Varsity Blues

Critics Consensus

This is a predictable football movie that lacks intensity.



Total Count: 54


Audience Score

User Ratings: 122,798
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Movie Info

In his 35th year as head coach, Bud Kilmer is trying to lead his West Canaan Coyotes to their 23rd division title. Uncompromising and omnipotent, Kilmer is deified in the small Texas town, as long as the team is winning. But when star quarterback Lance Harbor suffers a season-ending injury, the Coyotes are forced to regroup under the questionable leadership of second-string quarterback Jonathan Moxon. His irreverent attitude and approach to football come into direct conflict with the coach's inflexible game plan.

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James Van Der Beek
as Jonathan Moxon
Jon Voight
as Coach Bud Kilmer
Paul Walker
as Lance Harbor
Ron Lester
as Billy Bob
Scott Caan
as Tweeder
Richard Lineback
as Joe Harbor
Ali Larter
as Darcy Sears
Tiffany C. Love
as Collette Harbor
Amy Smart
as Julie Harbor
Thomas F. Duffy
as Sam Moxon
Joe Pichler
as Kyle Moxon
Tonie Perensky
as Miss Davis
Jesse Plemons
as Tommy Harbor
John Gatins
as Smiling Man
Marco Perella
as Dr. Benton
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Critic Reviews for Varsity Blues

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (13)

Audience Reviews for Varsity Blues

  • Nov 30, 2015
    Basically a cliched 90s football film, but still pretty damn entertaining. But then again, I'm a pretty big football fan, so this probably wouldn't be for everyone.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2012
    Voight helps guide this ship and the young cast are surprisingly up to the challenge of being in his presence. The film is a little mixed early on as it flirts with teenage storylines and humour, but it course corrects alter on. The film is better when it deals with the competitive nature of sport in small towns. The final third of this movie is the best part and saves an odd film narrative from being completely overshadowed by teenage humour. The film is strongest when allowing the material to flow, not force the humour. 20/04/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2011
    This movie had instilled tradition of a high school football team where most of its kind comes up one yard short.
    Jackson W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 11, 2011
    A Texas high school quarterback defies convention and a hard-line coach as he leads his team to success and raucous teen fun. My favorite sports film of all time is <i>61*</i>, and that's not just because I'm a die-hard Yankees fan. I think my favorite moment in Billy Crystal's film is Roger Maris's response to one of the reporter's questions: the reporter asks him about the heroism of what he accomplished (I wish I could quote verbatim, but I don't have that good a memory), and Maris replies, "I don't think that's something you can earn on a ball field." And because of the attention that film pays to Maris's off-the-field struggles, we understand his point. Essentially, <i>Varsity Blues</i> flirts with the same point. The main character, Mox, considers his goals reaching beyond high school, and the film attempts to satirize/criticize the seriousness with which Texas high school communities take football. The problem is that the film ends up reinforcing everything it criticizes. Everything that you think would happen does, and what we're left with is a crippling contradiction: the goals these people hold so dearly are foolishly short-sighted, but we're still supposed to relish in the moments the characters achieve them. Also, perhaps it's because my high school experience was much like most people's time in prison, but I always find films that portray high schoolers as adults, with the freedoms and problems adults have, to be extraordinarily false. After all, I don't know any town, in Texas or anywhere else, where seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds would be able to drink freely, steal a police car, go to a strip club (where their teacher moonlights [a teacher's pay isn't that bad]), and still face no consequences. Overall, if you like over-drawn cliches and don't mind if a film is thematically contradictory, then enjoy <i>Varsity Blues</i> and the brief but delectable shot of Ali Larter in a whip cream bikini.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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