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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Gridiron Gang is based on the true story of juvenile detention camp probation officer Sean Porter (The Rock), who is frustrated at seeing the teenage felons that he is responsible for at Camp Kilpatrick either reoffending and going to prison or dying through their gang affiliations. As a former college football star Porter decides to form a football team in the hope that...
Published on 11 April 2007 by O. Doyle

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought for someone else.
I cannot comment on this because I ordered it for someone else. It is not to my liking, though, but there is no accounting for taste.
Published 5 months ago by pepsipie


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 11 April 2007
By 
O. Doyle "celticshedevil" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Gridiron Gang is based on the true story of juvenile detention camp probation officer Sean Porter (The Rock), who is frustrated at seeing the teenage felons that he is responsible for at Camp Kilpatrick either reoffending and going to prison or dying through their gang affiliations. As a former college football star Porter decides to form a football team in the hope that it will teach the inmates to be winners instead of losers for the first time in their lives. Porter and probation officer, Malcolm Moore (Xzibit) become the coaches with a tough task of getting the inmates to give up their rivalries and unite as a team.

Far from being just another football movie Gridiron Gang gives you a good look into the lives and attitudes of teenage gang members and the mindset that has been instilled in them that their gang is their life. By playing football Coach Porter gives them a second chance to make their lives mean something and the ending of the film plays like a documentary where the real people behind the story talk about how their life turned out after their time in Camp Kilpatrick. I think its only then that you realize that this isn't just another movie but a real life story of triumph and tragedy.

I think The Rock came into his own in Gridiron Gang and after seeing excerpts from the real Coach Porter I thing the Rock not only did him justice but did it so well that he made the part his own. Xzibit was also outstanding and I think these two made a great team. All in all a really enjoyable movie which stands out as `not just another football movie'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars [3.5]--Good underdog story, 25 Jun 2007
By 
This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I'm not going to lie to you. This film is heavily clichéd. Somehow though it still managed to strike some nerve in me. Some parts of it I've felt like I'd seen but others shocked me because of how uncliched and down to earth realistic they were.

I think you know the general plot of the movie. Teenagers in a juvenile school/camp get the opportunity to play football because they think it will give them a chance at success after they're released. The man in charge of the team is played by the Rock, and he does a fine job as the coach. I really can't think of anybody, based on this script that could have done a better job in the role. He brings realism and fun to the character, and just the slightest bit of depth lacking from his previous roles. Xzibit barley spoke through the movie, he was just a tag on for sales but did great for what he was given. The other actors did a great job of portraying what -I assume- life would be like in a situation like that of the young boys. They did make you realize how hard life can be for a lot of them. This movie will make you laugh and at the same time want to adopt the kids. It's sad to think of things like this actually happening in life.

The film is beautiful to look at despite the shaky-cam. The score however I felt dragged the film down. It's the cliché sports-film music. I think a lot more or at least something different could have been done but a good amount of football was shown in the movie, which I enjoyed.

Overall this is a pretty good film. Oscars? Not at all. Box office hit? It wasn't even close. Probably will go down with "Invincible." Popular with the general public? I think it will be because even though at times it feels so generic and cliché, after those times it feels real.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good., 18 Jun 2007
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
As a mega wrestling fan I am always eager to see Superstars on the silver screen and I was not disappointed. The Rock gives a first class performance as the football coach who dedicates himself to trying to turn around the lives of the young offenders in his charge. He endeavours to turn losers into winners by taking them away from the gang culture through teaching them self respect.

Rocky is ably supported by an excellent cast. This is a football film I thoroughly enjoyed even though I know nothing about the American game. At times it is heart wrenching, the mundane music score adding to the atmosphere. It is the best film I have seen in a long time, well deserving a mention at the Oscars. Sadly the best films always go unnoticed.

DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Then let's try the impossible, because the possible just ain't working", 27 Sep 2007
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
The concept of creating a movie based on "problem" kids and a mentor guiding them to the good path is not novel. So in that sense, this film does not provide a lot of original concepts. What it does provide though, is an uplifting story and a good balance between the scenes focused on the personal stories of the main characters and the sport moments.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays Sean Porter, a counselor at a juvenile detention center, who is sick and tired of seeing these kids get back on the street only to get killed or sent to jail. In a burst of inspiration, he decides that creating a football team may be the answer to the problem. However, this is easier said than done, and there are many challenges along the way. Overcoming the gang wars among the teenagers under his care is just part of the problem; finding a league in which to play and convincing the kids that they are not losers, proves to be a big challenge.

The movie definitely succeeds in conveying the immensity of the problem created by gangs. It does this through a set of eye-opening personal stories that help understand why these kids behave like they do and why they ended up in gangs in the first place. As is expected, there is a fair amount of violence included in the plot, but I think that this was used wisely and without exaggeration. Regarding the performances, I was really impressed by how much The Rock has evolved as an actor, which shows that he is taking the change in careers very seriously. I remember liking his role in "Be Cool", but that was one in which the character provided more leeway for inexperience; in this case, the job he faced was much tougher.

If you are looking for a sports movie that provides something new and original, you will likely be disappointed by this effort. But, as was my case, if you want to spend some time entertained by a moving, though predictable, story about beating the odds with hard work and the support of a team, then you should give this film a try.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting real life story, 27 Dec 2007
This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Dwayne Johnson shows once again that his flamboyant wrestling character "The Rock" was easily transferrable into a successful movie career. Johnson was an avid football player in his youth and fits in nicely to the coaches role in this movie.

