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The Replacements
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Replacements More at IMDbPro »

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53 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Unoriginal but hilarious

8/10
Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta, GA
7 December 2000

Despite the fact that this film is a totally unoriginal and predictable retread of a dozen `losers to winners' sports stories, it is so hysterically funny that I didn't even care. The story is thin at best. The NFL is having a players strike and scabs are called in to finish the season. Our heroes are low on ability but high on desire and peculiarity. The quarterback, Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), once had a promising career, but he fell apart psychologically when his team was pummelled in a college bowl game and he was labelled a player that folds in the big game. Of course, while visiting the NFL, Shane falls in love with the head cheerleader (Brooke Langton) who never dates players (except of course this once).

All this is merely a mundane excuse for a raucous and silly comedy that has some sidesplitting moments. To enjoy this film you really need two things. You need to love football and you need to enjoy slapstick, banana peel comedy. I realize that this limits the audience considerably, but for those who qualify (and I am one), this movie is a scream.

Director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Grumpier Old Men) did a great job on the football sequences. He hired 45 professional football players (Former NFL players, Canadian Football League, etc.) to do the football scenes and sent the actors to a three-week football camp. The action looked real because it was real. The players were told to play and hit the way they normally would. Of course, the plays were choreographed, but they were real football plays.

The comedy was lowbrow, outrageous and crass, with a great deal of physical comedy. The cheerleader scenes were a riot, especially the cheerleader tryouts. The scene where they started pantomiming sex acts to distract the opposing team was priceless. There was also sharp-witted football humor that required more than just a passing knowledge of the game.

There isn't much serious that can be said about the acting. Keanu Reeves tried to play an earnest comeback and romantic role amidst all the foolishness and it really didn't fit with the rest of the film. However, he was an excellent athlete. He did most of his own on-field shots and looked very believable as the quarterback. Gene Hackman was good when he was making snappy wisecracks, but his inspirational `Hoosiers' imitation was misplaced.

This film really belonged to the supporting actors like Orlando Jones (Clifford Franklin), Michael Taliferro and Faizon Love (The Jackson Twins), Ace Yonamine (Jumbo Fumiko), Rhys Ifans (Nigel `The Leg' Gruff) and all the cheerleaders who made the comedy work. Jon Favreau gets a special mention as the crazy S.W.A.T. officer turned linebacker who took the wild man role to the next level.

This film won't be fun for everyone, but it will have certain people falling off their chairs. I rated it an 8/10. Subtract two points if you aren't amused by slapstick and boorish behavior, and another two if you aren't a football fan. For the rest of you, be prepared to split a gut.

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34 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Expected storyline, but completely unexpected hilarity

10/10
Author: wrygrass (wrygrass@hotmail.com) from Washington State
30 July 2000

To work, comedy has to be unexpected. And that is just what makes "The Replacements" work so well. Oh, not that the storyline is unexpected, for from it. But the actual comedy embedded in that plot is often delightfully quirky and quite unusual in this extremely good-natured and entertaining film. The very first scene, for example, takes place in a completely unexpected setting and proceeds in a really odd-ball way.

As it is most times, Keanu Reeves acting is subtle. In this film you have to watch those eyes that are so eloquent when he's discouraged and listen to those little expelled breaths that convey so well (and so humorously) his state of mind when he's near the girl he's finds attractive. It's all there, and more, if you watch closely. Reeves is completely believable as a man who needs a second chance to do something he loves--play football. It's like he's a different person on and off the field--and that's exactly what the movie was trying to convey. The development (redemption is only too slightly strong a word) of Reeves' character is excellently portrayed. That struggle to overcome provides a good solid center around which all the hilarity revolves and becomes funnier in contrast.

Gene Hackman and the rest of this ensemble cast did a great job--everyone has his or her moments. If the movie has a weakness, it's the romance. Not that Brook Langton and Reeves aren't good in the clinches--they have a definite chemistry. But it seems like there should have just been one scene between them with some real substance.

