The Bad News Bears - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bad News Bears Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 23, 2012
I swear that it is purely coincidental that I happen to watch this merely a day after watching its remake. And honestly, that might not have been such a good idea to see that one first.

Morris Buttermaker is a boozy pool cleaner and has-been minor league player who gets roped into coaching a lousy baseball team of misfits.

This set the standard for countless sports movies, and, while it's not so revelatory now, I'm sure it was quite shocking/refreshing to have a kids movie have such an edge to it what with the swearing and politically incorrect nature. It's less vulgar than the remake, but while it's more family oriented, it's still got some racial epithets that wouldn't fly now a days if said by white characters.

I did like this movie, but I think I liked the remake more. Again, I probably should have watched them in reverse order, but I can't change that. Watching either movie happened quite by chance anyway. This is a fun movie though, and what ultimately makes it worth it are Walter Matthau as Buttermaker, Tatum O'Neal as Amanda, and Jackie Earl Hayley as juvenile delinquent/star hitter Kelly Leak. If not for these three, then the remake would be a superior film.

Give this one a watch. It's pretty good.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2012
One of the classic examples of sports movies, for its time "Bad News Bears" was vulgar, petty, and included obvious misfits. Baseball films hadn't been quite so forthcoming with their vulgarity by the mid-seventies, and this especially was shocking because the words themselves came from the mouths of children. Even by today's standards some of the profanity that these kids spew forth is considered vile and hate filled, as well as simply ludicrous in nature. Bears was the template for all later sports films with an underdog team put up against inscrutable odds and find ways to win. Like many films that came after it, the team starts rather badly in the season, beaten by teams by a twenty point margin. Though the team gets better as the season goes along, they don't start winning games until they bring in ringers to help them. The kids are your usual brand of misfits including the fat kid, geek, shrimp, immigrants, and gawky pre-pubescent saplings. The one distinguishable aspect of the film is the lead coach, portrayed by a very gruff Walter Matthau. Throughout the film he is shown as an alcoholic, and is deranged, and oddly revered. His alcoholism is never presented as a serious problem within the film in a way where he is shown to go through a general change or intervention. Amanda (played by Tatum O'Neal) does confront her mentor and father figure but is far more concerned with him being present in her life and fairly responsible rather than sober. Even in the end the Bears are drinking down beers though they are underage. A young Jackie Earle Haley shows up as a renegade dirt biker who comes onto the team as a ringer, along with O'Neal. It's a rather engaging movie, even with the drunk driving, child endangerment, and the general displeasure of watching children mock each other.
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2011
The Bad News Bears is one of the classic baseball comedies. With a great cast of actors, director Michael Ritchie directs a fun film that is very funny. The Bad News Bears remains of the classic baseball comedies, and the film boasts an impressive cast including Tatum O'Neil who was the highest paid child star at the time of the films release. This is a good film that has many humorous moments. The remake of this film was good, but like every other remake, it doesn't compare to the original. This is a great comedy that will appeal to baseball fans, and anyone looking for a good laugh. Walther Matthau is perfect in the role of drunken Bears coach, Morris Buttermaker. He has a grouchy quality that he brings to the character that Billy Bob Thornton just can't duplicate. This is simply a well acted film that is highly entertaining. The cast do a great job here, and this is definitely one of best baseball comedies out there. This is a fun comedy with a good cast and great directing. Walther Matthau delivers here, and so do the child actors who star opposite him. If you're looking for a great comedy, then look no further than The Bad News Bears. This is a well acted film with plenty of jokes and a good cast that will surely entertain you. I very much enjoyed this film, and thought it was a fun time waster. A very enjo9yable comedy that is definitely a classic.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2011
Haha, I really liked this movie. It was the perfect comedy.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
A classic baseball movie, I love the ending. This movie has that 70s realistic quality, it's both dramatic and funny too. I really like it.
Super Reviewer
½ January 30, 2010
Setting the stage for great child-oriented sports' comedies that are funny to everyone like the Mighty Ducks and The Sandlot.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2007
Not really bad, not really good...somewhere in between.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2008
I've been surrounded by baseball my whole life -- played on teams, watched friends play, follow major leagues now. So this film was very nostalgic for me. Walter Matthau plays a drunk pool cleaner who is paid to manage a little league team for a bunch of misfits who couldn't get on other teams. It was fun to watch the kids grow as a team and be reminded of how important it is to remember that "it's just a game". I'm curious how I would have reacted to this film had I seen it on its 1st release in 1976. Then I would probably have liked the kids' antics. Now I wanted someone to just line them all up and beat the foul-mouthed little bastards. Speaking of...what happened to Tatum O'Neal? She seemed to have so much talent as a kid. I'm surprised that no one has given her a real chance to see if if she still has it.
