When The Game Stands Tall
When The Game Stands Tall (2014)

Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: August 22, 2014
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2014
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Critic Score: 18% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An uneasy blend of solid game sequences and threadbare inspirational sports drama clichés, When the Game Stands Tall is overshadowed by better players in a crowded field.

James Berardinelli

When the Game Stands Tall is one of those cliché-riddled feel good movies that, by trying too hard to be inspirational, ends up as cloying and overly sentimental.

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Cliff Lee
Globe and Mail

Why must an extraordinary story beget such an ordinary film?

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Josh Terry
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

None of [its] flaws are critical wounds to the film's overall feel, which, aside from some annoying product placement by way of the fine people at Dick's Sporting Goods, comes across as sincere.

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Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture

The real-life story behind When the Game Stands Tall sounds amazing. But for all its exciting sports scenes, the movie version falls flat as drama.

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Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times

A true tale of high school football achievement becomes a strained, by-the-numbers grab bag of uplift in the Christian sports drama "When the Game Stands Tall."

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Martin Tsai
Critic's Notebook

The moral that football isn't everything seems inherently irreconcilable with a football movie, though.

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Susan Wloszczyna

Most often in its early stages, the melodrama onscreen edges precipitously close to dissolving into a puddle of platitudinous pabulum served in the manner of a rote Sunday school lesson.

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David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer

When the Game Stands Tall is more manipulative than a hulking chiropractor. It's so busy beatifying its protagonist that it makes him into a grave idol rather than a man.

Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Mixes bland dialogue, formulaic sports-movie plot points, and vague Christian teachings with some disturbingly naïve racial overtones. The story risks inducing concussion as it pounds and thumps its message home, over and over.

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More reviews for When The Game Stands Tall

Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
Todd Smith
The one thing you can always count on when watching a football film, is that it's going to be exciting. It doesn't matter if it's a true story,… More
Christopher Oakley
Based on a true story of a California Catholic High school football team with a 150 game winning streak, this inspirational drama has good moments but pales in… More
Ian Walker
Based on a true story I actually rather enjoyed this. Good performances from the main leads and engrossing sports action keeps you watching.