Director: Michael Chapman

Starring: Tom Cruise, Lea Thompson, Craig T. Nelson, Chris Penn

Year: 1983

Well 1983 was the year I was born, and I’ve always loved football (and Tom Cruise, for that matter); maybe that’s why I’ve always had a special place in my heart for All the Right Moves.  It’s as classic a sports movie, a coming-of-age movie, and a Flashdance-esque getting-out-of-your-steel-mill-town movie as you’re ever likely to see; ‘solid gold’ might be the phrase that sums it up best.  Those of us who grew up watching this type of movie on TBS will always love the genre and the period, they will always be special to us, this one standing out among the crowd.

Stef is a working class kid from a working class clan.  Heck, all the kids at AmPipe High have dads and brothers working at American Pipe, the town is built on the backs of its workers, that’s the number one thing in this town; family.  Well, either that or football, which is at least a close second.  High school football is what the town has to enjoy after a hard day’s labor, and all the cool kids either play ball, play in the band, or cheer.  For Stef, football is his ticket out, his way into college, where his dreams will finally come true.  But first he has to impress his hyper-critical coach, a guy who’s just trying to move on up the ladder too, and who holds all the kids’ futures in his clenched fists.

This is a great 80s flick, complete with terrible original music and awesome outfits, cheesy themes and classic climaxes.  There’s a little sex and a little melodrama, it’s American workers and American dreams, it’s 80s glory around every corner.  And it’s also a great way to see these young actors when they were just coming into their own, it’s so fun to see their skill early, because it really is there on display.  Then there’s the football, the angst, the town, the mill, the depression; it’s a great idea fleshed out with perfect casting and a great mood.  All the Right Moves is something to see, at the very least as a fascinating time capsule of the era and the films that were being made then, of perhaps a simpler time, maybe, but one full of its own problems.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils