Varsity Blues - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Varsity Blues Reviews

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July 1, 2016
If you want to witness James Van Der Beek attempt to don a Texan accent for 106 minutes, you may not get another chance. While fun, it has all the signs of a stereotypical late-'90s teen movie. It's cheesy, telegraphed, cliched, crude--yet meaningful.

It follows a successful high school football team coached by Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight)--a man who basically runs the community. The small Texas town has already erected a bronze statue made in his likeness. The guy even controls the police to the point that his players can get away with stealing cop cars. That's how obsessed this community is with their high school football. It's all they have.

Mox (Van Der Beek) doesn't see it that way. He's the 2nd string quarterback and has plans to go to Brown University and put the sport behind him. But as soon as he's forced into the starting role, he enjoys soaking up all the attention.

Varsity Blues doesn't take too many risks--if any--but it has a lot to say. The script is deceptively good. It may be platitudinous in its dialogue and outcomes, but under the surface it makes some seldom-touched upon points.

The football scenes are some of the more realistic we've seen in movies up to this point, and it organically showcases the importance of football in some small towns in this country. It then proceeds to question that very importance, along with the aggrandizing of athletics in our schools altogether.

Subtly juxtaposing these ideals, we see Mox's little brother, who has an obsession with religions and practices a variety of them throughout the movie, much to his parent's disapproval.

It isn't perfect, but Varsity Blues holds up well. Voight gives us a compelling villain to despise and the film more nuanced that meets the eye. It made me nostalgic and I was entertained.

Twizard Rating: 83
½ May 4, 2016
Teen football drama that is a paint by numbers sports story.
April 19, 2016
When I watched this on its initial release all I remembered was Ali Larter in a whipped cream bikini. Same could be said some sixteen years later. Extremely predictable plot. Jon Voight is such a cunt as the coach and Dawson and the young cast make it enjoyable.
March 20, 2016
very good looking women
February 22, 2016
86%
Watched this on 22/2/16
Jon Voight is an underappreciated actor and he received a lot of razzies that he did not deserve, he just has a funny face, a kind of plastic surgery gone wrong face like Sylvester Stallone, though he isn't always as bad as Stallone. Anyway, Voight was good and provided much vigor to this film. It was well directed and this may be one of the only sports films that consider the sports going on in it to be not of such hefty significance. The film also balances its comedy and has a set of good characters, especially someone like Billy Bob.
December 10, 2015
One of the best football movies ever made. Period. Jon Voigt is so perfect as his role as Coach Kilmer and the surrounding cast is fantastic. 'Varsity Blues' does a great job depicting a small town who lives for football. It does a great job of demonstrating what football is like in general and the levels for the love of the game. One of the few times I can say...well done MTV, well done.
½ December 9, 2015
I do like James Van Der Beek, and this is a great showcase for him. The soundtrack to this film is also wicked with music from Green Day and The Foo Fighters. I found the film high on melodrama while lacking the substance to be a great sports drama.
Super Reviewer
November 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.
½ July 27, 2015
Another guilty pleasure...
½ May 28, 2015
Just a poorly made generic star vehicle for Van Der Beek....good luck James,with no acting chops you're going to need these.
May 17, 2015
A good teen flick, but also a cliche-filled sports story.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2015
A movie about a high school football team, created by MTV, starring all the teen-heartthrobs of the late 90s, I couldn't have been more uninterested. For 17 years, I avoided seeing this film, I figured it would be a steaming pile full of good looking people with their shirts off, but after catching the ending on TV, I decided to check it out and I'm glad I did. In Texas, football is everything, even at the high school level. The West Canaan Coyotes are one of the best teams in the state, thanks to a hard nosed, old school coach, and an NFL bound Quarterback, but their perfect season takes a turn when the Quarterback goes down with a serious knee injury. The Coyotes are left in the hands of John Moxon (James Van Der Beek), a kid who hasn't taken a snap in three years, who is only on the team because of his father. The coach hates him, the town doubts him, but something amazing happens when Mox is on the field, he's actually good. James Van Der Beek stars and honestly, I always felt that he was too much into the whole teen-heartthrob persona, I never took him seriously as an actor, or envisioned him being good in a role like this. Just as the town was surprised by how good Mox was on the field, I was just as surprised by how good Van Der Beek was in this role. When you add Jon Voight to the equation, as the hard nosed coach, things really come together. The two men hate each other, but are forced to work together, it's this dynamic and tension behind the scenes that really makes the off the field action as interesting as what's taking place on the field. Varsity Blues is produced by MTV, stars actors I normally wouldn't watch, and as it turns out it is one of the most exciting and intense sports films I've ever seen. One of the things I love about films, is that you can never judge them based on anything else other than their content. On the surface, this is something I'd never watch, but happenstance brought me to it, and it's honestly one of the best football movies I've ever seen.
March 16, 2015
Good high school football movie, except that it has a lot of swearing and needless nudity which take away from it being a better movie.
½ March 9, 2015
Compared with better high school sports dramas, like "Friday Night Lights" and "All the Right Moves", "Varsity Blues" veers into cliché territory often. It is decently written with good performances (James Van Der Beek is decent and Jon Voight is delightfully despicable), but it has almost none of the intensity of other movies in its subgenre.
February 3, 2015
pretty good high school football movie
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2015
A parody of a parody, "Varsity Blues" is recklessly crass, uneven in its portrayal of high school football, and overall a sexist, annoying cultural iconoclast. Every inch of this film would later be satirized in "Not Another Teen Movie" for good reason: the side characters are idiotic stereotypes, there's constant sexism and objectification of every single female character, it tries to blend humor and drama but is unsuccessful, and the ending is corny and over-the-top. Mox (Van Der Beek) is the only character who isn't a complete asshole, but he still objectifies his teacher, doesn't say much when his teammates are being offensively abused by their negligent coach, and he and his girlfriend never have a conversation longer than a couple of minutes. If you want to watch a film that handles the drama and socio-economic issues of high school football's reach in small town America, watch "Friday Night Lights." If you want to watch idiotic pandering to your lowest base desires, watch some soft-core porn. Otherwise there's really no reason for you to watch a film that has been done, and done better, a million times.
½ October 12, 2014
A funny and entertaining football film.
½ September 21, 2014
It has every cliche in the book but damn me if I didn't find it entertaining.
August 17, 2014
(First and only viewing - In my early twenties)
Super Reviewer
½ August 10, 2014
It may take a while to win you over, due to it's odd tonal shifts and it may be a little predictable, but every sports film has their predictability aspect to them, and I believe that "Varsity Blues" takes advantage of that in the right way. After the quarterback (Paul Walker) is injured, the second string must take over for the rest of the season to lead the team to victory. Sure it's an old tale in the world of sports, but when you have a likeable cast of characters, a fun script, and a soundtrack that will make you smile, there is not too much to complain about. What the film does lack is originality and the cheesy score did not help either, but hey that's the 90's for you. Make of this film what you will, because it will be deemed fun for some and bad for others. On my end of the spectrum, I had a blast watching it, there are some odd filmmaking techniques used, but it all comes down to the overall experience. "Varsity Blues" is a solid football film.
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