• G, 2 hr. 7 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    John Lee Hancock
  • In Theaters:    Mar 29, 2002 Wide
  • On DVD:    Aug 27, 2002
  • Buena Vista Distribution Compa

The Rookie Reviews

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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic
May 12, 2014

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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
David Germain
Associated Press
Top Critic
May 12, 2014

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.

Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic
May 12, 2014

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.

Leah Rozen
People Magazine
May 12, 2014

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

Glen Oliver
IGN Movies
May 12, 2014

Refreshing and compelling.

Bruce Diones
New Yorker
Top Critic
March 12, 2013

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.

Total Film
March 12, 2013

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
March 12, 2013

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

David N. Butterworth
January 22, 2013

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Joe Leydon
Top Critic
February 23, 2012

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

Emanuel Levy
July 14, 2011

Earnest, uplifting baseball melodrama

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
December 29, 2010

Sweet and engaging despite some flaws.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nick Rogers
September 17, 2010

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Mark Halverson
Sacramento News & Review
August 7, 2008

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer
September 9, 2007

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

| Original Score: A
Hank Sartin
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
March 26, 2007

All the uplift could easily get cloying, but director John Lee Hancock knows how to keep things in control, and the whole is surprisingly satisfying.

Angie Errigo
Empire Magazine
December 30, 2006

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

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006

My all-time favorite baseball movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

If they gave an Oscar for Best Performance in a Mediocre Movie, Dennis Quaid should already be clearing his mantelpiece.

Charlie Brown
February 1, 2004

It shows us that things may not be like they used to, but we can still enjoy the celebration of things past.

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