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 … 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


as Jim Morris

as Lorri Morris

as Joaquin `Wack' Campo...

as Jim Sr.

as Jimmy's Mother

as Rudy Bonilla

as Joe David West

as Joel De La Garza

as Baseball Scout Dave ...

as Durham Manager Mac

as Young Jim

as Steve Dearborn

as Owl Player No. 1

as Owl Player No. 2

as Owl Player No. 3

as Owl Player No. 4

as Owl Player No. 5

as Owl Player No. 6

as Tryout Catcher

as Orlando Heckler

as Orlando Manager

as Snow Covered Catcher

as Jimmy's Brother

as Female Student

as Baseball Scout

as Player With Headphon...

as Kenny Justin

as Durham PR Director

as Tim Stewart

as Player Behind Backst...

as Durham Catcher

as Locker Room Attendan...

as Texas Rangers P.A. A...

as Texas Rangers Radio ...

as Devil Rays Manager

as Devil Rays Pitching ...

as Reporter No. 1

as Reporter No. 2

as Texas Oilman

as Wack's Sister

as Little League Umpire

as High School Umpire N...

as High School Umpire N...

as Orlando Umpire No. 1

as Orlando Umpire No. 2

as Orlando Catcher

as Relief Pitcher No. 1

as Relief Pitcher No. 2

as Relief Pitcher No. 3

as Major League Umpire ...

as Major League Umpire ...

as Orlando Umpire No. 1

as Durham Manager Mac
Show More Cast

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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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