Coach Carter

Critics Consensus

Even though it's based on a true story, Coach Carter is pretty formulaic stuff, but it's effective and energetic, thanks to a strong central performance from Samuel L. Jackson.

64%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 150

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 406,744

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Movie Info

In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball team into shape. With tough rules and academic discipline, he succeeds in setting the players on a winning streak. But when their grades start to suffer, Carter locks them out of the gym and shuts down their championship season. When he is criticized by the players and their parents, he sticks to his guns, determined that they excel in class as well as on the court.

Cast & Crew

Samuel L. Jackson
Coach Ken Carter
Robert Ri'chard
Damien Carter
Rob Brown
Kenyon Stone
Nana Gbewonyo
Junior Battle
Mark Schwahn
Screenwriter
Carlos Barbosa
Production Designer
Thomas Carter
Executive Producer
Sharone Meir
Cinematographer
Peter Berger
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Coach Carter

Critic Reviews for Coach Carter

All Critics (150) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (96) | Rotten (54)

  • This is supposed to be about setting high standards, yet it's full of fudged ultimatums; in the end I couldn't be sure whether its morality was complex or just confused.

    March 25, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Samuel L. Jackson shouts, yells, bellows, and screams his way through the fact-inspired film

    October 6, 2006 | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Although this is an inspirational genre pic that pushes all the requisite buttons throughout, you can(TM)t help but feel that rather than benching the team, director Thomas Carter should have benched a few of those ham-fisted sporting clich (C)s instead.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Chris Tilly

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Saved by bursts of energy and inventiveness.

    July 5, 2005
  • Over long and deeply manipulative, Coach Carter should nonetheless be praised for its far-from-fashionable celebration of personal advancement through academic achievement.

    February 8, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Carter gives every sports-drama cliche a chance to play. No bad idea is benched.

    January 27, 2005 | Rating: 1.5/4

Audience Reviews for Coach Carter

  • Aug 05, 2013
    It's a cliche storyline, but it's captivating, heartfelt and inspirational to some degree. Coach Carter is great blend of basketball and drama and coming-of-age. Lead by the charismatic Samuel L. Jackson, the film's young cast and fluid chemistry makes it a slam dunk. 4.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2012
    First, I want to give credit where credit is due. "Coach Carter" benefits in large part from a strong, if very preachy, performance from Samuel L. Jackson, a movie star who takes his simmering discipline in Laurence Fishburne territory as a former All-American coaching at his alma mater and determined to produce upstanding, academically-sound young men on top of a good basketball team. However, the movie falls off a steep precipice after its star. The script, filled with every sports movie cliche there is, takes too long to bring about what is supposed to be an emotional payoff. There are too many scenes and subplots we don't care about, namely because the supporting characters (i.e. - the players and their families) are cut from too familiar a cloth to seem interesting. Rob Brown (from "Finding Forrester") is the strongest of that lackluster group, but he has little chemistry with pop star Ashanti, who gives a wooden performance as his supposedly headstrong girlfriend. It tries to be inspirational, but in the end perhaps it tries a little too hard. A close call but, as LeBron did with Cleveland, take a pass on "Coach Carter".
    Matt F Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2012
    Average sports drama that is predictable, Coach Carter doesn't do anything new or original. I felt that Coach Carter though good, was nothing great, and it was nothing new to the sports genre. The film is the same old, predictable formula. Everything you'd expect happens, despite this; the film manages to be good entertainment. However, the fact that the sports drama genre seems to be comprised of the same old ideas, is a tad annoying. There are good performances here, nothing ever great, but for what it is, it's pretty entertaining. Coach Carter is no different than every other sports drama, and relies on the usual plot elements that you'd expect. The film is average, and if you've seen plenty of sports dramas, its pretty predictable. Nonetheless I liked the film The cast did a good job here, and it had a good plot despite the fact that it's nothing really new. This film will appeal to sports film fans. Coach Carter is entertaining, but like I said, it's the same old tired formula, luckily the cast keeps this film entertaining and watchable. The film relies on cliches but overall it remains constantly dramatic and entertaining like every other sports drama. A good cast, and good plot keeps this film rolling and fun.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    Another great basketball movie. Samuel L. Jackson and the teenagers are great, really believable. The plot was okay, predictable and cliche at times, but it had very good moments. In the end, Coach Carter is a great movie, but a lot of cliche moments and the Hoosiers feel keep it from being perfect.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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