Coach Carter Thomas Carter

Coach Carter has so much in common with the classic basketball film Hoosiers it's practically a remake. Like Hoosiers, Coach Carter is based on the true story of a hardnosed high school basketball coach whose unconventional practices raise the ire of his team, their parents and the entire ball-worshiping town before everyone comes around to his winning methods. Samuel L. Jackson plays Ken Carter, an admirable coach who places a greater emphasis on the academic performance of his team than their supposed educators. Though he transforms a losing team at a ghetto high school in Richmond, California into winners on the court, he forsakes a winning streak when he learns that some team members have slipped below the minimum 2.3 grade point average they'd agreed upon. Carter suspended play for his team until they hit the books harder, making headlines in the process for his rigid stance that caused great rancour in his community. Where Hoosiers focused on the historical story of Indiana farm boys in the '50s and utilised non-actors to play ball under Gene Hackman, Coach Carter is a contemporary inner-city story, featuring stellar b-ball moves by an actor's guild approved cast. Though it loses momentum when it strays from the team dynamic to tell individual stories, it's a well-acted and inspirational tale. Interviews with the real Coach Ken Carter, his students, and his family are truly insightful and make the story all the more remarkable. In selecting Hoosiers as a benchmark, Coach Carter does well for itself as an entertaining and meaningful sports film. Plus: Coach Carter: The Man Behind the Movie, Fast Break at Richmond High, music video (Paramount)