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

5 stars

Amazing film. One of my all time favourites. All of the cast were exceptional and this true story is full of positivity and leaves you smiling uncontrolably. A must see!

- murphmann93, Thursday, June 23, 2011

4 stars

It's a cliche storyline, but it's captivating, heartfelt and inspirational to some degree. Coach Carter is great blend of basketball and drama and coming-of-age. Lead by the charismatic Samuel L. Jackson, the film's young cast and fluid chemistry makes it a slam dunk. 4.5/5

- fb1442511448, Monday, August 5, 2013

3 stars

Coach Carter packs the usual cliches of the sports film into its 136 minute run time. That means that we will get lots of locker room speeches, renegade kids who will mature into proper, intelligent young adults within a few weeks, and a community who opposes all the radical notions the protagonist instigates in his teaching methods. Where the film shines is in the presence of Samuel L. Jackson as that protagonist. Jackson commands the screen. He yells a lot, which is customary for him to do, but he creates a believability in his character that doesn't happen often in films of this ilk. His character is a role model that I actually felt could connect with the youths on the basketball team, and his methods of tough love were strong enough coming from him to make the kids want to change their lives. Consistently engaging.

- MovieGeek13, Thursday, March 3, 2011