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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.38%
Worth A Look25.97%
Average: 16.88%
Pretty Bad: 20.78%
Total Crap: 12.99%

5 reviews, 47 user ratings

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Replacements, The
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by EricDSnider

"A goofy bunch of football players have to ... oh, who cares?"
3 stars

If you're going to enjoy "The Replacements" -- and it's the kind of movie that makes you really WANT to like it -- you'll have to overlook a few things.

Ignore the fact that the entire film is made of pasted-together cliches from other movies. When an NFL players' strike occurs near the end of the season, the Washington Sentinels brings in an old coach named Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) and a rag-tag group of "scabs," some of whom have played professional football, but many of whom have not. They're not playing for money; they're playing because they love the game.

Right down to the "surprise" development near the end, which involves a star quarterback who crosses the picket line and plays with the team of replacement players, the film lacks both creativity and originality. A has-been player gives the usual "I'm retired" speech when asked to come back, and even the bar fight has the standard guy-being-slid-down-the-bar-on-his-belly maneuver, used in every film that has ever had a bar fight.

Ignore also the flat romance between replacement quarterback Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) and head cheerleader Annabelle (Brooke Langton). The film is palpably disappointing whenever those two have a scene together. The football scenes, and the inherent goofiness of non-players trying to play, may not be great, but they're certainly better than this tacked-on, unnecessary subplot.

You'll have to ignore the film's length, too. The premise is fun and many of the characters are likable, but the movie wears out its welcome about 20 minutes before it ends.

What "The Replacements" has going for it is the same thing the players have: heart. Without trying too hard, the film makes it clear that it just wants to be liked. It doesn't want to change your life. It just wants to entertain you, and maybe (though not too plausibly) give you one of those "rah-rah" feelings at the end.

Given its simple goals, it's not surprising that it more or less meets them. Keanu Reeves is his usual bland self, but Hackman is as classy and professional as ever, and they're both surrounded by a cast of zanies, all of whom are endearing, and many of whom are funny.

Rhys Ifans, the crass roommate from "Notting Hill," plays a similar character here, a kicker who chain-smokes and is usually evading a team of debt-collecting thugs. Jon Favreau's overzealous cop-turned-tackler is cartoony, but he grows on you after a while, especially when you see just how committed Favreau is to the character.

Other players include a Sumo wrestler (Ace Yonamine), two showbiz bodyguards (Michael Taliferro and Faizon Love), a show-off lothario (Orlando Jones) and a prisoner (Michael Jace) whom the state has let out of the penitentiary long enough to play these three games (which is something else you'll have to ignore).

"The Replacement" is the sort of movie where, just as you're starting to dislike it because of some ridiculous development or grossly ripped-off cliche, it does something to make you laugh and all is forgiven. It's a puppy-dog of a movie: not worth much, but at times quite amusing and always trying its darnedest to please you.

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originally posted: 07/05/03 20:10:52
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User Comments

5/21/16 Jamie Funny, predictable,feel good.Great cast! Scenes with lapdancer/cheerleaders hilarious! 4 stars
7/31/07 ravenmad Loved it, laughed my ass off. 4 stars
9/30/06 Tamara D. Leonard Such a terrific movie. I really enjoy watching it. One of the few DVDs I actually bought. 5 stars
6/11/06 Jeff Anderson A "BEEN THERE, DONE THAT" kind of film, but it's fun. Langton however, is great EYE CANDY!! 3 stars
5/28/05 critic I usually hate these movies..especially Keanu Reeves movies, but I liked this one 4 stars
11/24/04 Hitman Best Movie I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!! Football Rules! 5 stars
5/06/04 J.Peckerfoot Its different and easy to watch,you cant complain about harmless fun like this! 4 stars
1/10/04 kaz a nice,funny movie 4 stars
4/17/03 Jack Bourbon Clip. Holding. Clip. Clip. Clip. 3 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Good fun. 4 stars
2/05/03 natasha_theobald I think it's funny and I don't care who knows it (shhh) 4 stars
2/28/02 Gracy Lionheart As a comedy, this is pretty funny. I love the tip-toeing vomit scene. 4 stars
2/01/02 Geo7654 Tired sports comedy about a much of has-beens and weirdos playing football. 2 stars
7/29/01 Jennifer Gaissert Funny, sweet 3 stars
7/26/01 Janet Griffin I loved it it was hillarious 5 stars
7/17/01 Piz One of the best funny football movies with a little heart to go with it. kick-ass soundtrck 4 stars
7/04/01 TLsmooth I love football, but football movies suck giraffe cocks. 2 stars
6/15/01 Katie Zayed AWESOME!! FRIGGIN AWESOME 5 stars
6/12/01 Bada Bing Crosby I think Moses and John the Baptist did the first version of this story 1 stars
5/04/01 roby lafon another keanu reeves great 5 stars
4/08/01 azizul fucking good movie 5 stars
4/02/01 moviegoer it was okay, acting was a little worse than it could have been, funny 4 stars
3/18/01 thomas noviello the movie was awesome. keanu is fuckin awesome as shit 5 stars
1/21/01 dog was a good film however would have like to see what happend in the playoffs. 4 stars
1/09/01 Keanuette I liked it! KEANU as a quaterback? Yes Please. Can't wait for the sequels!!! 5 stars
1/03/01 sandy Brett Cullen as the arrogant, yet sexy pro quarterback Martel rocked & Keanu didn't suck! 4 stars
12/05/00 Monday Morning Appealing characters but we've seen exact plot formula at least a million times. Ergo... 3 stars
12/05/00 The Bomb 69 very entertaining but had plot holes the size of Texas 3 stars
11/20/00 Elin Farrington this movie totally kicked ass and keanu was a great quarter back 5 stars
11/19/00 chelsea ROCKED 5 stars
11/19/00 sandra the movie was great and Keanu looked good ,as always 5 stars
11/18/00 irene franco i liked it a lot! 5 stars
11/18/00 Jupiter Keanu is soo sexy but I hate the "F" word being used to describe it 5 stars
11/18/00 Lida Was pretty good 4 stars
8/28/00 Captain Highcrime Keanu: pushing 40 and looking every bit of it. 3 stars
8/24/00 KAM This movie was so funny 5 stars
8/20/00 JonnyA the first movie where I actually fell asleep in the theater 1 stars
8/20/00 The Gipper Mega disappointing. So ordinary & crappy, but Brooke Langton is fine, and Keanu is cool 2 stars
8/15/00 Clarance If you are looking for some awesome laughs and a good time! A MUST SEE!!!!!!! 4 stars
8/15/00 Chickiepoo I was disapointed. Girls will hate this trashy film. 1 stars
8/14/00 TimmyToday Best flick this summer!! 5 stars
8/13/00 chuck Fun time, laughs and pretty women 5 stars
8/13/00 JonnyA poopie 2 stars
8/12/00 DatherFrawdad no stripper chearleaders in the mighty ducks, bitch! 5 stars
8/12/00 Justin it's mighty ducks playin football, sometimes funny, keanu stick to dodging bullets!!!! 3 stars
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  11-Aug-2000 (PG-13)


  09-Nov-2000 (M)

Directed by
  Howard Deutch

Written by
  Vince McKewin

  Keanu Reeves
  Gene Hackman
  Jon Favreau
  Jack Warden
  Brooke Langton
  Orlando Jones

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