Review - Coach Carter

Samuel L Jackson in Coach Carter

How's that for backlighting: Samuel L Jackson in Coach Carter



“Inspirational coach” movies come in many shapes and sizes. This one comes in the shape of Samuel L. Jackson, the tough talking, clean-living paragon of virtue who comes into a troubled school and turns around the basketball team in the teeth of indifference from pupils, teachers and … sorry, am I boring you? There’s a little more to Coach Carter than the usual sports movie fare. To whit: it is based on the true story of the coach who insisted his players properly knuckle down. He made them sign contracts. Controversially, he also insisted they got good grades in their other classes otherwise they were off the team. And outrageously, he closed the team’s gym when a couple of his players broke the terms of their contract – to the ire of the players and the local community who couldn’t understand what the fuss about book learning was anyway. Those nuggety taste-explosions of plot aside, there’s not much to see here. Apart from Jackson himself, who produces enough electricity to keep this bag of clichés going… almost.

© Steve Morrissey 2006


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imdb poster Coach Carter
Coach Carter (2005)
Run time: 136 min
Rating: 7.1
Genres: Drama | Sport
Director: Thomas Carter
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Rob Brown, Robert Ri’chard
Trivia: Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken Carter after he benches his entire team for breaking their academic contract with him.
Storyline In 1999, Ken Carter, a successful sporting goods store owner, accepts the job of basketball coach for his old high school in a poor area of Richmond, CA, where he was a champion athlete. As much dismayed by the poor attitudes of his players as well as their dismal play performance, Carter sets about to change both. He immediately imposes a strict regime typified in written contracts that include stipulations for respectful behavior, a dress code and good grades as requisites to being allowed to participate. The initial resistance from the boys is soon dispelled as the team under Carter’s tutelage becomes a undefeated competitor in the games. However, when the overconfident team’s behavior begins to stray and Carter learns that too many players are doing poorly in class, he takes immediate action. To the outrage of the team, the school and the community, Carter cancels all team activities and locks the court until the team shows acceptable academic improvement. In the ensuing debate, … Written by Kenneth Chisholm (
Plot Keywords: high school, contract, basketball, coach, high school basketball
Box Office Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $603,899 (Australia) (27 May 2005)
Gross: $1,174,586 (Australia) (3 June 2005)