gmfwill’s review published on Letterboxd:
While this movie has all the cheesy cliches that basketball movies have (extreme in game cuts, multiple game-winners, intense freak puts by the coach, slow motion, etc.) it resonated more than I thought it would. Yes, this movie Is a typical sports movies in a lot of ways, it is much more thematically rich than that.
This movie is about fathers as their relationships with their sons, second chances, recovery (from drugs and trauma), and forgiveness. It focuses a lot on the human emotions of loneliness and recovering from loss in life and I did not expect to be so moved as I was. It is rich in character development which I also didn’t expect from a movie like this.
This is far from a perfect movie, but I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. There are some moments that I didn’t love, and the writing is a little rough in times, but it tugs at the heart strings which I like in movies. It has a lot of similar beats as Coach Carter, just darker tonally. I didn’t love the aspects that were so similar as it made parts of the movie too predictable at times.
Ben Affleck and Al Madrigal stand out and deliver the best performances. If you need to be moved I suggest this one.
Oh and I would run through a wall for Jack Cunningham.