This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
kgilroy’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Well directed and great performance by Affleck. Loved the hard cuts to the final scores. Honestly loved all the basketball sequences and drinking sequences.
However... Absolutely did not need the dead son. It is possible to be an alcoholic and be troubled and be sad without losing a child. Or, ok, if you’re going to include it, then integrate it fully into the story, don’t just reveal it halfway thru for surprise points. It really irked me that the death of the son and the basketball were kept separate. The fact that the priest and the rest of the school community don’t know about the son is completely unrealistic (Priest asks at their first meeting, “So do you have any kids?”). They know his family (“I haven’t seen you since your father’s funeral”), his legendary basketball stats, and that he still lives in town, but not this? Everyone at that school, or at least the administration, would have heard of this tragedy a million different ways.
And then everything at the end could have been more natural — i.e., “Jack, we know you’re going through a tough time, but alcohol can not be tolerated here” as opposed to, “We found a beer can so you’re fired!”