Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Tom Cruise
Lea Thompson
Craig T Nelson
Charles Cioffi
Chris Penn
Michael Chapman
Michael Kane.
Directors
Screenwriters
Running Time
91 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Tokyo Tribe
2 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating
Pheonix
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Long Good Friday, The
5 Star Empire Rating

All The Right Moves


submit to reddit


Plot
Smalltown football star Stef Djordjevic dreams of getting a football scholarship that will get him out of the narrow town confines and offer him the chance for a proper education. First though, he must deal with his hardnosed coach and the pressures of being young.


Review

Back when Tom Cruise was still a spindly wetback with a glean of superstardom in his baby-blues, he took on the symbolic role of a young jock with dreams of something better. And while it would be overstating matters to identify this film as a mirror of Cruise’s rise to glory, there is a tender resonance in its cheesy sports drama operating with all the obvious moves.
 
Anyway, it transpired America was really in the mood for such aspirational twaddle, as in the very same year Flashdance played an identical game replacing this Western Pennsylvanian steeltown with Pittsburgh and a welder with dreams of being a dancer. There is, at least, with Michael Chapman’s less glossy designs, a sense of reality in the rundown town offering little more than unemployment and poverty once the hallowed days of school are done.
 
The school too, tackles genuine tribulations rather than the soap operatics of the similarly minded Varsity Blues: Stef’s relationship with his girlfriend (Thompson) is complicated and honest (she is terrified if he gets out he will never return), while the kids in general are caught up with the awkward embarrassments and emotions of growing up. The central message, tied up both in the football and in the school body, is, “What am I worth?” when the world around convinces them, not much at all.
 
That said, we are not talking about profound revelations. Cruise, at just 22, is doggedly one-dimensional and his sparring with overbearing Nelson’s Coach Nickerson  is as hoary a set of clichés as they come. And despite all its working-class, quasi-socialist trappings, the film is finally flogging the ragged old tale of following the American Dream.


Verdict
Cliched and clunky. Not really a great showcase for Cruise or Chris Penn.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
40 Of The Unlikeliest Movie Character Posters
Would you put these one-sheets on your wall?

Who Is The Vision, Anyway?
An introduction to Avengers: Age Of Ultron's newest addition

Jenny Agutter: Role by Role
From Tin to Captain America to The Railway Children

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for iced tea

Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The showrunner on The Beatles and that lawnmower

Empire's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Our verdict on what could be the biggest film of the year...

The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)