Critics Consensus

Though well-intentioned and serious in its exploration of teen violence, O is an uneven experiment that doesn't quite succeed.



Total Count: 125


Audience Score

User Ratings: 36,076
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O Photos

Movie Info

Deep in the American South, NBA hopeful Odin James is the only black student at an elite private school. Playing point guard, Odin is a basketball scout's dream, possessing the talent to go straight from high school to the pros. Odin not only enjoys widespread popularity with the students, he is dating the beautiful Desi Brable, daughter of Dean Brable. Odin's best friend, Hugo Goulding, is a starting forward on the basketball team and the son of Coach Duke Goulding. Hugo is bitterly envious of Odin and the attention he receives from the coach and everyone else. Placed in the role of Odin's confidante, Hugo is, in reality, seeking to destroy his friend. Striking at the very core of Odin's soul, Hugo convinces him that Desi is having an affair with another member of the basketball team, Michael Casio. As the basketball season comes to a dramatic finish, conflict among the friends escalates into irrevocable tragedy when Hugo executes a plan prompting Odin to throw away all he cares about most.

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Mekhi Phifer
as Odin `O' James
Josh Hartnett
as Hugo Goulding
Julia Stiles
as Desi Brable
Elden Henson
as Roger Rodriguez
Andrew Keegan
as Michael Casio
John Heard
as Dean Bob Brable
Martin Sheen
as Coach Duke `The Duke' Goulding
Chris Freihofer
as Assistant Coach
Christopher Dong
as Dutchman Player
Chris Dong
as Dutchman Player
Ken French
as Scout No. 1
Dana Ratliff
as T.V. Announcer
Marshall Gitter
as Radio Announcer
Lisa Benavides
as Ms. Serney
Ronalda Stover
as Woman Score Keeper
Mike Flippo
as Mr. Bradley
Zack David
as Basketball Player (Hawks)
James Galloway
as Basketball Player (Hawks)
Julie Fishell
as Newscaster
Michael Givens
as Basketball Player (Hawks)
Wally Welch
as Mr. Kirby
Chase Page
as Basketball Player (Hawks)
Rick Streeter
as Basketball Player (Hawks)
Doug Ayers
as Basketball Player (Hawks)
David Dooley
as Basketball Player (Dutchmen)
Justin Ferira
as Basketball Player (Dutchmen)
Jaime Ingram
as Basketball Player (Dutchmen)
Jantz Baker
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Jerred Clarke
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Christopher Grooms
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Shawn Hill
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Parker Kirby
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Sean Murphy
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Jon Rosenbloom
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Derek Zieminsky
as Basketball Player (Titans)
Richard Grandison
as Basketball Player (Bullsdogs)
Evan Jones
as Basketball Player (Bullsdogs)
Errol McPherson
as Basketball Player (Bullsdogs)
Nathan Monroe
as Basketball Player (Bullsdogs)
Tony Moore
as Basketball Player (Bullsdogs)
Bernard Smalls
as Basketball Player (Bullsdogs)
Quintrai Washington
as Basketball Player (Bullsdogs)
Josh Thorpe
as Student Basketball Manager
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News & Interviews for O

Critic Reviews for O

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (34)

  • This arty melodrama is not likely to make teenage America get down with Shakespeare.

    Mar 31, 2008 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • This transferral of the tragedy of the Moor to a contempo American high school is something that never should have gone further than a class assignment to see if it could be made to work.

    Mar 25, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • Credit, none the less, to the film-makers' game, unpatronising approach, and to Phifer and Stiles as compelling innocents.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Perhaps overaware of its solemn literary inheritance, it tiptoes around sex and race, and, in turning Shakespeare's grown-ups into Dawson's Creek teens, jettisons much of the original's grandeur.

    Oct 2, 2002 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • In the end, the Shakespearean ideas collapse on film because of the youthful callowness of the characters.

    Sep 28, 2001 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • On your already groaning Shakespeare for Teens video shelf, stack this one above 10 Things I Hate About You ... and quite a bit below Romeo + Juliet.

    Sep 17, 2001 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for O

  • Jul 10, 2012
    AMAZING!!!!! One of my all time favourites. Highly Recommended !!
    Shawn M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 05, 2011
    The film takes place in an elite private school where Mehki Phifer portrays Odin James, the only African American student at the school and star basketball player who has everything going for him including the dean's (played by John Heard) daughter as his girlfriend, Desi (Julia Stiles) until his 'friend' Josh Hartnett (an absolutely chilling Hugo) is overcome with envy and fuelled by jealousy because his basketball coach father (Martin Sheen) seems to pay more attention to Odin than Hugo. He resents being ignored and begins to plot what to do to get back at Odin devoting his time and energy into destroying him. The theme of revenge, love and jealousy remains intact but the settings have been changed to fit the 21st century better. O explores the origins of school violence and how teen angst can lead to tragedy. Be ready for a gut wrenching finale.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2009
    Nothing comes between two people's love, like one person's jealously.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2009
    Actually a really great translation that didn't make a mockery of Shakespeare's work. Josh Harnett played a great Iago. It's interesting that this left more of a lasting impression on me that reading the play. Seeing all these things happen (especially when making the characters younger) really allows you to see the true sense of the meaning tragedy.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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