CHAMPIONS (2023) – My rating 8.5/10

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Champions is a sports comedy directed by Bobby Farrelly in his solo directorial debut, from a screenplay written by Mark Rizzo. It is an English-language remake of the 2018 Spanish film ‘Campeones’. The film follows a temperamental minor-league basketball coach who after an arrest was sentenced by the court to coach a team of players with intellectual disabilities, as community service. I was not that motivated to see Champions but saw it anyway. My rating said it all — what a great story, great acting, and great actors. I obviously really liked the movie.

Marcus Marokovich (Woody Harrelson), a hot-tempered but skilled assistant coach with a minor league basketball team in Iowa, lets his temper get the best of him during a game and shoves the head coach, Phil Perretti (Ernie Hudson), causing him to fall on his butt. After being kicked out of the stadium, Marcus gets drunk at a local bar. While driving home drunk, he hits a police car and ends up in jail. The next day he is bailed out by Phil, who also happens to be Marcus’s long-time friend. The two coaches get into an argument that ends with Phil telling Marcus that he’s been let go by the owners.

Never fully committing to anything, Marcus finds himself in a situation where he must use more than his professional basketball skills. First off, the cast of The Friends was amazing.  These special needs children didn’t appear like a child with special needs, whatever that means.  All were extremely high functioning as well as talented, smart, good actors, and very funny.  In an interview, Woody said The Friends kept him laughing all through the filming of Champions.  Each had their own story, which was well told. This movie offers many lessons to be learned and myths to be dispelled. It’s too bad Champions flew way under the radar because I think it should be seen by the masses. Kudos to Bobby Farrelly for his solo directorial debut, well done! There are a lot of stories told in Champions that didn’t leave you bored or disinterested.  There’s everything from Shakespeare to sex, to great basketball games.  I was excited during the entire movie.

As of March 22, 2023, Champions has grossed $11.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $1.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $13.3 million.  On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 58% of 110 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Although its apparent attempts to be uplifting can often come across as patronizing, Champions is an amiable enough comedy with some seriously talented stars.”  Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall 83% positive score, with 66% saying they would definitely recommend it. I also highly recommend Champions, which is currently showing in theaters — Check It Out!



2 responses to “CHAMPIONS (2023) – My rating 8.5/10

  1. Great review Carol! The rotten tomatoes score worried me a bit about the movie because I was looking forward to seeing it, so your review gave a lot of clarity on the movie and I can’t wait to see it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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