Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Dwayne Johnson
Xzibit.
Directors
Phil Joanou.
Screenwriters
Jeff Maguire
Lee Stanley.
Running Time
120 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating
Blackwood
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

Gridiron Gang
The Rock puts in a decent performance in this cliched sports' movie.


submit to reddit


Plot
The Rock plays a counsellor at a detention centre who forms his charges into an American football team. They go on to considerable success, learning self-respect and self-confidence along the way.


Review
Gridiron Gang

The track record for wrestlers-turned-actors ain’t great; Hulk Hogan, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and, faring slightly better, the late Andre The Giant. Pleasant surprise, then, that The Rock, only ever expected to aim for Arnie’s action crown, makes a very decent fist of ‘proper acting’.
 
For the first half of this true story (inspirational coach Sean Porter turns LA juvenile detention kids into a football team), director Phil Joanou avoids the usual banalities. But in the home stretch, the star’s huge shoulders have to bear the burden of every sports-movie cliché in the book. Happily, the conviction of his performance just about carries everyone over the line.


Verdict
What begins as a series of pleasant revelations and a deft example of genre defiance is nearly crippled by cliche in its second half, but The Rock's surprising dramatic magnetism will hold you until the final whistle.


Reviewed by Sam Toy

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Gridiron Gang
Empire Star Rating

Suprisingly good

I thought this was gonna be just as bad as freedom writers or dangerous minds was. But I was pleasantly surprised that this film was captivating, thought provoking and the Rock has genuine acting talent behind those huge huge muscles. The football games generate a great empathy with the audience in an adrenaline charged glory. It's footage in the closing sequence relating it to the actual story gave it a realism that really gave the edge to it. The one scene that really puts the film into contex... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by adamthecaptain at 14:32, 25 July 2009 | Report This Post


Certainly the best sports movie since Friday Night Lights (itself the greatest sports movie ever made); this movie wears it's heart on its sleeve. No cliche is untouched, but such a blatant approach surprisingly makes a superb stab at this much loved genre. The whole movie is held together by a superb performance from The Rock. This guy should be a major movie star - he has that rare ability that you just cannot teach - charisma, and he has it in abundance. Such a likeable star deserves a mas... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by McQueen at 11:59, 11 June 2007 | Report This Post


Has to be a 3

Gridiron Gang is not bad but its not great. Good fun for a couple of hours but horribly predictable. If Xzibit or The Great One were not in it, I dont think it would have been watched by many people at all! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ron burgandy at 13:18, 03 March 2007 | Report This Post


The Rock is an actor that is waiting for the big role. That movie role that will make him huge as he should be rather than just repeatedly starring in the same sort of movie all the time. Gridiron Gang is not that role, it is the sort of movie that The Rock is in repeatedly, it is the kind of movie he should be avoiding; not to say that it’s a bad movie because it isn’t. The Rock starts as Coach Porter, a former American Football player who works in a juvenile detention centre. This... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MBBarlow at 23:21, 18 February 2007 | Report This Post


The Rock is an actor that is waiting for the big role. That movie role that will make him huge as he should be rather than just repeatedly starring in the same sort of movie all the time. Gridiron Gang is not that role, it is the sort of movie that The Rock is in repeatedly, it is the kind of movie he should be avoiding; not to say that it’s a bad movie because it isn’t. The Rock starts as Coach Porter, a former American Football player who works in a juvenile detention centre. This... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MBBarlow at 23:21, 18 February 2007 | Report This Post


Gridiron Gang

Caught this on Region 1 DVD a month or so back and pretty much agree with the Empire review. Despite the cliched second half (which is still enjoyable none the less) this is thoroughly entertaining stuff and well worth watching if your a fan of Friday Night Lights, The Replacements, etc. Then there's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. I've always found him to be immensley watchable but his performance here is a suprisingly heartfelt. Recommended 3.5/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by paulyboy at 10:18, 02 February 2007 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)