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The Express Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

...pushes all the pleasure buttons Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    58

    out of 100

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

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Has Dennis Quaid really never played a college football coach before? With his handsome, craggy face and likable intensity, he was born for the job, and he's the main attraction in The Express.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Thanks to a rock-solid performance by Dennis Quaid, nice historical touches and energetic direction by Gary Fleder, the tried-and-true formula is given a welcome shot of adrenaline.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Involving and inspiring in the way a good movie about sports almost always is.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    While Ernie's on-field accomplishments were extraordinary, it was the environment in which he struggled to achieve them that makes him the worthy subject of a motion picture.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Despite appealing performances and kinetic football scenes, the storytelling is mostly conventional.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Express reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 12+

Inspirational true story tackles race, football.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film -- which was originally rated PG-13 and was re-edited to earn its PG -- revolves around the issue of race in America in the '50s and '60s and is fraught with racial epithets and racist attitudes. There's also a certain amount of violence -- including hard-hitting football action and also dirty tricks like a coach directing his players to hit an opponent at the site of an injury. There's also some salty tough-talk from a football coach and depictions of the segregation and racial divides in the American South in the '50s and '60s.

  • Families can talk about the film's historical depictions of race and civil rights. How has America moved forward in the years since the era depicted in the film, when segregation and overt racism were rampant? How has it not? Families can also discuss the appeal of inspirational sports films. Are they a great way to explore history and human behavior, or an "easy out" for filmmakers thanks to their cliches and familiar moments?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The entire film involves intense, extensive discussions of race in the America in the '60s, from segregation to "Jim Crow" laws to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s community organizing and marches. The symbols of the KKK and the Confederacy are seen on death threats. A character who has an athletic scholarship is reminded that, while football is nice, a college degree is even more important. The lead character's mother is flighty and leaves her son with his grandfather for several years. Much is made of the lead character's position as a role model and inspiration during the racially divided '50s and '60s in America. Discussion of terminal illness.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Extensive on-field football action/violence, both within the context of fair play on the field and cheap shots after the whistle's blown. Football players are pelted with trash, with the threat that an angry crowd may throw bottles. Some fistfights.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Some kissing and light undressing (blouse removed, underwear on) in the context of a long-term committed relationship. Discussion of interracial dating.

  • language false3

    Language: Occasional strong language, including "ass," "s--t," and "hell." Extensive, constant, and strong racial language, including the "N" word, "spook," "negro," "black," and more; a football player says to the lead character: "I'm going to kick your black ass back to Africa." "Retard" is used as an insult.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Some logos visible, like Pepsi, Budweiser, Woolworths, Time magazine, and Ritz; characters sing a Pepsi jingle. Constant mention of universities and athletic teams like Syracuse University, Notre Dame, the UT Longhorns, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Cleveland Browns, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Beer is served.

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