Madison (2005)



Critic Consensus: A pedictable and heavy-handed sports drama.

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Based upon a true story, Madison is a father-son drama based on the highly publicized efforts in Madison, IN, during the hydroplane racing season of 1971. Jim McCormick (James Caviezel) has left behind his life of hydroplane boat racing to settle down and start a family and take a job as an air-conditioner repairman. Though he tries to embrace his new life, he still longs for his racing days, and the boat has become the town laughing stock. The town has also experienced harsh financial strain and the rich corporate sponsors of Jim's competitors have stolen the spotlight again and again. The town of Madison is suddenly asked to host the prestigious Gold Cup championship, and Jim cannot resist, though the town is far less supportive. Jim rallies the community for support in an attempt to bring the pride back to it, though his wife, Bonnie (Mary McCormack), is eager to move to the big city and out of the doldrums of Madison, and his son, Mike (Jake Lloyd), has become disillusioned with the idea of the boat races and watching the larger contenders win every time. But Jim stubbornly presses on and soon is permitted to play again with the big boys. The film also features veteran actors Bruce Dern, Brent Briscoe, and Paul Dooley.
PG (for some mild language and sports peril)
Drama , Sports & Fitness
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Written By:
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Jim Caviezel
as Jim McCormick
Bruce Dern
as Harry Volpi
Mary McCormack
as Bonnie McCormick
Jake Lloyd
as Mike McCormick
Paul Dooley
as Mayor Don Vaughn
Brent Briscoe
as Tony Steinhardt
Mark Fauser
as Travis
Reed Diamond
as Skip Naughton
Frank Knapp Jr
as Bobby Humphrey
Chelcie Ross
as Roger Epperson
Byrne Piven
as George Wallin
William Shockley
as Rick Winston
Richard Lee Jackson
as Buddy Johnson
Kristina Anapau
as Tami Johnson
Vincent Ventresca
as Walker Greif
Cody McMains
as Bobby Epperson
Jim Andelin
as Merle
Carl Amari
as Jake Merrill
Len Foley
as Bill Kittle
Dean Biasucci
as ABC Reporter
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Critic Reviews for Madison

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (16)

You've seen a movie that has the exact same scene after scene and the sport's just been different.

April 25, 2005
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

A touching, spirited family movie that, in the Rocky tradition, is about a sports challenge that represents the hopes and aspirations of characters with little reason to expect success.

April 22, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A stubbornly up-with-people schmaltzfest, it's the kind of corn that gives angst a good name.

April 22, 2005
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Madison brings us the news that miracles really can happen, and an apparent case of divine intervention is the only reason this artifact is being dumped into theaters.

April 22, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic

There isn't a scene, an action or a character that rings true, yet the narrative summary of the events that inspired it is a matter of record.

April 22, 2005
New York Daily News
Top Critic

What is it about Indiana that inspires movies about small-town dreamers who come from behind to win?

Full Review… | April 21, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Madison

Cliched but heartfelt film about a small town coming together to make a champion of the town and it's speedboat. Jim Caviezel gives a heartwarming performance as Jim McCormick the speedboat racer who overcomes his personal fear to lead his team and town to its first and only speedboat racing championship. Cliched at every turn yet Madison has enough heart to overlook all its shortcomings.

Jonathan Porras
Jonathan Porras

A fantastic film and one of the best sports file in years. Caviezel is phenomenal as Jim McCormick, and so is the rest of the cast. This film is severely unappreciated.

Hayden Larsen
Hayden Larsen

I liked it, not for its story, because I've seen the story a hundred times. No, I like it because of the way the story is told. A movie about hydroplane boat racing is a new one, but every single scene in the movie is one that you have seen in another sports movie. Yes, it's predictable, but the acting and the story-telling is what I like. Oh, and the great boat racing. The story is of the Madison Indiana boat racing team. Their boat, The Miss Madison is the laughing stock of the hydroplane racing world, but the guys who work on it put more effort into their boat than anyone else. Madison is suddenly given the chance to host the prestigious Gold Cup championship. The leader of The Miss Madison team, Jim McCormick, accepts. They must raise 50,000 dollars to host the event. Also, The Miss Madison is without a driver. Jim used to drive hydroplanes, until an accident forced him from the game. Now it is up to him the race for the team, and the town. Jim Caviezel stars as Jim McCormick. The movie was shot before the Passion of the Christ, but released after. It was shelved from 2001 to 2005. It really is a shame that Passion of the Christ kind of torpedoed Caviezel's career for a few years. He is a exceptional actor, and it's good to see him getting more projects lined up lately. Bruce Dern plays Harry Volpi, an old time mechanic who helps Jim and the team. It is a decent performance, nothing really of note. Mary McCormack plays Jim's wife Bonnie. She is actually very good, and she has some chemistry with Caviezel. Jake Lloyd, aka little Anakin Skywalker, plays Jim's son Mike. Wow, is he a bad actor. Maybe if he acted in the silent movie days, when over-the-top expressions where required, he would be good. Overall, it's all in the execution. The actual scenes of racing were well done. The acting was solid. But the story is completely formula. Still enjoyable. "Were in it to win it. Just like everybody else." 7/10

Seth S.
Seth S.

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