"The Replacements" also succeeds well as a football movie. The great photography and sound; the inventiveness of the script in dreaming up unusual and funny, yet still plausible, game events; and the evident attention to training for and depicting the physical moves, all add up to a movie which sports fans will relish. And yet, the football plays, are presented so clearly that even someone who's not a knowledgeable football fan can understand everything that's happening, even the first time.

Comedy is tough--it's quite an achievement to have folks in the theater laughing for most of two hours. And that's certainly what the audience did when I saw "The Replacements." As well as cheering out loud for the "home team," clapping at the end, and coming out feeling like dancing to "I Will Survive" like they did in the movie. As well as feeling like we can survive and be ourselves--just like those scrappy, eccentric replacements.

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36 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Entertainment for the fun of it

8/10
Author: Tynne from Canada
21 January 2001

This movie was made purely for entertainment. What a breath of fresh air. With all the extremely dramatic, be it important, films being made lately (Life is Beautiful,etc), it's nice to watch a film that is just entertaining. The supporting cast was amazing, as an ensemble they worked together as a team should. And Keanu Reeves gave a wonderful performance - he is often under appreciated as an actor because he is attractive - but he gave a solid performance. Gene Hackman was good - that goes without saying, but I think this is the first time I've ever seen him portray a character I actually liked.

If you enjoy a good laugh, this a movie you would likely enjoy.

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28 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

"There is no tomorrow for you, and that makes you very dangerous people."

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
30 June 2001

Those are the words of coach (Hackman) before the final regular season game for the "replacement" players, filling in for the striking regulars. The "never-been" QB (Keanu Reeves) must try to lead them to victory.

"The Replacements" is primarily a good screwball comedy, in the vein of, but significantly better than, "Best of Show" and "The Waterboy." Some may even take a "message" away, about the importance of teamwork, belief in oneself, true love (QB and the head cheerleader). But that is all secondary.

I rate this one highly for pure escapism entertainment, but also with good acting by Reeves and Hackman, and some almost-believable football action, heavily interlaced with goofiness. The lap-dancers turned cheerleaders, who totally distract the opposing team. The tag-team vomiting during the huddle, after the Japanese sumo wrestler eats too many eggs before the game ("I gotta beef up!") The cop who, like in the "Waterboy", can get enraged (Coach says, "I want you to get me the ball," and he does.) The Welsh kicker who is "wirr-rrry strong" and smokes a cigarette while kicking. The "I will survive" dance in jail, after the barroom brawl with the 'regulars.'

To make a good screwball comedy, the writer and director have to walk a fine line and here they do it well. John Madden and Pat Summerall, playing announcers, are genuinely funny. The DVD picture, and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, are up to standards.

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35 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

A must see laugh a minute movie, that make you feel good!!

10/10
Author: lizettemejia98 from United States
27 July 2000

This is one of those movies that you'll pick to go see for a few reasons. Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves (Wow), football, babes,& yada yada. I went to see a sneak preview, so it didn't really matter to me if it was going to be good, because I didn't have to pay for it. Well, I would pay to see it again!! Not only is this movie beyond funny, real funny, the story is terrific, acting wonderfully strong , the dialogue so real, and it leaves you wanting more. Gene Hackman can do anything, so him playing a coach, and choosing him for the role was right on the mark. Keanu Reeves, what can I say. He's so easy on the eyes. ALL you want to do is watch him play the role as quarterback, (as if he was one), and enjoy looking at him being "FALCO". The chemistry between him and Annabell is so cute & mushy. It's a movie for anyone who wants to laugh, is rooting for the under dog, likes football or not, or who just wants to go to a movie and be completely entertained!! W.B. has truly captured what it is we all go to the movie for. I can guarantee you, when you see this movie, not only will you walk out wanting to see it again, but you'll tell anyone you know, to go see it and have a BLAST!! This movie is a winner!

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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Great movie!

10/10
Author: Pinky-7 from Ottawa Canada
14 August 2000

I have to admit, my boyfriend had to drag me to this movie, and I went along with it, telling myself that at the very least I could spend the next couple of hours admiring Keanu's cuteness, even if he isn't the best actor. BOY was I suprised! This was a really funny, really sweet movie that made me laugh and laugh. Keanu's acting was better than I've ever seen, the supporting cast did a GREAT job. I go to a LOT of movies, and it has been a long while since I've seen a movie that i enjoyed this much, so I really encourage you to give it a try.

