Directed by Thomas Carter
As if timed to counteract these days of "basketbrawl" and snipes at Hollywood morality, along comes "Coach Carter," a true story, feel-good parable and a respectable, uplifting descendent of "To Sir, With Love" and "Lean On Me."
Based on 1999 incidents in the life of Ken Carter (portrayed here by Samuel L. Jackson), a stubborn, stalwart, inspirational basketball coach at a high school in Richmond, Calif., "Coach Carter" tells of his unflinching, tough-love approach as it buoyantly serenades his insistence that athletic pursuit be married to academic success.
Inheriting a team of surly losers and academic no-shows, Carter begins by installing military rules and insisting teammates and parents alike sign contracts promising upright behavior. Resentful, disrespectful and often bickering players are made to address him as "sir" and to endure merciless, marathon training sessions to boost their physical stamina.
At first, his success is limited to the court. Though popular as the team begins to win, Carter then alienates teachers, parents and the school principal by demanding the players maintain good grades to continue in competition.
He insists from the outset that he be given academic reports on all team members. When he begins to badger teachers and the principal about their failure to deliver, he's told he is there to coach, not teach. Only 50 percent of the students at this particular school ever go on to college anyway, he's informed.
Carter angrily resists. When he learns most of the team is failing, he puts a padlock on the gym and halts all games, just as the team is on the way to its first state championship in years. Parents who've been begrudgingly in favor of Carter turn against him, and the school board even cancels his contract, launching a media circus.
The resolution of it all allows the filmmakers to provide a frequently intoxicating movie about sports and a valuable lesson about the true object of athletic pursuit: character. Carter refuses to buy into the fallacy that short-lived, high school sports success is the only thing inner-city kids can achieve. He pounds into his team the notion that failure in this particular school district is an option only if you want to end up, like so many alumni, in prison.
This is a plum part for Jackson, who gets to spread his wings in a complex role softer than his trademark villains—Carter's a character who's simultaneously crotchety, willful and charismatic. Director Thomas Carter and scriptwriters Mark Schwahn and John Gatins flesh out the story with instructive side trips into the lives of some of these kids, including a promising student (Rob Brown) who may have to give up college to support his pregnant girlfriend (singer Ashanti, in her movie debut).
The film treats this and other subplots with realism and cautionary didactics. The touchy topic of abortion, for instance, is woven into the tale in an especially complex and sensitive way. Nor does the movie sanctify Carter: He's shown to have a deadly temper, and his relationship with his own son is clearly less than perfect. The film nicely balances the stories, allowing some of the teammates to emerge as believably streetwise characters.
Best of all, the handful of basketball games, followed in detail to their breathless conclusion, are exhilaratingly shot, down to the hair-raising finale, a somewhat surprising ending that, like the rest of the movie, dodges the predictable and easy. This's a very good story. I almost cried actually. lol Also I love to play basketball a lot! so I really liked it. I watched this movie in USA.
Reference from Chicago movie reviews!