When the Game Stands Tall

2014, Drama, 1h 55m

71 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

An uneasy blend of solid game sequences and threadbare inspirational sports drama clichés, When the Game Stands Tall is overshadowed by better players in a crowded field. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 2003, high-school football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) and his De La Salle Spartans have just completed an incredible 151 consecutive victories and 12-straight state championships. While the team's seniors receive offers from colleges all over the country, the advancing juniors look forward to making their mark. However, beloved "Coach Lad" has a brush with calamity, while the Spartans face their most-challenging, most-unpredictable season yet.

Cast & Crew

Jim Caviezel
Bob Ladouceur
Michael Chiklis
Terry Eidson
Clancy Brown
Mickey Ryan
Laura Dern
Bev Ladouceur
Matthew Daddario
Danny Ladouceur
Jessie Usher
Tayshon Lanear
Richard Kohnke
Rick Salinas
Chase Boltin
Manny Gonzales
Gavin Casalegno
Michael Ladouceur
Terence Rosemore
Landrin Kelly
Cathy Schulman
Executive Producer
David Tice
Executive Producer
Thomas Carter
Executive Producer
Michael Lohmann
Cinematographer
Jaymes Hinkle
Production Design
Scott Richter
Film Editor
John Paesano
Original Music
Claire Breaux
Costume Designer
Raymond Pumilia
Art Director
Kristen Bicksler
Set Decoration
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News & Interviews for When the Game Stands Tall

Critic Reviews for When the Game Stands Tall

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (57)

  • When the Game Stands Tall is one of those cliché-riddled feel good movies that, by trying too hard to be inspirational, ends up as cloying and overly sentimental.

    August 22, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The real-life story behind When the Game Stands Tall sounds amazing. But for all its exciting sports scenes, the movie version falls flat as drama.

    August 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Most often in its early stages, the melodrama onscreen edges precipitously close to dissolving into a puddle of platitudinous pabulum served in the manner of a rote Sunday school lesson.

    August 22, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A faith-friendly sports film that's more interested in extolling character than in developing characters.

    August 22, 2014 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • Why must an extraordinary story beget such an ordinary film?

    August 22, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A true tale of high school football achievement becomes a strained, by-the-numbers grab bag of uplift in the Christian sports drama "When the Game Stands Tall."

    August 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • When the Game Stands Tall is one of those cliché-riddled feel good movies that, by trying too hard to be inspirational, ends up as cloying and overly sentimental.

    August 22, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The real-life story behind When the Game Stands Tall sounds amazing. But for all its exciting sports scenes, the movie version falls flat as drama.

    August 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Most often in its early stages, the melodrama onscreen edges precipitously close to dissolving into a puddle of platitudinous pabulum served in the manner of a rote Sunday school lesson.

    August 22, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A faith-friendly sports film that's more interested in extolling character than in developing characters.

    August 22, 2014 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • For football fans the movie brings a famous story to life. For the rest of us it plays like an after school special with better production value.

    February 1, 2021 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • One of the better inspirational sports stories to come along in recent years.

    September 27, 2020 | Rating: 3.0/4.0 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for When the Game Stands Tall

  • Aug 27, 2016
    The one thing you can always count on when watching a football film, is that it's going to be exciting. It doesn't matter if it's a true story, like When The Game Stands Tall, or a made up one like Friday Night Lights. It doesn't matter if the team has won 100 straight games or lost 100 straight games. Every film about football is going to be exciting, so what makes one better than the other? The personalities involved, it all comes down to who the film is focused on and this film has it's eyes on the prize. Jim Caviezel stars as Bobby Ladouceur, one of the most successful high school football coaches of all-time. Ladouceur became a national celebrity, not only because of a big winning streak, but also because of the way he incorporated family values and religion into his coaching, trying to make his player more well-rounded individuals. Caviezel was outstanding, as he is in everything, but after watching six seasons of Person of Interest, it's almost disappointing seeing Caviezel in a role where he doesn't kill anyone. The other focus of the film is Alexander Ludwig, who portrays Chris Ryan, a kid who has all the talent in the world, but has to decide, if he's pushing himself toward greatness for himself or because of a psychotic father. Ludwig always gets second billing, but as with the Hunger Games, nothing would be as good without him. He is the unsung hero of this film as he rounds out the emotional roller-coaster. When The Game Stands Tall has action, emotion, conflict, religion, family, love, hate, a little bit of everything and believe it or not, at the heart of it all is a simple, stupid little game called football. This film was great, it reminded me a lot of the TV version of Friday Night Lights and it's an absolute can't miss for sports enthusiasts.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2016
    Based on a true story of a California Catholic High school football team with a 150 game winning streak, this inspirational drama has good moments but pales in comparison to Friday Night Lights or Remember the Titans. Jim Cavizel is very good as the head coach but the film breaks no new ground and seems like a rehash. The football sequences are extremely well shot and the acting is passable. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon but not much more! 01-01-2016
    Christopher O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 27, 2015
    I normally love true stories but his was boring
    Ida K Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2014
    Based on a true story I actually rather enjoyed this. Good performances from the main leads and engrossing sports action keeps you watching.
    Ian W Super Reviewer

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