Up 3,022 this week

The Heart of the Game (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Sport  |  7 July 2006 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 859 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 15 user | 50 critic | 26 from

A documentary Roosevelt Roughriders, a girls' high-school basketball team in Seattle, and one player's fight to regain her eligibility to play.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video


IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 22 Jun 2011
a list of 46 titles
created 30 Dec 2011
a list of 27 titles
created 08 Jan 2013
a list of 25 titles
created 04 Nov 2013
a list of 28 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Heart of the Game (2005)

The Heart of the Game (2005) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Heart of the Game.

User Polls

3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

"Through the Fire" chronicles the journey of Coney Island basketball star, Sebastian Telfair, from famed Lincoln High School straight to the NBA.

Directors: Alistair Christopher, Jonathan Hock
Stars: Sebastian Telfair, Rick Pitino, Asher Beard
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The incredible story of the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team, whose athletes struggled under Soviet rule, became symbols of Lithuania's independence movement, and - with help from the Grateful Dead - triumphed at the Barcelona Olympics.

Director: Marius A. Markevicius
Stars: Sarunas Marciulionis, Arvydas Sabonis, Rimas Kurtinaitis
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Biography of pro basketball player "Pistol" Pete Maravich, who died suddenly in 1988 at age 40 from a heart attack.

Director: Frank C. Schröder
Stars: Millie Perkins, Nick Benedict, Adam Guier
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the early 70s, Cathy Rush becomes the head basketball coach at a tiny, all-girls Catholic college. Though her team has no gym and no uniforms -- and the school itself is in danger of being sold -- Coach Rush looks to steer her girls to their first national championship.

Director: Tim Chambers
Stars: Marley Shelton, Carla Gugino, Ellen Burstyn
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This documentary follows NBA superstar LeBron James and four of his talented teammates through the trials and tribulations of high school basketball in Ohio and James' journey to fame.

Director: Kristopher Belman
Stars: LeBron James, Dru Joyce, Romeo Travis
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Documentary | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James
Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates
Streetballers (2009)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Streetballers is for basketball, what Field of Dreams was for baseball. Defining street basketball as America's new favorite pastime, it is a story driven by passion, faith, and achieving ... See full summary »

Director: Matt Krentz
Stars: Jimmy McKinney, Matt Krentz, Adrieanne Perez
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Raised in the drug infested, crime-ridden streets of West Oakland, California, Demetrius "Hook" Mitchell was born to a drug addicted mother and a father he never knew. Growing up on ... See full summary »

Directors: William O'Neill, Michael Skolnik
Stars: Calvin Andrews, Antonio Davis, Bill Duffy
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A comedy centered on a has-been coach who is given a shot at redemption when he's asked to run his local high school's girls basketball team.

Director: James C. Strouse
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts, Rob Corddry
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Eight of the U.S.'s top high school basketball players compete in the first "Elite 24" tournament at Rucker Park.

Director: Adam Yauch
Stars: Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans
Flintown Kids (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The town of Flint, Michigan, a miniscule point on the map, recently drew national attention through documentary film maker Michael Moore. Moore, a Flint native, wrote and directed the ... See full summary »

Director: Omar McGee
Stars: Chucky Atkins, Mateen Cleaves, Desmon Farmer
Documentary | Short | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Michael Jordan Is Praised as the Greatest Basketball Player of All Time in This Documentary!

Directors: Don Kempf, James D. Stern
Stars: Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Doug Collins


Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (as Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges)
Devon Crosby Helms ...
Herself (as Devon Crosby-Helms)
Meghan Miller ...
Jade White ...
Lindsey Wilson ...
Himself (as Mike 'Riderman' Silva)
Emily Watson ...
Hillary Seidel ...
Aaron Jack ...
Maria Mendoza ...
Keasha Beward ...
April Swafford ...
Maude Lepley ...


