Necessary Roughness

Critics Consensus

This likeable, goofy football comedy has its moments, but it ultimately adheres too closely to the sports movie playbook to overcome the cliches in the script.

33%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 30

46%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,518

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Movie Info

Tasked with overhauling a university football team that was dismantled for breaking collegiate rules, coaches Wally Riggendorf (Robert Loggia) and Ed Gennero (Héctor Elizondo) pick unusual new players like junior professor Andre Krimm (Sinbad) and 30-something quarterback Paul Blake (Scott Bakula). As Paul courts professor Suzanne Carter (Harley Jane Kozak), the team struggles until the arrival of a female placekicker, who bolsters the squad as it gets ready to challenge its big rival.

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Critic Reviews for Necessary Roughness

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (20)

  • For every sharp one-liner about a pampered college football team that's "so corrupt it could use its yearbook photos as mug shots," there's a brain-numbing plot development that's straight out of a desperate sitcom.

    January 24, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The film itself is a genial, slight, entirely predictable football comedy, but it serves Bakula well.

    January 24, 2014 | Full Review…
  • As they say in football, pass.

    January 24, 2014 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The shameless commercialism and hypocrisy of big-time college football is a target as inviting as a receiver wide open in the end zone. But the muddled huddle that is Necessary Roughness is one long fumble strewn with offensive lines.

    January 24, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • An amiable comedy.

    January 24, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • This gridiron comedy piles up cliches the way Notre Dame racks up yardage, with an option-variety screenplay that promiscuously pitches the story in multiple directions.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Necessary Roughness

  • Apr 23, 2012
    Necessary Roughness is a mildly entertaining comedy. This is not the type of film that is hysterically funny, but more mildly funny. There are a few chuckles here and there, but never anything hilarious. There's a decent cast here and they make the film work well. Though not a great comedy, Necessary Roughness is far from the worst. For the most part, I enjoyed the film, though it was a fairly decent film, and a decent attempt at a football comedy. I thought that the film was lots of fun despite the fact that it didn't have any memorable funny moments. This is purely a mindless film to watch. The film has nothing really hilarious, but it definitely is fun to watch. The film does have amusing bits here and there, and though it has been regarded as one of the worst sports comedies in the history of sports, I don't believe that to be true. I considering the film Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice to be the worst film, and not Necessary Roughness. This film does have plenty effective, fun moments to make it an enjoyable film. However they could have done a better job as well. The script could have gone through a rewrite to boost up the decent comedic elements. This a mindless decent comedy with a few decent laughs throughout. Although not the best sports comedy, this is far from the worst. Although I enjoyed this film, I think that best Football comedy has yet to be made. For what it is, Necessary Roughness is mindless fun despite its flaws.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2007
    So...is this an episode of 'Quantum Leap' following the constant adventures of 'Sam Beckett'?. No?! well it sure as hell seems like it as the ever cuddly Scott Bakula portrays the same character he's always ever portrayed with the exact same haircut too...geez dude!. So lets not beat around the bush here, this is the late in the day 'Major League' clone that shamelessly rips every cliched idea from that film whilst attempting to look all innocent by turning it into a college football flick. The plot is different of course, but end of the day it still involves a coach and his assistant trying to muster together a half decent team which ultimately ends up being a bunch of misfits, freaks, girls and Scott Bakula. From there on we get all the regular sports cliches and predictable fluff such as the team losing all the time, losing faith in their coach, a soppy romance, a rival team of assholes, the resurgence of the team and one man behind the scenes taking joy in the teams failure and trying to amplify it. I think the problem with this film other than the fact its a lame clone, is they simply haven't created any fun characters to follow or care about. As I've already said Bakula plays the same character he always does, then you have a bloke who thinks he's a samurai warrior, the nerdy guy with specs, a huge Samoan guy, an Aussie?! (why would an Aussie be there?), a black guy who can't catch, a ex-military obsessed bloke, a female kicker and finally the hilarious comedian Sinbad...add sarcastic quips here. There are of course other faceless jock meathead players also. Hell to even make sure they copied every single aspect of 'Major League' they even have a light-hearted announcer for the games...and its Rob Schneider! oh the quality. I really shouldn't keep going on about the similarities but its impossible not too! just look at the films poster, its identical in every way! unbelievable!. The only big change in this film is the team doesn't actually win any league or championship in the end, they lose a load, tie a game and their final game of the season they manage to beat the top team but that's it. They presumably still end up near the bottom of their group or league, so we don't get the obligatory montage of wins when they turn their game around. What we do get is a sickly bit of crap when their coach goes into hospital of a suspected heart attack just in time for the final big game against the top team. We then get a vomit inducing scene where second in command Loggia tells the team to go and win it for the coach, possibly his last wish on Earth. Personally I thought this was all a set up to get the team to play well, or at least Loggia's character was exaggerating the illness and the coaches last words on purpose. Nope it was all for real, the illness isn't as bad as suspected, but the shitty cliched corny attempt at a rousing emotional scene was indeed for real. This really is a prime example of an early 90's straight to the videoshop piece of turd trying to leech off the success of another earlier franchise. There are literately no redeeming features anywhere I can think of, its not funny, its not cheeky or rude as suggested by the poster, you have no interest in any characters, even the game sequences aren't very good or exciting...its just poorly made trash that didn't need to be made.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2007
    A fairly run of the mill sports movie with all the cliches in place, but Bakula and Elizondo are always very likeable.
    xGary X Super Reviewer
  • Jan 22, 2007
    pretty good flick, kathy ireland in her prime
    danny d Super Reviewer

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