The Rookie (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rookie (2002)



Critic Consensus: 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.

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 to his end of the deal, is nearly laughed off the try-out field--until he gets onto the mound, where he confounds the scouts (and himself) by clocking successive 98 mph fastballs, good enough for a minor-league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Jim's still got a lot of pitches to throw before he makes it to The Show, but with his big-league dreams revived, there's no telling where he could go.more
Rating: G
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Mike Rich
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 27, 2002
Box Office: $75.5M
Buena Vista Distribution Compa - Official Site


Dennis Quaid
as Jim Morris
Rachel Griffiths
as Lorri Morris
Jay Hernandez
as Joaquin `Wack' Campo...
Brian Cox
as Jim Sr.
Beth Grant
as Jimmy's Mother
Rick Gonzalez
as Rudy Bonilla
Chad Lindberg
as Joe David West
Angelo Spizzirri
as Joel De La Garza
Blue Deckert
as Baseball Scout Dave ...
Daniel Kamin
as Durham Manager Mac
Trevor Morgan
as Young Jim
Robert Logan
as Steve Dearborn
Matt Williams
as Owl Player No. 1
Miguel Salas
as Owl Player No. 2
Eddie Alvarado
as Owl Player No. 3
Brandon Garner
as Owl Player No. 4
Ernest Vidaure
as Owl Player No. 5
Canuto Rey Guerrero
as Owl Player No. 6
Seth Spiker
as Tryout Catcher
Beau Holden
as Orlando Heckler
Brandon Smith (I)
as Orlando Manager
Chris Sheffield
as Snow Covered Catcher
Cameron Banfield
as Jimmy's Brother
Barbie Burke
as Female Student
Kyle-Scott Jackson
as Baseball Scout
Bert Beatson
as Player With Headphon...
Tony Moore
as Kenny Justin
Brian Shoop
as Durham PR Director
Mark Ciardi
as Tim Stewart
Matt Targac
as Player Behind Backst...
Colman 'Tiger' King
as Durham Catcher
Willie Dirden
as Locker Room Attendan...
Chuck Morgan
as Texas Rangers P.A. A...
Eric Nadel
as Texas Rangers Radio ...
Richard Dillard
as Devil Rays Manager
James Fletcher
as Devil Rays Pitching ...
John Wayne Shafer
as Reporter No. 1
Charles Sanders
as Reporter No. 2
Randall Wallace
as Texas Oilman
Jaime Alvarado
as Wack's Sister
Quincy Wickson
as Little League Umpire
Keith Mears
as High School Umpire N...
Tim Jackson
as High School Umpire N...
John Williams
as Orlando Umpire No. 1
Jim Morris
as Orlando Umpire No. 2
Gavin Forbis
as Orlando Catcher
J.D. Evermore
as Relief Pitcher No. 1
Robert Ellis
as Relief Pitcher No. 2
Julio Cedillo
as Relief Pitcher No. 3
Fred Osuna
as Major League Umpire ...
Mark Baletka
as Major League Umpire ...
John Williams (II)
as Orlando Umpire No. 1
Daniel Tucker Kamin
as Durham Manager Mac
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Rookie

Critic Reviews for The Rookie

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (41)

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.

Full Review… | May 12, 2014
New York Daily News
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 12, 2014
Associated Press
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 12, 2014
AV Club
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 12, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 12, 2013
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

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.

KJ Proulx
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.

Alex roy

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.

Jay Hutchinson

Super Reviewer

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