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Movie Review

A grizzled coach comes out of retirement to train a group of misfits-in-need-of-redemption in The Replacements, a gridiron comedy inspired by the NFL players strike of 1987.

With four games left in the season, the Washington Sentinals put their playoff hopes in the hands of a quarterback haunted by his collegiate Waterloo (Reeves), a deaf tight end, a psychotic linebacker, a chain-smoking placekicker and a wide receiver who can’t catch. It’s up to no-guff optimist Jimmy McGinty (Hackman) to turn them into winners.

The Replacements vilifies greedy, pampered athletes as it makes heroes of scabs who suit up purely for the love of the game. McGinty encourages and empowers his players, who band together and defend each other (a cheerleader tells the stand-in QB, "You’re the first player I can remember who cares more about his teammates than he does about himself"). Nice gain. Then it fumbles.

While not as raunchy as similar sports comedies (Slap Shot, Major League), this film still should have been flagged with an R rating for unnecessarily rough language (incessant profanity includes more than 30 s-words). There’s also brief nudity, frequent alcohol use, an obscene gesture, sexual humor and gratuitous shots of strippers-turned-cheerleaders gyrating on the sidelines. Also, a Christian athlete projects an unflattering born-again stereotype.

Fans of sports movies won’t care that the plot is as predictable as a pass on third and long. What should bother families is how unnecessarily crass it all is. Despite putting a few moral points on the board, The Replacements stumbles with the game on the line.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

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Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton, Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau

Director

Howard Deutch ( )

Distributor

Warner Bros.

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Smithouser

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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