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Coach Carter Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    2-1/4 hours of MTV-produced tough love, with a dance break and pool party to relieve -- momentarily -- a series of motivational rants from lead Samuel L. Jackson.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Jackson, though, does lend this earnest formula flick a core of conviction.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A smart entertainment that trades on Mr. Jackson's forceful presence, a cast of extremely likable young actors and lots of basketball action.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Thanks mainly to his (Jackson) considerable presence, Coach Carter works more effectively than expected.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Jackson has the usual big speeches assigned to all coaches in all sports movies, and delivers on them, big time. His passion makes familiar scenes feel new.

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  • See all Coach Carter reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Engaging film with a terrific message.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the film has some mature material for a PG-13, including an out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy and a discussion of abortion. There is some strong language, but the movie includes a very worthwhile discussion of the n-word and whether it is appropriate for African-Americans to use a word that would make them angry if used by a white person. The film is frank about the kinds of violence inner-city neighborhoods are subjected to, including shooting. A character is killed. There is some material relating to drug-dealing.

  • Families can talk about the movie's focus on the use of language and dress to show respect. Why did Carter's son want to transfer? Another great discussion could center on the passage quoted from Marianne Williamson (often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela): "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. …"

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The message is very pro school, not just pro sports.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Shooting and a character is killed.

  • sex false3

    Sex: References to teen pregnancy and abortion.

  • language false3

    Language: Strong language for a PG 13, including the n-word.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: There are references to drug dealing.