this time around. Rockwell was hilarious as he played the school mascot to sneak his way in to the girl's final game.
September 2, 2014
Cliché but charming.
February 27, 2014
Starts off great and everything, but then it starts to promote gay rights in high school.
February 5, 2014
shet in not se enithing
February 4, 2014
witty and alert, would see it again
October 2, 2013
I needed a net-fix so I gave Winning Season a try solely because of Sam Rockwell. I was fully prepared for the movie to be a blatant Bad News Bears Rip off so when it started out that way I didn't pay any attention. Surprisingly, The movie comes into its own fairly quickly and though Rockwell is certainly the strength of the film I found myself pretty interested and actually enjoying the movie.

Sam Rockwell is readily introduced as a drunk who works nights as a busboy. He is quickly reconnected to a former classmate/athlete who runs their Alma Mater and is desperate to find a new coach for the girls basketball team. So, he takes the job, but hates it and doesn't take the girls seriously. Meanwhile, his daughter who plays basketball for another school, hates him. So, the story pretty much writes itself after that, except watching Rockwell's tenacity as a coach and his teams dedication to him even after he gets fired is really something, and the overall turnaround for the character and a well executed ending make it a worthy view.

First of all, I do give it full marks for story. It could have very easily been a rehash of the same old sports movie routine and while it still had those common elements, its individuality outshines its derivative genre aspects. That combined with Sam Rockwell holding it down in the lead really makes the movie worth watching.

It's not perfect. a lot of the acting from the girls is corny and forced. Not great dialogue may be a factor, but the performances at times are reality-show-awkward. The story is not particularly clever, but original enough to not just re-watch Coach Carter, or something. Unless you want to have a battle of the Sams. (Nick Fury against Justin Hammer?) Thankfully, it's not so overwhelmingly awful that the really entertaining parts can't be enjoyed and overall I give it a solid B.
September 18, 2013
typical "okay" movie. predictable and forgettable but sweet with a likeable cast.
September 16, 2013
A little cheesy and sappy, but Rockwell delivers an amazing performance as usual.
August 31, 2010
Sam Rockwell is a great actor, will certainly see this
January 5, 2013
Automatically gets two stars for Mr. Rockwell.
November 25, 2012
why was this made? no one seemed too bothered and it will be quickly forgotten.
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