A documentary Roosevelt Roughriders, a girls' high-school basketball team in Seattle, and one player's fight to regain her eligibility to play.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's your life. Make every shot count. See more »


Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 July 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I kardia tou paihnidiou  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,251 (USA) (9 June 2006)


$444,687 (USA) (1 September 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bill Resler: One of the things really that makes coaching fun is when you tell teenagers "Go do 'ABC'", and they'll look at you and say "Yes, we're going to go do 'ABC'", and they're excited about "ABC", and five seconds later you watch them do "XYZ", and sometimes I'll ask them "Why did you do 'XYZ'?" and they never have an answer. They always look at you like, "Why would you ask a question like that?"
See more »


References Popeye the Sailor (1960) See more »


Believe It
Written by M. Ludlum and The Angel (as Angel C.)
Performed by The Angel featuring Mystic
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

2nd Best Sports Movie Ever!
23 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For my money, "Miracle" (2004) is the best sports movie ever. That's mainly because it's subject matter was the greatest moment in sports history — the wildly improbable victory of the United States hockey team over the Soviet Union's in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

My main carp about that film was that it didn't adequately portray to the viewer just how staggeringly great the Soviet team was. Picture a baseball team that featured Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Cy Young, Willie Mays, Nolan Ryan, and a dozen other players of comparable magnitude, all at the peak of their powers, and you'll have some idea of what an overwhelming force the Red Army "amateur" team was. The movie doesn't mention it, but they had made it to the medal round by defeating Japan 16-0, Nederland 17-4, and Poland 8-1, in a sport where typical scores are on the order of 3-2.

The movie may not beat you over the head with the amazingness of the Soviet team, but it did do a terrific job of conveying it subtly. As the game entered the last 2 minutes, with the Americans ahead 4-3, the film shows head coach Herb Brooks discussing with his assistant exactly what to do when the Soviet coach, Viktor Tikhonov, pulls his goalie (a common hockey tactic, a gamble, since it leaves the net open, but it gets an additional attacker on the ice). As the seconds tick away, they keep looking at Tikhonov, who appear frozen, just staring at the game. Finally Brooks remarks, in wonder, "He doesn't know what to do!". And at that point it dawns on you: it's because he's never lost before.

I have many more good things to say about "Miracle" (and I don't even like hockey very much), but here in 2006 I'd like to tout the 2nd best sports movie ever: "The Heart of the Game". And, amazingly enuf, it's a documentary! No famous actors, no huge production budget, no award-winning novel on which to base a screenplay, no opportunity to do retakes if things don't go according to script -- just real life, captured as best as they can by director Ward Serrill and his crew with hand-held cameras over a period of 7 years.

The film follows a girls' basketball team, the Roughriders of Seattle Roosevelt High School, and their quirky coach, Bill Resler, University of Washington tax professor by day and motivator of teenage girls by night. The main subplot for the 2nd half of the film is the struggle of star guard Darnellia Russell (no relation) to gain legal eligibility to play for the team after sitting out a year due to pregnancy. Meanwhile, across town, Garfield High School has a new coach, Joyce Walker, herself a former Seattle high-school star who went on to success and fame at the college, Olympic, and pro levels. The Bulldogs are tall and deep, and their star player, who proudly claims she can take Darnellia to the hoop any time she feels like it, happens to be Darnellia's best friend. And Garfield proposes to take no crap from nobody.

There are about 5 seconds' worth of "X"s and "O"s and not quite enuf action footage for my taste (tho what there is is top-quality camera-work). But most of the film is about Resler's interactions with the girls. (And let there be no mistake, they ARE girls, not women.)

I would say more, but let me leave it at this: if there weren't plenty of evidence that this all actually happened, you'd swear it was fiction. A terrific story, very well told.

And now let me say a kind word for Title 9. This was part of Educational Amendments of 1972 (signed into law by President Richard Nixon), and it prohibited sex discrimination in any education program or activity within an institution receiving any type of federal financial assistance. That notably included athletics.

Here are some statistics of interest:

 • In 1997, women received 41% of medical degrees, compared with 9% in 1972.  • In 1997, women earned 44% of law degrees, compared with 7% in 1972.  • In 1997, 41% of all doctoral degrees to U.S. citizens went to women, compared with 25% in 1977.  • Prior to Title 9, there were 32,000 women on intercollegiate teams, today there are 150,000.  • Prior to Title 9, there were 300,000 girls on competitive high-school teams (or 1 in every 27 girls), now there are 2.78 million (1 in every 2.5).

I am a huge fan of girls' high-school and women's college basketball (which goes a long way toward explaining why I'm so fond of this movie). And the fact of the matter is that there isn't a woman playing basketball at any level today who remembers a time when it wasn't considered a perfectly normal and natural opportunity available to the female half of the human race.

But I do.

Thank you, Title 9!

8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lady Ballers? somebodyfamousjr
Over glorified... dyne5000
Coach Resler Fired! BWGrainy
What was the WIAA thinking? marcia_lou
Title IX Success Story KathyZoo
Winning free throw Johnny____
Discuss The Heart of the Game (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: