National Champions (2021) - Rotten Tomatoes

National Champions (2021)



Critic Consensus: National Champions is well-acted and timely, even if it undercuts its own effectiveness with cheesy dialogue and gimmicky plot twists.

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Movie Info

Three days before the college football national championship game, star quarterback LeMarcus James (Stephan James) and teammate Emmett Sunday (Alexander Ludwig) ignite a player's strike declaring they won't compete until all student-athletes are fairly compensated. With billions of dollars at risk and legacies on the line, the stakes could not be higher. Now, with only hours until kickoff, the head coach (J.K. Simmons) and various power brokers (Lil Rel Howery, Tim Blake Nelson, Andrew Bachelor, Jeffrey Donovan, David Koechner, Kristin Chenoweth, Timothy Olyphant, Uzo Aduba) must race against the clock to protect or destroy the prevailing collegiate athletics system.

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Critic Reviews for National Champions

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (16)

It's very intense, very present day, and I liked it a lot.

December 23, 2021 | Full Review…

While not a perfect film, National Champions does express the discourse around an important issue in a compelling way.

December 17, 2021 | Full Review…

The message is still worth contemplating, but lacking a better vehicle to convey it, feels more deserving of analysis on sports pages than the entertainment space.

December 10, 2021 | Full Review…
Top Critic

He's fighting for compensation for other student-athletes, but other meandering, arbitrary plotlines keep slowing the story's momentum.

December 10, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

National Champions devotes most of its time to a contest to see which of its multi-talented cast members can utter the worst dialogue or reveal the most absurd nighttime soap opera plot twists.

December 10, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

[Mervis'] playbook of plot devices too often leans on gimmicky twists to propel the narrative: a lazy love affair; a conveniently covered-up crime; and a tragedy that drops out of nowhere.

December 10, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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