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2007
classic sports flick
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2007
All the usual sports cliches are on display, but it's got Walter Matthau, and that's good enough for me.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2006
Not bad, not amazing.
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2011
Haha, I really liked this movie. It was the perfect comedy.
Super Reviewer
½ August 18, 2008
Entertaining 70's comedy, with a great young cast, and Walter Matthau on top form.
Super Reviewer
½ December 25, 2007
Very funny!
½ June 18, 2007
There are countless movies try to repackage this movie, but nothing matches the original. It involves a team full of misfit, and rejects lead by a reluctant coach who is a self-loathing drunk. They discover an unwanted talented star that carries their team against the odds. The protective remakes or carbon copies do not match up because most of them are as bold and real as this. These kids are not just sweetheart wimpy kids who make you sympathize with them. They are the real, foul-mouthed, angry, kids picked last in gym class. Walter Mathau is excellent as the drunken former minor-league player and now the worst coach ever. Against the odds, the deadbeat coach finds himself identifying with the team of rejects. He tries to be hands-off but finds himself caring about them. The coach means well as he tries to stand up for them and make them better. It is funny, because the character does so without shedding his thorny behavior and flaws. As adults often do, he cares too much about getting their kids to win. He transforms into a competitive drill sergeant who cares nothing for his players and just wants to win. It weaves comedy into messy and dysfunctional social issues. Sometimes it is not funny; it is just mean. It is more about the evolution of the character. This is more than getting kids to believe in themselves; it is about destructive adults trying to prove something by winning. Unlike numerous knock-offs, this works on multiple levels and delivers a comedy that adults will appreciate more than kids.
April 4, 2015
Good movie, but to me..."The Sandlot" is the one to beat in this genre and The Bad News Bears doesn't accomplish that. The kids' acting was better than in the remake, the manager/coach was well played, and the story is tied nicely. 6/10
½ September 23, 2014
Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) begrudgingly decides to coach a little league team that is without a doubt the worst team in the league. With no skills, team play or he has his work out for him and couldn't care less as long as he has beers at his side. After a 26-0 forfeit loss though all of that changes as he decides to show the kids they are worth something. Bad New Bears is a great movie about the value of sports, the life lessons it teaches, and the bonds that are made between people when playing. It also can depict some of the awful aspects and when things go wrong and things are taken too far. The film is easily controversial given the cursing, drinking and all of this around kids, and features some gut wrenching scenes, this movie could never be made today. Bad News Bears may not be the best aged movie, but it clearly is a create sports movie that set the standards for many of them to come.
July 15, 2014
"The Bad News Bears" is entertaining but it just has too much language to be a family movie. I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting down to watch this film (since we LOVED "The Mighty Ducks") and having to turn it off because it was too crass for children. It's a shame because the language does not add to the plot or characterization. It would be easy to represent this motley crew through their lack of skill and immaturity. Then, if you saved the swearing for Kelly Leak, it would only require two or three swear words and the cigarettes to paint his bad boy image. I actually think that the language of the other characters detracts from his image. If they all swear, he doesn't seem quite as bad. As an adult, I felt like it wasn't intended for me but I still enjoyed it. Walter Matthau is great in this grumpy role but the true star is Tatum O'Neal. She adds the human element, insecure about being a tomboy but having no reservations about sticking it to the boys. The story evolves in a way that you really do care about these underdogs and want to see them succeed. While I much prefer "The Mighty Ducks," this is a good film for baseball fans.
½ December 22, 2007
Not only is it a definitive sports film that takes its viewer into the madness of little league baseball, its also a showcase of how much the 70s did for the film industry. Unapologetic with its sense of humor, its a kid flick with a kick, showing no fear in stating that kids swearing can be rather hilarious. Its also a surprisingly deep piece about how it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, but just embrace the enjoyment of America's greatest past time and trying your best. The cast is great all around.
February 23, 2013
Walter Matthau is great in this film about a alcoholic pool cleaner and former minor league baseball player who agrees to coach a little league team of misfits. It's from the good ol' days when a sports movie could end satisfyingly with just going the distance, and not needing to win the whole thing. The film takes a look at American competitiveness, while never holding back on it's language or the underdog team's spirit and badassness. Good fun all around.
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