In its final lap The Winning Season collapses into a sentimental farce that even Mr. Rockwell, now playing the clown, cannot redeem from cringe-inducing hokum.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
The Winning Season respects its misfits (and its audience) by not stripping away their foibles in the service of sports-movie cliches.
Melissa Anderson - Village Voice
Rockwell does a typically fine job -- he's funny, touching and appalling -- as an alcoholic mess of a former high school basketball coach who's been reduced to washing dishes in a restaurant.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
A predictable and cliched dramady.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
The story deepens through the clownish, heartbreaking exertions of Rockwell's gruff misfit, still working things out at the final buzzer.
Sheri Linden - Los Angeles Times
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Leonard Maltin - ReelzChannel.com
Doesn't win points for originality, but the film keeps to a steady rhythm of entertainment, delivering a few laughs and tears along the way on DVD before it settles into its rightful home on basic cable.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Sam Rockwell's never-ending ability to create intriguing characters proves essential to writer/director James C. Strouse, whose formulaic tale of redemption for a washed up basketball coach would otherwise be instantly forgettable.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Quirky indie sports flick is surprisingly serious, moving.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
I want you to see this movie On Demand to witness the most underrated actor in all of the world, Sam Rockwell. That way, he won't have to make another movie like this ever again.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Rockwell charms us into giving the film the benefit of our many doubts.
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
"The Winning Season" teeters hither and thither on its tonal seesaw, never quite sure where its going and often forgetful of where it's been.
Jeff Otto - cinemaobsession.com
A shaggy underdog worth seeking out, primarily for [Sam] Rockwell's sensational performance.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
A mildly entertaining sports flick about a girl's basketball team and a chauvinistic coach who knows a lot about the game.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Forget AA; according to the movies, there's no better cure for alcoholism or depression than good ol' precollegiate athletic coaching.
Eric Hynes - Time Out New York
Aims for both the heatstring-tugging power of sports classics like Hoosiers and the kind of gritty indie drama you might normally see Rockwell in, but falls well short of both.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
A welcome surprise...Rockwell gives a performance that's always funny, never sentimental...this one is worth finding.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Considering its status as merely a puddle of regurgitated elements, The Winning Season is, to be as coarse as its protagonist, the cinematic equivalent of vomit.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
A film that feels fresh and insightful in a generally pretty played out genre.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
As the film progresses, its identity crisis becomes increasingly evident as standard indie tropes are interrupted by cackhanded attempts at comedy of the broadest type.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film
Transporting The Bad News Bears into the world of high school girls basketball, The Winning Season is likable and diverting even if it's pretty familiar.
Tim Grierson - Screen International