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4.6 out of 5 stars
Coach Carter [DVD]
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2006
Sam.L.Jackson shows that education is just as important to professional athletes as sport itself.His character develops from what appears to be a hard-line grades before games teacher rather than coach to a committed successful coach. Instead of him educating the young people, they themselves teach him a lesson as well.

Through his grit and determination, Ken Carter silences all doubters through showing the young people of Richmond that even in basketball there is stuff to learn. He helps to turn immature ballers, into respectable young basketball players.

The film contains some great basketball action, and a great hip-hop soundtrack to make it look and feel like you are a member of the Richmond community and experiencing it first-hand. There is genuine soul and meaning in this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
While basketball is used as the backdrop for the movie, Coach Carter really isn't about basketball. The real heart of the movie is in the way Coach Carter begins to turn the lives around of the players on his basketball team by showing them that someone actually cares about what happens to them after high school.

At one point in the movie Carter (played perfectly by Samuel L. Jackson) asks a player why he plays basketball and he responds with "to win the state title" - which of course gets him high fives from the rest of the team. Carter then asks the team who won the state title last year and nobody knows the answer. Carter tries to show his players that high school basketball is not about winning but about discipline, respect and the confidence to accomplish any goal.

If you are thinking about going to see Coach Carter as a basketball movie, I suggest seeing another movie, but if you want to see a truly inspiring story go see Coach Carter.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2005
I love it when I watch a film that that wasn't big enough to receive any pre-release hype nor did I go to see it at the cinema- and then it proves to be one of the better films of the year. I'm sure we've all watched films like this and this was definitely one of those for me. It is a bit of tired story though team doing badly gets new coach who then saves the day and I think that if anyone else was cast instead of Samuel L Jackson then this film would be lost to mediocrity. For me it succeeded being cheesy without actually being cheesy or corny if you know what I mean and there is an interesting twist to the coaches methods. Anyhow I won't spoil the story for you but it is very good, and if you're a basketball and/or Jackson fan it's worth adding to your collection but rent it first as I don't think I could sit through it too often!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
They seem to come out with a couple of these "coach transforms team" movies every year, and I'll be doggoned if they don't keep getting better and better. It's not hard to make a sports movie; throw some B-ball and cheerleaders in there somewhere, and we guys will watch it. It is hard, however, to make a good sports film. Coach Carter is the best kind of sports film because, when it comes down to it, the heart of the story really isn't about sports at all. It's about changing kids' lives and inspiring/threatening them to go out there and make a better life for themselves. Coach Carter succeeds where Friday Night Lights fails - yes, Friday Night Lights is a terrific film, but the message it conveys in the end is that sports, especially winning, is more important than anything else. Coach Carter cares about his kids a whole lot more than he cares about winning.
The basic story is pretty simple. Coach Carter takes over a team of undisciplined players who are used to losing games and underachieving in the classroom. Things are going to change. He tells the kids that they will win if they do as he says, but they will have to earn it, and they will have to hit the books as well as the courts if they are going to play for him. He makes them sign a contract: they have to agree to maintain a 2.3 GPA, attend all their classes (and sit on the front row), and dress up on game days. These requirements go beyond state guidelines for academic eligibility. Initially, many of the players balk, and one even walks. Coach has his guys ready to play, however, and they start out on a tremendous run. The kids get big heads and so some stupid things - and they pay for it. Things hit rock bottom, though, when Coach Carter finds out that many of his kids have not lived up to their agreements: several are skipping class and failing. That's when Coach Carter locks up the gym and cancels practice as well as key games until such time as his team has lived up to their agreement.
The tragic part of this story is not the kids, it's the school administration and the parents. Some of the parents have fits over the stipulations of the coach-player contracts, but the whole community goes apoplectic when Carter actually starts forfeiting games. Let the kids play, they yell, because basketball is all these kids have in life. Boy, that's a great message to give your kids, isn't it? Then you have the school principal who is seemingly satisfied with mediocrity; only half of her students actually graduate, and she seems to think that's just the ways things have to be. She doesn't approve of the academic requirements Coach Carter institutes with his team, and she doesn't like the lockout one bit. Worst of all, she completely stymies Carter's request for academic progress reports from his players' teachers - that's why he doesn't find out half of them are flunking until well into the season. The school board is no better, clearly putting sports before academics. Coach Carter has to fight an uphill battle not only with his kids, but with the very people charged with educating them. That is a disheartening reality in two many school districts today - and few schools will be lucky enough to have a Coach Carter to stir things up.
Naturally, the movie takes us to a number of basketball games, but they don't dominate the story, not by a long shot. The only quibble I have about the games concerns the big game at the end. During the obligatory win-or-lose shot hanging in the air for an eternity, some of the fans in the crowd seem to be smiling. I've lived through a number of these eternity-stretching last shots, and never have I smiled - I've grimaced, certainly; I've gotten down on my hands and knees on many an occasion; I've lifted my hands in earnest supplication to the Almighty; I've grabbed my hair and hung on for dear life - but never, ever have I smiled in such moments.
Based on a true story, Coach Carter is a wonderful, inspirational film, and Samuel L. Jackson is terrific in the role of Coach Carter. This movie sends all the right messages to youngsters, especially those whom society basically expects to fail, using various compelling subplots to validate the whole story in reality. It also serves as a clarion call to parents; you can't always depend on the school system to educate your children - and if you don't care about your child's education, he or she probably won't care either.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2006
Great film!!! This is an amazing film, with an immense performance from the legend himself Samuel L Jackson! If u aren't a basketball fan, it doesn't matter although if I was totally honest it may help, it's a brilliant film!

