The Program

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 21


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,011
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The Program Photos

Movie Info

Eastern State University isn't particularly notable for anything except its football program. Lately, even that hasn't been doing too well, and the athletic staff led by Coach Winters (James Caan) are under considerable pressure by the administration and alumni to bring in a winning season. To do that, he has to recruit some able, promising young players out of high school. It's not too surprising to learn that he will do almost anything to get these kids, and its even less surprising that, as long as they keep producing on the field, he and the college will overlook almost any obnoxious behavior the boys can perpetrate to the limit of their ability.

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James Caan
as Coach Sam Winters
Halle Berry
as Autumn Haley
Omar Epps
as Darnell Jefferson
Craig Sheffer
as Joe Kane
Kristy Swanson
as Camille Schaeffer
Abraham Benrubi
as Bud-Lite Kaminski
Duane Davis
as Alvin Mack
Jon Maynard Pennell
as Bobby Collins
Joey Adams
as Louanne
J.C. Quinn
as Joe's Father
Andrew Bryniarski
as Steve Lattimer
J. Leon II Pridgen
as Ray Griffen
Mike Flippo
as Coach Humes
Ernest Dixon
as Coach Clayton
George Rogers
as Coach Myers
Jeff Portell
as Reporter #1
George Nannerello
as Advisor Smith
Bernard Mixon
as Reverend Wallace
Jim Fyfe
as Nichols
Mary Lou Holloway
as Alvin's Mother
Robert Fuller
as Tim Waymen
Steven Griffith
as Joe's Brother
John Bennes
as Edward Learnihan
Lynn Swann
as Himself
Robert D. Raiford
as Chancellor Wilson
George Lee
as Fat Cat Alumnus
Chris Berman
as Himself
Rhoda Griffis
as Reporter #3
Tim Parati
as Steroids Dealer
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Critic Reviews for The Program

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (12)

  • Those are fairly standard story lines in a football movie, so that leaves the assorted relationship subplots, which frankly, are worse.

    Jan 24, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Most of the focus is on Sheffer, whose character is too enigmatic, while Epps , Berry and Swanson gamely try to pull for extra dramatic yardage but can't do much with their underwritten roles.

    Mar 26, 2009

    Brian Lowry

    Top Critic
  • The Program is a routine Joe College movie, with the added twist that Joe College is Joe Kane (Craig Sheffer), a prime contender for the Heisman Trophy.

    Aug 30, 2004
  • The Program is a mish-mash of cliches.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • As noisy and ludicrous as all this sounds, the movie does have its share of guilty pleasures. Like the kid on steroids, it's revved so high that it's out of control.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • One might want to consider wearing a helmet while watching.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Program

  • Aug 06, 2011
    poor sports film that disappeared as soon as it was released
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2007
    this film was huge with my friends upon its release but its themes were a little silly for me. really just a brainless football film for people who look for cheap tricks.
    danny d Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2006
    This is a great football film. The film shows the good and the dark side of American college football. The film stars James Caan as the football coach who tries to get his team a winning season. Of course he looks the other way when it comes to many things with his players education and trouble with steroid use and behaviour off the field. A good supporting cast makes up this movie. This is a must see for any football fan. If you liked Varsity Blues and Any Given Sunday then give this movie a watch.
    Corey n Super Reviewer

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