The movie focuses on the fact that 75% of juveniles detained either die on the streets or return to gang-lifestyles when released. The coach (Johnson) a probation officer decides that football may be the way out for some of them to a better life. The movie is the typical underdogs prevail story, however with the fresh outlook of creating character in otherwise worthless cases. The fact it is based on true happenings (you find out where the characters ended up after the movie) makes it more enjoyable.

One thing I do like about this movie is that in case you are concerned about the movie somehow glorifying criminals and bad behaviour this is not the case. Johnsons character keeps putting in lines such as "yeah he is smiling, but was he smiling when he stabbed the old lady and stole her handbag?" reminds you that these kids are still delinquents and the treatment by society of them is not wholly unfair.

Anyone who likes either, underdog movies, sports movies, The Rock, or hard hitting real stories will enjoy this film, and it is definately worth watching. Great acting throughout by the support cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a tonic for the troops., 28 Mar 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Gridiron Gang stars Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell, and Kevin Dunn. It's directed by Phil Joanou and is loosely based on the true story of the Kilpatrick Mustangs during their first season playing Gridiron out of their home, Camp Kilpatrick, a juvenile detention centre for delinquents.

Few things in cinema cause as much division as the inspirational sports movie. This type of film has been trundled out yearly since sport in movies became an avenue for studio executives to wander down whilst counting the potential kerching of cash tills. The division comes by way of the clamour for emotional impact from the watching masses. The kind that always exists in the uplifting sports movie; more so when the words " based on a true story" are part of the equation. Divisional thunder is thus, some believe it's essential and worthy to have the emotions teased and pulled from your very being ,it's why they watch such movies in the first place- others feel that it's a well trodden path and is something of an easy option to rely on emotional impact and forgo cranial proddings-impact over substance so to speak.

If you be the latter of the equation then run for the hills, get as far away from Gridiron Gang as you can. For this will be a trite, sickly, even banal, viewing for you. Me? Well I loved it because I'm of that other persuasion. I wanted the uplift, the hope springs eternal ticking clock in the background as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tries to keep these kids from either coming back to prison, or worse, wind up dead on the streets. I'm British but I love Gridiron Football, so with that at its core, and the theme of multi racial kids and gang enemies coming together in union, hell I was sold pretty early on. But I wouldn't lie to anyone, this film has a couple of problems, Phil Joanou's direction is lazy and he's unable to truly drive home the more dramatic aspects of the story. Yes he relies on the emotional thread to carry it thru, harnessing clichés at every turn. But he's lucky in that he has Johnson to carry the movie on his considerable frame. And he does, showing a nice line in drama acting that augers well for his hopes of breaking away from Arnie/Sly comparisons. The cast outside of Johnson are also a bit too scratchy, there's earthy realism from most of the unknown youths, but others annoy almost as much as it was to see Kevin Dunn's crucial adult part badly under written. But hey daddio, I want to be inspired, and Gridiron Gang, in spite of safe haven formula, does just that. It wears it's heart on its sleeve and for like minded people such as I, well that's just the ticket. Score! 8/10
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4.0 out of 5 stars Likeable sports drama, 18 Mar 2008
This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Gridiron Gang has lots going for it. It's not exactly just a sports movie, it's also a social drama. At times the mix of the two doesn't blend perfectly in terms of entertainment, it's a little like two different movies merged into one, but at least it's a little different. The performances from the cast are all extremely good too. The Rock is actually turning into a very fine actor and at no point is he anything less than believable in his role as the sports coach. The supporting cast are all excellent too, and there aren't too many corny sugar coated moments, although there are a few.
I didn't even realise this was based on a true story until the end credits when documentary footage of the real Mustangs team was played out.
All in all a very competent effort that seems to have kept the source material close to its heart. Worth a look.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for boys, 9 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Having started to watch this movie without too much idea what it was actually about (husband's choice!) I was pleasantly suprised to find it a thoroughly enjoyable film. Yes, it is a bit predictable and does have some of that "Disney" feel to it. Yes, it is full of testosterone but there isn't too much about American Football in a technical sense to make it difficult to follow.
The cast work well together and the characters are well developed to engage you in their stories. The plot gives you a sense of feeling involved in the lives of the young men who have lost their way at one time and become trapped in the system.
It is a positive film with plenty in there to give pause for thought and discussion, not just about the football!
All in all a good film and a good choice if you aren't allowed to watch a "chick flick"!
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4.0 out of 5 stars So good it could only be true, 22 May 2009
By 
Mr. Matthew Sheen "MattSheen" (Chester, Cheshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Based on the true story of probation officer and ex college football player Sean Porter and his attempt to rehabilitate a group of teenage delinquents. It is very entertaining and definately worth a watch.

If you're tired of the usual gang member makes good type films of which there are alot, give this film a shot. Firstly it's based on reality so although it is slightly sugar coated it is not done so to the point of vomit inducing. It's a very believable story about how sport can teach vital life and moral skills to youngsters.

Maybe Sean Porter had the answer to the rehabilition of youngsters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 23 July 2009
By 
Dodster (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
As a gridiron fan this struck and immediate chord with me.
However, what impressed me more, is it based on a true story.
One cannot but admire the dedication and determination of those who seek to make a difference in the lives of youngsters who have made bad decisions and end up in penal institutions as a result.
The out clips at the end where the 'real life' people on whom the movie is based talk about their experiences, are very inspirational.
Well worth a watch.
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Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007]
Gridiron Gang [DVD] [2007] by Phil Joanou (DVD - 2007)
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