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant, fuzzy, feel good movie.

Author: Theoriginaltruebrit from North Carolina originally England
13 July 2002

I haven't bothered watching professional football since Joe Montana retired but this movie got me interested again. While I can appreciate the comments of other reviewers that it is a formula movie and has many inaccuracies when it comes to the football action it is pure and unadulterated fun. The bottom line is this movie is downright funny, from start to finish. The cast are absolutely wonderful and the casting director did a brilliant job of bringing this gang together. Gene Hackman of course is perfect as the coach.... "I'll pull you off the field you spoiled son of a bitch".... Rhys Ifans absolute perfection as Gruff (after a **** you remark from Jimbo) "You'll have to find your dick first Shamu", to the shoot em up bros from the hood, to "get me the ball, get me the ball" The acting was absolutely wonderful in this movie. I have to admit I didn't like the guy that played Martell but perhaps that's because I wasn't supposed to like him, perhaps it shows what a good job he did. And Keanu, dear, sweet, so maligned Keanu, I read a reviewer once who said of Keanu's acting that it is "almost transparent" and in this movie it is, he doesn't eat scenery he just does his job, low key, perfectly in character, and for those who know anything at all about acting all you have to do is watch his eyes. He has a Harrison Ford like quality of being able to express a wealth of emotions with his eyes and in this movie he pulls it off perfectly. I also read somewhere that during the making of this movie it was discovered that Keanu really did have "an arm" and at one point threw a 69 yard pass. I have seen this movie in excess of 20 times and will no doubt see it 20 more times, it is the best feel-good movie I have ever seen. When I want drama and suspense I will watch "The Green Mile" when I want simple, comedy that just leaves me with a huge grin I will watch the replacements. Oh yeah and I just want to kiss the person who put Keanu in a No. 16 uniform *S*

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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Take it for what it is

8/10
Author: IslesLaz from The middle of nowhere
11 August 2000

It's a sportsmovie. It's got every sports cliche in the book: "I look at you and see two men. The man you are and the man you ought to be." But, hell, who cares? It's the Major League of football movies. Sure, it's not gonna win an Oscar, but it's entertaining. A good movie to kill 2 hours. You want drama in a football movie, check out Any Given Sunday. You want fun, mindless entertainment, check this out. Props to Keanu Reeves for learning to throw like a genuine quarterback.

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33 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

I laughed until I cried!!!!!!!

9/10
Author: (srog1313@aol.com) from Montgomery Pa. United States
31 January 2001

It is about time they put out a movie that you can watch just to feel good about something and have a good laugh. The last movie that was close to this was "Major League" which this was very similar to, but there were some aspects that made this better. It was the most unique roll I have ever seen Gene Hackman in and it was a very refreshing one at that. Even the music set the tone perfectly. You will love the closing, naturally I do not want to give it away but the music in the closing scene of the movie was just perfect in setting the mood and emotion. I could watch it over and over.

Thumbs up on this one guys!!!!!!

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Replacements ROCKS

9/10
Author: stevie7 from Los Angeles
10 August 2000

"The Replacements" is more than an "it does for football what "Major League" did for baseball" kind of movie. "Replacements" is funnier than that film, for one thing. It's more in the league of "Slapshot" with Gene Hackman providing the weight that Paul Newman brought to that film. Also, like the hockey scenes in "Slapshot," the actual football sequences are really bone crunching. While there is a lot to look at in "Replacements," like Keanu Reeves (who is also really good in this role, playing it for drama amid all the wackiness) getting the hell beat out of him, or like the replacement cheerleaders carted in from local strip clubs to really get the fans pumped for the game (is this what the XFL is going to be like?), this movie works as more than all that stuff. More than the sum of it's parts, as they say. "Replacements" has a good heart. Bottom line, I'm going to see it again.

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