"Samuel L. Jackson brings Class and Cool to this MTV movie."
Coach Carter is a little bit Lean on Me, a little bit Hoosiers, with a dash of Remember the Titans thrown in for good measure. Coach Carter is a sports flick with heart and soul and a good message to boot. Honestly I really wasn't expecting much from an MTV flick -- but this blew me away. This movie made me cry more times than I want to admit and in the end you really cared about what happened to the "real" kids the story was actually based on.Director Thomas Carter (who previously directed Save the Last Dance) brings the true story of Coach Carter to life in a surprisingly good movie.
Samuel L Jackson portrays the title role, Ken Carter who accepts the job of boys basketball coach for his old alma mater Richmond High in California where once upon a time he was the star athlete.
What Coach Carter finds when he gets there is a team in disarray. Coach Carter has each player sign a contract to uphold good grades, a dress code on game days, community service, attending classes and acting in a gentlemanly manner and having respect for themselves and others. Most of the players sign the contract and after a rough start soon things are going swimmingly -- the team is undefeated!
But then the shoe drops and Coach Carter enforces the contract. He finds out the players haven't been attending their classes and over half the team is failing at least one class. Coach Carter locks the gym and cancels all practices and games until the entire team's grades improve dramatically.
The parents are outraged and in a showdown between the School Board and room of rowdy parents Coach Carter stands his ground and re-emphasizes his message that any one of the players could get into college and have a future after high school.
At the end is my favorite piece of dialogue. All throughout the film Coach Carter asks - What is your deepest fear? What follows is one player's answer:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.What happens at the end truly pulls at your heartstrings and Coach Carter realizes he has helped the team to become MEN.