Watch The Longest Yard

"If you can't get out, get even."

This remake of the original The Longest Yard carries all of the original hallmarks that made the first film good, while updating the cast and the comedy style for a more modern audience. And whether the audience enjoys sports films or action movies, the Longest Yard is a little bit of both all rolled up into one. Adam Sandler is Paul Crewe, a disgraced football player who was banned from professional ball after a point shaving accusation. When he's finally arrested and sentenced a warden in Texas pulls serious strings to get Crewe sent to him. The warden wants Crewe to act as a trainer for the guard team. Crewe's suggestion is that the guards have a warm up game. The warden agrees, and instructs Crewe to put together a team from the inmates.

The inmates, of course, are supposed to lose. That's the whole point; let the guards win and give their egos a boost for the upcoming season. Of course the inmates don't want to do that, and neither does Crewe. Despite threats and moments of doubt, the prisoners pull together as a team, overcome their differences and emerge victorious over the guards. It's a fleeting victory, but it's one that has brought them together and shown that even men in captivity can still achieve amazing things if they work together as a team.

The film, in addition to hitting all the high notes of being a sports movie with triumph and the human spirit, is jam packed with comedy. The opening bits, involving a drunken Adam Sandler aren't that humorous, but when other members of the cast like Terry Crews and Chris Rock come on camera the laughs ratchet up quite a bit. While the writing might not be as solid as it could be, and a lot of stereotypes about the criminal justice system are played for laughs, The Longest Yard is generally a film that people shouldn't take too seriously. It isn't a movie about modern gladiators turned into brutal scapegoats for the fragile ego of a little man with a lot of power (though it could be turned into that, and has moments that hint at this very thing). It's a film about how even bad men can do good things, and about how the underdogs can bite down and hold tight when they decide to really take a challenge in their collective teeth.

| 2005 | 1 hr 53 min | 6.4/10 | 48/100
Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Nelly
Paramount Pictures
Peter Segal, Peter Segal

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