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Radio

A small-town high school football coach (Ed Harris) befriends a developmentally disabled man (Cuba Gooding Jr.) nicknamed "Radio," who has always been the target of jokes and teasing, in this heartwarming drama based on the real-life experiences of James Robert Kennedy. Although their friendship raises eyebrows at first, Radio's growth under the coach's guidance ultimately inspires the local townsfolk to think differently about being different.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.8
Rotten Tomatoes: Rotten 36%
Critics' score: 36   Audience score: 83   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

It's hard to say what's more offensive about the out-of-tune Radio -- Cuba Gooding Jr. trying to ingratiate himself by mugging up a storm as a mentally challenged man, or the mawkish narrative surrounding him like so much syrup.

Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Based-on- a-true-story kitschfest. full review

Ed Park, Village Voice

[Y]et another movie that takes a mentally challenged character and turns him into this kind of deity, this saint-like mascot who everybody else learns life lessons from. full review

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper

Gooding once again embarrasses himself in public with a performance that knows no shame, a habit he's getting frighteningly at ease with these days.

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

A train wreck of a film lying inert where the tracks of the Feel Good Line cross the Path of Good Intentions.

Philip Kennicott, Washington Post

Though probably well-intentioned, Radio comes off as manipulative of its audience and exploitative of the mentally challenged. full review

Claudia Puig, USA Today

Rarely have good intentions been wrapped in such a sticky package. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Cuba Gooding Jr. falls victim to the Nell syndrome, in which a vibrant, loquacious actor decides that the road to an Oscar nomination is to wear a slack expression and a set of Nutty Professor teeth. full review

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

It's bad enough that the film's unimaginative narrative can barely hold our attention, but we have the added distraction of seeing the estimable Harris, Winger and Woodard frittering away their talents playing banal, cardboard characters. full review

Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee

It's still a tear-jerker, but it doesn't make you feel like a jerk for tearing up. full review

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

The result is just as the filmmakers hoped. You'd have to hold a stubborn defensive line not to be moved by this film's heart. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

I'm happy to report Radio is tolerable. Better than tolerable, in fact, but not much better. full review

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle

Every once in a while human nature expresses itself in a way we can feel good about, and this is one of those times. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

After some student and parental resistance, a medley of obvious platitudes and great bathos washes over the place, and everybody is righteously lifted up where they belong. full review

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

A lot better than the Muzak it threatens to be, but, ultimately, not good enough to keep our itchy fingers off the dial. full review

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

Please, Hollywood, no more inspiration, particularly if it feels about as authentic as canned laughter.

Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

A lot of whitewash is poured over a subject solely to wring emotion from the hapless viewer. full review

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News

Of course I should know better, but the movie had me blubbering from its first down. full review

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press

The game plan is Inspiration or Death. full review

Bob Campbell, Newark Star-Ledger
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