Believe in Me (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Believe in Me (2007)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Director/screenwriter Robert Collector adapts Newberry Award-winning author Harold Keith's fact-based tale about a 1960s-era girl's basketball coach who inspired his athletes to believe in themselves and always strive to reach their greatest potential. Clayton Driscoll was an assistant boy's basketball coach when he accepted his first official coaching assignment in the tiny, backwater Oklahoma town of Middleton. An urbanite whose devoted wife Jean is wholly supportive of the move, Clayton hopes that the peace of the country will give the couple the opportunity to start a family. Upon discovering that the team he is set to coach is a girl's team, however, Clayton's enthusiasm immediately sours. In the mid 1960s, in the middle of nowhere, girl's athletics could barely qualify as an afterthought to sports fans. The Middleton Lady Cyclones in particular, were an unmitigated laughing stock. Though Clayton is at first flushed by the ineptitude of his young players, his dubiety is soon tempered by the remarkable character displayed by the girls who want nothing more than to shine in the eyes of their coach. Upon recognizing the decency and resiliency displayed by his tough-minded team, Clayton gives the girls permission to become as passionate about the game as any boy would be. But not everyone in Middleton is so eager to see these young women behaving as aggressively and competitively as their male counterparts, and as Clayton liberates the girls in an attempt to take the state championships and in the process finds himself emancipated by his love for the team, town rainmaker Ellis Brawley launches a bitter campaign to bring about the progressive-minded coach's downfall.

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Jeffrey Donovan
as Clay Driscoll
Samantha Mathis
as Jean Driscoll
Bruce Dern
as Ellis Brawley
Bob Gunton
as Hugh Moreland
Heather Matarazzo
as Cindy Butts
Alicia Lagano
as Frances Bonner
Diana Taurasi
as Coach of O'Keene Team
Ryil Adamson
as Myerson
Pamela Atherton
as Ruth Selman
Kristin Brye
as Pat Thompson
Paula Criss
as Mrs. Blair
Camilla DeRamus
as Mrs. Johnson
Jamie Dickerson
as Liz Blair
Sean Dugan
as The Heckler
Chris Ellis
as Jim Stovall
Brandi Engel
as Candy Brown
Chelsea Grear
as Melba Johnson
Hailey Grimes
as Susan Grove
Kit Gwin
as Dorothy Thompson
Doris Hargrave
as Miss Rogers
James E. Holloway
as Frank Thompson
Anne Judson-Yager
as Ginger Selman
Jodi Kibbe
as Dorothy Crossett
Marta McGonagle
as Sadie York
Dan Moseley
as Sheriff Blessingame
Michele Nordin
as Helen Burnsides
Ed Pennybacker
as Dr. Coffee
Diane Perella
as Mrs. Grove
Dorsey Ray
as Preacher Bonner
Robyn Reede
as Lucille Shumard
Kerbey Smith
as Portia Stovall
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Critic Reviews for Believe in Me

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

What the inspirational sports drama Believe in Me might lack in freshness, it nicely compensates for in heartfelt, winning conviction and spirited performances.

October 30, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

It may be formulaic, but has enough heart to be a winner,"

March 14, 2009 | Full Review…
Urban Cinefile

Sweet, feel-good sports flick is girl-powered.

October 31, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Common Sense Media

While it's not a classic high school basketball film such as Hoosiers (1986), Believe In Me tugs at the heartstrings with vigor.

March 23, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
San Antonio Express-News

Collector can't resist a few cloying, motivational speeches from time to time, but overall, he comes in nicely under the radar.

March 22, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Combustible Celluloid

Inspiration in Believe in Me comes early and often, and writer/director Collector never misses an opportunity for a heartfelt locker-room speech or joyful practice-session musical montage to tug at viewers' heartstrings.

March 17, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Believe in Me


What a good movie. I have always loved a movie that we can cheer for the underdog, and be really happy for how things turn out. Jeffrey Donovan is wonderful in this.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


In "Believe in Me," it is 1964 and Clay Driscoll(Jeffrey Donovan) and his wife Jean(Samantha Mathis) are moving to Middleton in western Oklahoma where he has been hired for his first head coaching job for the local high school basketball team. He is angry when he finds out that it is the girls' basketball team, not the boys'. He calms down somewhat when he reads the fine print on the contract and finds gender is not specified. At the first practice, most of the girls quit, leaving the team shorthanded and they get off to an awful start. The team improves somewhat over the rest of the season, but they still only end up with six wins. That does not do anything for Clay's job prospects as the best he can do is an assistant job in another city with a shot at the head coaching job in a few years' time. Inspired by a true story, "Believe in Me" is an entertaining and sweet, not saccharine, movie that does admittedly overstep on a couple of occasions. And the ending of the climactic game is highly unlikely to say the least, but weirder things have happened, right? However, the movie is smart enough to bring up the occasional bit of strategy. Not only does the movie capture a time and place very well, it also subtly displays the first signs of the egalitarian nature of the 60's. All of the girls are given a chance to play based on ability, not status, and Clay is a part of the community, not above it. But this is only the beginning and change like the improved play of the team does not happen overnight. For example, 1964 may be the start of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, but it will not be until 1972 that Title IX is passed by Congress.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Heartfelt, winning conviction and spirited performances. This is the next true story of the basketball coach in the 1960s, since Glory Road, who coached the girls' sport is really emotional and encourage to support and share of the dream in a school team. Jeffrey Donovan does a magnificent performance as girls' basketball coach. In the scene of the pre-final girls basketball champion dinner table, the players gave their coach a special gift and presented him what they believed in him - that gave me some tears.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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