Box art for Coach Carter

Coach Carter

drama, sports

Samuel L. Jackson plays the controversial high school basketball coach who benched his undefeated team due to their collective poor academic record in 1999.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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. "

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 26
    see all Coach Carter reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The kind of boot-strap-pulling, tear-duct-tickling, I-am-Spartacus-crowing movie-on-a-mission that might rankle more cynical movie goers but sets hearts aflutter for most everyone else.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, January 14, 2005

Fresh: By making the choices the filmmakers did here, we get a movie that may not be profound, but it's both highly entertaining for its sports and fascinating for its social issues.

- Brian Webster, Apollo Guide, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: Features bursts of humor and electrifying energy offset by speechifying and a dud of a subplot.

- Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, January 14, 2005

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Average sports drama that is predictable, Coach Carter doesn't do anything new or original. I felt that Coach Carter though good, was nothing great, and it was nothing new to the sports genre. The film is the same old, predictable formula. Everything you'd expect happens, despite this; the film manages to be good entertainment. However, the fact that the sports drama genre seems to be comprised of the same old ideas, is a tad annoying. There are good performances here, nothing ever great, but for what it is, it's pretty entertaining. Coach Carter is no different than every other sports drama, and relies on the usual plot elements that you'd expect. The film is average, and if you've seen plenty of sports dramas, its pretty predictable. Nonetheless I liked the film The cast did a good job here, and it had a good plot despite the fact that it's nothing really new. This film will appeal to sports film fans. Coach Carter is entertaining, but like I said, it's the same old tired formula, luckily the cast keeps this film entertaining and watchable. The film relies on cliches but overall it remains constantly dramatic and entertaining like every other sports drama. A good cast, and good plot keeps this film rolling and fun.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Wednesday, January 11, 2012