Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Winning Season

The Winning Season

4.0 1
Director: James C. Strouse

Cast: Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts, Margo Martindale

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award recipient James C. Strouse follows up his 2007 Sundance Film Festival favorite Grace Is Gone with this comedy drama about an alcoholic ex-basketball star who gets a second chance at success on the court when recruited by a local high school principal to coach the girl's varsity team. Bill (


Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award recipient James C. Strouse follows up his 2007 Sundance Film Festival favorite Grace Is Gone with this comedy drama about an alcoholic ex-basketball star who gets a second chance at success on the court when recruited by a local high school principal to coach the girl's varsity team. Bill (Sam Rockwell) used to sink hoops in the NBA, but that was before the bottle got the best of him. These days, Bill's more likely to be spotted bussing tables at the local diner than hustling up and down the court. Handed the reins on his daughter's basketball team by the school's principal, Bill seizes the opportunity to get back in the game and set things right.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Take The Bad News Bears, age the kids up five or six years, make them all girls, swap out Little League for high-school basketball, and you've got The Winning Season, a thoroughly likable little movie that's a better retread of Michael Ritchie's baseball classic than Richard Linklater's remake. Bill (Sam Rockwell) may not have hit rock bottom, but he could scrape his knuckle on it with a short jab. The alcoholic works at a restaurant as a dishwasher and takes every opportunity to finish whatever beer might be left in the glasses of customers whose tables he's bussing. When an old friend (Rob Corddry) offers him the chance to coach varsity girls basketball at the school where he's the principal, Bill quits his lowly job. The team is small -- just six girls, including one on crutches. And Bill's less-than-warm personality immediately turns them all off. However, this collection of young women from broken homes needs a coach as badly as Bill needs a reason to keep his mind off his failing relationship with his own teenage daughter, and soon the seemingly hapless squad is listening to Bill, putting together a season they'll all remember. All the while, Bill is fighting his own demons. The character arcs in The Winning Season are thoroughly familiar from every popular sports movie of the last 40 years, so the film's success rests in the hands of the actors. That being the case, if Walter Matthau is unavailable to play the cranky, drunken mentor to a group of ragtag would-be teammates, you could do a whole lot worse than Sam Rockwell. He's a master of playing seemingly irredeemable a-holes, and making you care about them. He makes sure we see all of Bill's worst aspects, but even at his most heinous -- embarrassing his daughter at a friend's birthday party, or sloppily hitting on a waitress -- he's got a humanity that never fully extinguishes. The supporting cast is solid, if not exactly standout. Emma Roberts is appealing as the team leader who learns that her boyfriend isn't as great as she thinks as he is, and Meaghan Witri has some sweet, touching scenes as the team's center who's wrestling with some very personal issues. But Margo Martindale, as the bus driver-turned-assistant coach, matches up best with Rockwell; her quiet patience acts as the perfect counterbalance to his extroverted charisma. Writer/director James C. Strouse overplays Bill's exasperation with his players' touchy-feely emotions and their politically correct tendencies -- a little of that stuff goes a long way. But, aside from this, the script is full of great zingers, and although the story structure stays on an overly familiar path, there's little reason to subvert convention when you've got a bunch of charming characters and talented actors.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Theatrical Trailer; ; Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sam Rockwell Bill
Emma Roberts Abbie
Margo Martindale Donna
Rob Corddry Terry
Jessica Hecht Stacey
Shana Dowdeswell Molly
Shareeka Epps Lisa
Meaghan Witri Tamra
Emily Rios Kathy
Melanie Hinkle Mindy
Rooney Mara Wendy
Vanessa Gordillo Flor
Connor Paolo Damon
Melissa Graver New Rome Forward
Clarke Thorell Prairie Hill Coach
Rod Brogan Rick
Kevin Breznahan Joel
Brian Berrebbi Manager
Rhonda Keyser Uno's Waitress
Sara Chase Outback Waitress
William Wiggins Teenager
Colby Minifie Teen Girl
Colleen Broomall New Rome Center
Jennifer Regan Concerned Mother
Devin Ratray Security Officer
Ed Jewett Announcer
Marceline Hugot Dr. Parsons
E.J. Carroll Male Announcer
Caitlin Colford Prairie Hill's Center
Seth Herzog Mascot
Lynn Mancinelli Cheerleader/Dancer #1
Pauline Sherrow Cheerleader/Dancer #2
Angelina Aucello Cheerleader/Dancer #3
Robert Keir Arcade Boy

Technical Credits
James C. Strouse Director,Screenwriter
Kara Baker Producer
Kerry Barden Casting
Stephen Beatrice Production Designer
Jamie Carmichael Executive Producer
Daniel Crown Executive Producer
Frank G. de Marco Cinematographer
Vicki Farrell Costumes/Costume Designer
Joy Goodwin Co-producer
Joseph C. Grano Executive Producer
Andrea Grano Executive Producer
Pamela Hirsch Executive Producer
Joe Klotz Editor
Erick Kwak Executive Producer
Riva Marker Co-producer
Galt Niederhoffer Producer
Jeanne O'Brien Executive Producer
George Paaswell Co-producer
Nick Quested Executive Producer
Celine Rattray Producer
Sam Rockwell Executive Producer
Mikki Rosenberg Associate Producer
Paul Schnee Casting
Edward Shearmur Score Composer
Reagan Silber Executive Producer
David Sweeney Executive Producer
Daniela Taplin-Lundberg Producer
Gia Walsh Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Winning Season
1. Bussing Tables [5:30]
2. Girls' Varsity [8:42]
3. Go, Fight, Win! [10:06]
4. Nothing But Basketball [7:52]
5. Whose House Is This? [7:44]
6. Family Issues [7:42]
7. Go Chargers [8:35]
8. Party's Over [6:56]
9. Winning Season [9:00]
10. Our House [10:33]
11. Sectional Finals [14:09]
12. End Credits [5:59]


Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Winning Season 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not your typical youth sports underdog movie. Pleasantly surprised at the focus on the relationships and the warmth and humanity that came through. This is a very funny movie due to Sam Rockwell who is excellent. Recommended for families with older kids primarily due to language and some sensitive subject matter. Also recommended of course, for girls who play basketball.