The Program
The Program (1993)

Eastern State University isn't particularly notable for anything except its football program. Lately, even that hasn't been doing too well, and the athletic staff led by Coach Winters (James Caan) are under considerable pressure by… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 24, 1993
DVD Release Date: March 29, 2005
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Critic Score: 45% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
John Petrakis
Chicago Tribune

Those are fairly standard story lines in a football movie, so that leaves the assorted relationship subplots, which frankly, are worse.

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James Berardinelli

The Program is a mish-mash of cliches.

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Jim Schembri

Very good, revealing film about the extraordinary pressure of modern competitive sport and the man who has become something of a negative role model, even though his backstory as a cancer survivor does allow room for sympathy.

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Brian Lowry

Most of the focus is on Sheffer, whose character is too enigmatic, while Epps , Berry and Swanson gamely try to pull for extra dramatic yardage but can't do much with their underwritten roles.

Norman Chad
Washington Post

One might want to consider wearing a helmet while watching.

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Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

Hardly any shattering revelations here and certainly no blame-placing.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

The Program is a routine Joe College movie, with the added twist that Joe College is Joe Kane (Craig Sheffer), a prime contender for the Heisman Trophy.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

By the film's end, I found myself simultaneously hoping that ESU would win its big game, and that the school would pull the plug on its football program. I guess that's how I was supposed to feel.

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Chris Hicks
Deseret News (Salt Lake City)

The Program is largely a compendium of football grievances mixed with soap opera high jinks.

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More reviews for The Program

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
danny d
this film was huge with my friends upon its release but its themes were a little silly for me. really just a brainless football film for people who look for… More
Brendan Nicholls
poor sports film that disappeared as soon as it was released