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The Rookie (2002)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 151
Fresh: 126 | Rotten: 25

A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.

90

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 41
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 4

A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.

audience

70

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 60,699

My Rating

Movie Info

Jim Morris never made it out of the minor leagues before a shoulder injury ended his pitching career twelve years ago. Now a married-with-children high-school chemistry teacher and baseball coach in Texas, Jim's team makes a deal with him: if they win the district championship, Jim will try out with a major-league organization. The bet proves incentive enough for the team, and they go from worst to first, making it to state for the first time in the history of the school. Jim, forced to live up

G,

Drama

Mike Rich

Aug 27, 2002

$75.5M

Buena Vista Distribution Compa - Official Site External Icon

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Cast

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All Critics (151) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (25) | DVD (31)

At two-plus hours, The Rookie is a good 20 minutes too long, but for father-son teams waiting eagerly for the umpire's "Play ball!", it's an uplifting season opener.

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Morris ultimately lasted two partial seasons in the majors, and the film's rendering of his minor-league struggle is so enjoyable you want to see more of that and less of the everyday life preceding it.

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though Hancock traffics in a lot of bogus small-town sentiment, The Rookie exhibits a refreshingly honest understanding of baseball as a job, with long road trips away from home and a workmanlike routine.

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's Quaid and his fellow actors, Rachel Griffiths and Brian Cox, who lift the film out of its intermittent doldrums, and together they deliver that rare thing: a nuanced sports movie.

March 12, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Until The Rookie came along, I'd forgotten how good and smart a family film can be.

March 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Deftly constructed to stoke the baseball-phenom fantasies of coulda-shoulda-woulda middle-aged guys and fields-of-dreaming young diamond studs.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As Morris, the reliable Quaid throws heat, delivering smoothly in dramatic scenes and convincingly from the mound.

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Refreshing and compelling.

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

This entry in the genre is a true story that is, sadly, hampered by some signposted plot developments and undernourished characters.

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The Rookie is shot through with star-spangled sentiment, but its light touch and "true story" origins combine to make it feelgood fun even for schmaltz-phobic Brits.

March 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Slow moving, even pedestrian at times, yet this Dennis Quaid vehicle cranks out a lot of genuinely heartwarming moments along the way.

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Earnest, uplifting baseball melodrama

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Sweet and engaging despite some flaws.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

In one of his greatest performances, Dennis Quaid puts nasty velocity and wicked movement on his delivery. A patient, emotionally honest sports film about resurrecting a dream and investing all you never knew you had.

September 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

It spreads the inspirational butter thicker than the diamond action and buries the school team beneath Morris' quest for a new career, but develops a lyrical sense of what it's like to resurrect self-worth and chase one's dreams.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Earnest to the point of blandness.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The Rookie is one of those rare, wonderful 'formula' films that ... favors understatement over exaggeration, subtlety over sentimentality.

September 9, 2007
Looking Closer

I would almost rather have seen an A&E biography than a concocted Hollywood parable of unrealized dreams.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

A fine example of heartwarming real-life drama, with performances that ring true and some terrific moments that befit a classic American Dream story.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Rookie

Filled with very solid performances by the entire cast, "The Rookie" presents the true story of a man who grew up as a kid, moving around with his family and being driven away from his dreams in baseball. When his family finally finds a final resting place, he must live his life there, isolated from baseball and focussing on dirty work and family. Once the opportunity to teach and coach a house-league baseball team arises, he does not hesitate. This sparks people to talk about how good of a pitcher this coach is, and his career escalates from there. Like I said, the acting is great, the story is presented very well, the script is solid, and the direction is nice and tender. "The Rookie" may not be the best baseball film of all time, but it is a very solid effort/entry into the genre.
July 10, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

The Rookie is one of the few sports films that really doesn't do anything for me. The film is overly cliched and is more irritating and boring than anything else. I saw this film made it on the list of worst sports movies ever made. I can understand why. The film is very poorly written, the acting is terrible, the plot is predictable and Dennis Qaids kid in the film is irritating as hell. But its normal for a Disney film. That's to be expected. I thought the film was really a chore to finish, the only reason that I have this is because it came as a two pack packaged with a film that I wanted. I thought this film would be good, it wasn't. Sometimes a story with lots of cliches can be interesting and fun, when the script is well written, and the cast is good. But thats not the case with The Rookie. The Rookie tries too hard at being a feel good film, and instead it misses the mark, big time. Theres little interest in the film to be had 40 minutes in and the film feels sloppy, and poorly made. The Rookie could have been a great film, but it uses the usual feel good movie formula in such a bad way that the film is laughable. If you're looking for one of the worst feel good sports films, then The Rookie is that film. Boring, predictable and so poorly made all you want to do after watching this film is forget about it.
June 12, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Life is perfect, isn't it? There are no hitches, and it just moves along perfectly. That's how life is, right? Well, maybe in a Disney movie, but that's not what makes a good film. When you think about it, it's the ups and downs in characters' lives that makes movies interesting. Who cares if this guy's life is perfect? It's boring. Yeah, it's based on a true story, so they couldn't do much about it, but they really should have taken some creative license with this one, because watching this guy have success at everything he does with absolutely no failure is not interesting. It's boring. Plain and simple. Not to mention that it seemed that half the movie was Quaid's kid smiling at his daddy. Though Quaid does what he can with the poorly-written role he's given, the film still sucks.
August 8, 2010
rjayhutchinson

Super Reviewer

great, one of the great sports flicks
September 29, 2007
sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

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