At first glance, the emotional and moving film Coach Carter may seem to be the basketball version of the 1989’s Lean on Me with leading star Morgan Freeman. Both films are uplifting, true stories about instructors at failing schools, who use controversial means to get their students academically on point. Coach Carter is nonetheless a distinctive film strong enough to stand on its own.
“This film can relate to anyone, after watching it, I had tears in my eyes” says Lauren Tolin sophomore at Michigan State University. This film displayed that hard work and guidance pays off.
Samuel L. Jackson’s turn as the tough-love advocate-coach Ken Carter may come off as predictable, but it is a well deserved leading role for the gifted actor. A talented young cast complements Jackson, including singer Ashanti, who gives a surprisingly solid performance as a pregnant teen that looks out for herself when making a life changing decision. Rob Brown (Finding Forrester), Rick Gonzalez (Biker Boyz), Robert Ri’chard (TV’s One on One) and Antwon Tanner (The Wood) also shine.
Samuel L. Jackson plays a stellar role as a coach who is willing to risk everything to help eight young men change their lives and get into college. With many obstacles in the paths of these teenagers, Coach Carter (Jackson) is trying to show them that wanting more and getting out of the “ghetto” is achievable.
The movie’s theme of education, not athletics, as the ticket out of life in the inner city is especially profound considering the events actually happened in Richmond, California, in 1999. This movie is a must see first-rate film. See for yourself; Coach Carter is in theaters now.