When I bought this film I could not stop watching it! If I was to be totally honest there are a couple of cheesey bits where you may be thinking that's just cheap but none the less it doesn't spoil the film! If you like hip hop it may even be worth getting the soundtrack because of the calibre of it, with songs such as 'Untouchable' by DMX representing. The actors in this film all have basketball skills and two of them can actually properly dunk the ball. This film does not have those shots where a player will takes a shot and you see the ball leave the hand and then the next thing you see is the ball going through the net, the players, in a way, are real! And to be honest I wish I was as good as the actors are.

I think this film is 'Worth every Penny' so there's nothing else to say except, buy it and enjoy it!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2006
If you like sport, and basketball inparticular then you will enjoy this film!
But Coach Carter is not simply about basketball. This is a truly inspiring story of care and commitment that the world should pay attention too.
Coach Ken Carter takes over the basketball team not only to teach basketball but to show them another way to live. The boys on the team have strong attitudes and will probably end up leading a life of crime or worse still end up dead in the community they live in.
But Coach Carter shows the boys another path, he commits to them, he beleives in them and teaches them to be the best they can be. Leaving some of them with good careers and much better hopes.
The world should take note that unruly kids need extra support and guidance to help them make it and not simply sent to the headmaster all the time. Kids that are running off the rails can be helped and Coach Carter is an inspiration to us all!
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on 5 February 2014
This motion picture has a great, big, wonderful heart! Lots of grit, too. Coach Carter, whose real life story and those of his players the film recounts, has a vision (and the fortitude to carry it out), of high school basketball that does not sacrifice, in the name of high sports achievement, the academic grades, college/university aspirations, and better lives in adulthood for which his young player players also should be striving after high school is over.

Those were realistic goals and reasonable hopes back in 2005, when this film was released. Since then, due to the ongoing (as of 2014 as I write this) collapse of the U.S. economy that set in during 2007-2008, largely due to years of off-shoring American jobs (industrial, office, technical, and much professional work alike) and to the collusion of the cynical financiers of Wall Street and the corrupt U.S. government, such hopes have waned and higher education seems mostly nowadays to leave the young with crushing student debt to pay off without the job prospects that once had been there for graduates to seize hold of. However, this film also, from the educational standpoint, is about staying through high school to graduation with decent marks, and that, at least, would help to prepare American workers for so many of the more menial jobs that are left in the wrecked U.S. economy after the devastations that "Free Trade" policies have inflicted upon the labour market and, also, of the further financial ruin that has set in from 2008 onwards.

However, how it was in 2005, in so many essential ways, is what the world really should be like and what the promise that civilised life, indeed, should hold! In the film, all of the sportsmen, the coach and his young basketball team members alike, who are struggling to live out Coach Carter's work ethic, are in and of Richmond, a "disadvantaged town of mixed black, chicano, and some white population, in Northern California's Bay (Greater San Francisco) area, rather like the Southeast Los Angeles (Bell, Southgate, Watts) area of part of my own childhood, further south in the same state.

The music is excellent, too, hot and energetic, as the kids like it, expertly crafted and delivered. Perhaps best of all, for those who love sport, at any rate, is the intense and skillful basketball playing seen. This movie simply has it all!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It may be a bit dated, but the story is sitll relevant. I think for me the important aspect is the realism - it is not a fairy tale ending and the watcher can really relate to it.

Gripping, moving and inspirational.
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on 29 December 2013
Great movie. I purchased this movie again after my previous copy got damaged. Coach Carter is based on the true story of Coach Ken Carter, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who takes over as head basketball coach at his old high school, Richmond. Carter was one lead players on his team when he played back in high school, gaining some unbeaten records.

Carter quickly come to realise that the athletes on the basketball team have low educational expectations of themselves, as does the school, and that the players are in much need of discipline. Carter sets about changing the mindsets of these young men in order for them to understand that education can get them further in life than their want to play basketball. He assigns them all individual contracts requesting that they attend all of their classes and gain and maintain descent grades, or forfeit their place on the team. Of course the boys resent this and some decide to walk away. Those that stay and "get with the program" so to speak, soon recognise that Carter is an ally and not an enemy; even some of those who walked away attempt to return. Through hard work, the boys start to realise that they are able to achieve the dreams of attending college, something that no member of their families had done before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2010
One of the best films I have ever seen. (and that's saying something because I've seen a lot of films.)
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