Slap Shot (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes

Slap Shot (1977)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Raunchy, violent, and very funny, Slap Shot is ultimately set apart by a wonderful comic performance by Paul Newman.

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Movie Info

Paul Newman plays Reggie Dunlop, the coach of a pathetic minor-league American hockey team. His career at a standstill and his marriage in tatters, Dunlop has nothing to lose by taking on a new group of players who are one evolutionary step above Neanderthals. Only when the team begins winning does he decide to get behind these players, and to encourage the rest of the team to play as down-and-dirty as the newcomers. Straight-arrow team member Ned Braden (Michael Ontkean) resents this influx of gonzo talent, preferring to play clean. As the film's multitude of subplots play themselves out, Dunlop does his best to keep the outraged Braden on the team. Slap Shot is the sort of film for which the "R" rating was invented: Its nonstop barrage of profanity and its raunchy action sequences are of such intensity that the film will probably never be shown intact on commercial television. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MCA Universal Home Video

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Cast

Paul Newman
as Reggie Dunlop
Michael Ontkean
as Ned Braden
Lindsay Crouse
as Lily Braden
Jennifer Warren
as Francine Dunlop
Strother Martin
as Joe McGrath
Jerry Houser
as `Killer' Carlson
Andrew Duncan
as Jimm Carr
Jeff Carlson
as Jeff Hanson
Steve Carlson
as Steve Hanson
David Hanson
as Jack Hanson
Yvon Barrette
as Denis Le Mieux
Brad Sullivan
as Wanchuk
Stephen Mendillo
as Jim Ahern
Yvan Ponton
as Drouin
Matthew Cowles
as Charlie
Kathryn Walker
as Anita McCambridge
Melinda Dillon
as Suzanne Hanrahan
M. Emmet Walsh
as Dickie Dunn
Swoosie Kurtz
as Shirley
Paul D'Amato
as Tim McCracken
Guido Tenesi
as Billy Charlebois
Nancy Dowd
as Andrea
Myron Odegaard
as Final Game Referee
Christopher Murney
as Tommy Hanrahan
Ned Dowd
as Ogilthorpe
Nancy N. Dowd
as Andrea
Larry Block
as Peterboro Referee
Paul Dooley
as Hyannisport Announcer
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Critic Reviews for Slap Shot

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

Newman is literally a diamond in the rough, and it requires a certain forebearance to separate his quality from the surrounding raunch.

Full Review… | December 18, 2015
Washington Post
Top Critic

Slap Shot may have done a lot of fast skating and some solid body checking, but in the last period it makes a final costly slip -- and misses its goal.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

There are still some nice touches of absurdist satirical wit hanging out along the sidelines, given extra bite by Dede Allen's superbly pacy editing.

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Slap Shot has a kind of vitality to it that overwhelms most of the questions relating to consistency of character and point of view.

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Half the time Hill invites the audience to get off on the mayhem, the other half of the time he decries it.

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

Its moral pretenses left me cold.

Full Review… | January 2, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Slap Shot

½

A sports movie? Well partially so, but besides being a fun- loving cultural memento of its time Hill's film is a pointed social commentary on the huge insatiable public demand for extravagant sensationalism. The sports part of it hardly registers at all. Newman anchors the proceedings quite nicely and, of course, the dreadnought Hanson Brothers.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Easily as fun as a barrel full of monkeys.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

½

For me, sports movies are okay. Like all genres, they have their good ones, and their bad ones. Who would have thought that one of the best sports movies is actually an anti-sports movie? This film is this one- a nice little gem from the 70s that really exemplifies the zeitgeist of the era with it's crude language, bloody fighting, and general boorish nasty edge and nature. The plot concerns a washed up veteran hockey and coach (who's not really good at either) who tries to take his awful, struggling minor league team and turn them around into popular winners, which he starts to do once he discovers that the audience reacts positively to goonish behavior. He's a fascinating guy to watch because the skills he lacks as a player and coach are made up for by the fact that he's a skilled con man who is good at manipulating people, especially other players. Their team, the Charlestown Chiefs, is not the only one struggling. Besides looking at sports, the film also touches upon the current events of the time by addressing the dire situation of late 1970s industrial towns in the Northeast. The local mill is on the verge of closing, and, should that happen, the hockey team is likely to go too. This little detail is something I appreciated because it adds more to the film, but also helps cement it as a cultural timepiece, giving insight into what the world was like at that time. So yeah, the film is dated to an extent, and the vulgarity and rawness of things aren't quite as shocking, but I still found the film fresh and eye opening because of the content. This film is undeniably a product of the 70s, and I think it's all the better as a result. The cast are great. Paul Newman reunites with George Roy Hill (this time without Redford) and he is awesome as coach/player Reggie Dunlop. The guy is a mess, but yet, despite his attitude and actions (and the attitudes and actions of his team), you can't help but like these guys and root for them, even though you should feel otherwise. Supporting him are Strother Martin, Michael Ontkean, and tons of actual pro and minor leaguers. Give this one a shot. It's entertaining, funny (though I don't think it was supposed to be a comedy), has wonderful music, and is a great look at the wild side of sports.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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