Parents' Guide to

The Longest Yard (1974)

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Dated sports comedy has violence, racism, language.

Movie R 1974 121 minutes
The Longest Yard movie poster

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This 1974 sports drama has been remade twice, once starring Adam Sandler in 2005 and once as Mean Machine, where the action was transposed to a British prison and the soccer field. This is largely because The Longest Yard features a solid premise, but it has not aged like a vintage cinematic victory. Part of the problem is its length. At just over two hours, the final act drags like an actual football game playing out in real time. The script doesn't do its star any favors, either, with Reynolds' Paul "Wrecking" Crewe designed to be the type of antihero Paul Newman perfected in Cool Hand Luke. But instead, he is only ever sketched out on the page, resulting in him coming off as petulant and misogynist.

Other fumbles include not enough of the humor standing the test of time, and the action sequences lacking any flair or invention. Reynolds does have enough charisma to keep us wondering whether Crewe will manage some sort of redemption. But with all the other characters around him changing their allegiances to suit an increasingly drawn-out tale, this one finishes a long way from the end zone.

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