The Winning Season
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The Winning Season
Set in suburban Indiana, the film stars Rockwell as Bill Greaves, an adult misfit recruited by the local high school principal (Corddry) to coach the school's floundering girls' basketball team. Initially retreating from what appears to be a hopeless situation, Bill perseveres and manages to help the team and its captain (Roberts) ratchet up its competitive spirit, while the girls offer Bill a renewed life focus. THE WINNING SEASON also stars Shareeka Epps, Emily Rios and Margo Martindale.-- (C) Lionsgate

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"In its final lap The Winning Season collapses into a sentimental farce that even Mr. Rockwell, now playing the clown, cannot redeem from cringe-inducing hokum."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"A predictable and cliched dramady."
‑ Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"Doesn't win points for originality, but the film keeps to a steady rhythm of entertainment, delivering a few laughs and tears along the way on DVD before it settles into its rightful home on basic cable."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"I want you to see this movie On Demand to witness the most underrated actor in all of the world, Sam Rockwell. That way, he won't have to make another movie like this ever again."
‑ Willie Waffle,
"A shaggy underdog worth seeking out, primarily for [Sam] Rockwell's sensational performance."
‑ Geoff Berkshire,
"Rockwell does a typically fine job -- he's funny, touching and appalling -- as an alcoholic mess of a former high school basketball coach who's been reduced to washing dishes in a restaurant."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Forget AA; according to the movies, there's no better cure for alcoholism or depression than good ol' precollegiate athletic coaching."
‑ Eric Hynes, Time Out New York
"Sam Rockwell's never-ending ability to create intriguing characters proves essential to writer/director James C. Strouse, whose formulaic tale of redemption for a washed up basketball coach would otherwise be instantly forgettable."
‑ Cole Smithey,
""The Winning Season" teeters hither and thither on its tonal seesaw, never quite sure where its going and often forgetful of where it's been."
‑ Jeff Otto,
"A mildly entertaining sports flick about a girl's basketball team and a chauvinistic coach who knows a lot about the game."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The story deepens through the clownish, heartbreaking exertions of Rockwell's gruff misfit, still working things out at the final buzzer."
‑ Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"The Winning Season respects its misfits (and its audience) by not stripping away their foibles in the service of sports-movie clichés."
‑ Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
"Quirky indie sports flick is surprisingly serious, moving."
‑ Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
"Rockwell charms us into giving the film the benefit of our many doubts."
‑ Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magazine
"Aims for both the heatstring-tugging power of sports classics like Hoosiers and the kind of gritty indie drama you might normally see Rockwell in, but falls well short of both."
‑ Katey Rich,
More reviews for The Winning Season on Rotten Tomatoes