• 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


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The Rookie Reviews

Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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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 Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 12, 2014
David Germain
Associated Press
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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 Source: Associated Press

May 12, 2014
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club

May 12, 2014
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
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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 Source: New Yorker

March 12, 2013
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Until The Rookie came along, I'd forgotten how good and smart a family film can be.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

March 12, 2013
Joe Leydon
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Deftly constructed to stoke the baseball-phenom fantasies of coulda-shoulda-woulda middle-aged guys and fields-of-dreaming young diamond studs.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 23, 2012
Hank Sartin
Chicago Reader
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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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 26, 2007
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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If they gave an Oscar for Best Performance in a Mediocre Movie, Dennis Quaid should already be clearing his mantelpiece.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
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You can see why the filmmakers optioned the story from a Sports Illustrated article: It just works.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

July 20, 2002
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
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This is a boy's movie, a fact director John Lee Hancock ... and screenwriter Mike Rich ... make clear with such images as an anonymous boy and his dad in the stands watching the big game together, the father whispering pointers to his son.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

June 1, 2002
Susan Stark
Detroit News
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| Original Score: 2/4

June 1, 2002
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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What saves it is Dennis Quaid, a fine and generally underrated actor who plays a real-life small-town Texas high-school science teacher and baseball coach who fulfills his dream of pitching in the big leagues.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

April 14, 2002
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Hancock's heartfelt movie scores a solid hit.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone

April 10, 2002
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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A sports film with feel-happy appeal for all, regardless of age or interest.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

April 10, 2002
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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I hesitate to use the phrase 'family film' because it has such fluffy connotations, but this is really a rare G-rated movie that's suitable for all viewers.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

April 1, 2002
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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Morris' story was a cinch to become a movie, and Disney does an adequate if somewhat bland job in bringing it to the screen.

| Original Score: 3/5

March 31, 2002
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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So unassuming and pure of heart, you can't help but warmly extend your arms and yell 'Safe!'

March 29, 2002
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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A rarity to be cheered: a smart, engaging family film that stands firmly in the best of the Disney tradition.

March 29, 2002
Mike Clark
USA Today
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Even when there are lulls, the emotions seem authentic, and the picture is so lovely toward the end ... you almost don't notice the 129-minute running time.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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It's one of those baseball pictures where the hero is stoic, the wife is patient, the kids are as cute as all get-out and the odds against success are long enough to intimidate, but short enough to make a dream seem possible.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

March 29, 2002
Melanie McFarland
Seattle Times
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It soars with palpable sentiment and spirit.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 29, 2002
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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It's an observant and worthwhile film that, for most of its running time, is a persuasive anatomy of middle-aged disappointment.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
Stephanie Zacharek
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The idea is sentimental, but Quaid dries all the sappiness out of it.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

March 29, 2002
Jan Stuart
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Such a class act on so many levels that it feels as fresh and stirring as your first-ever baseball flick.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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As averse as I usually am to feel-good, follow-your-dream Hollywood fantasies, this one got to me.

Full Review Source: New York Times

March 29, 2002
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Perfect family entertainment.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
James Berardinelli
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As inspirational stories go, this one is top-notch.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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When it's not glorifying baseball and Texas myths, The Rookie zips like a good fastball.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: B

March 29, 2002
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The embodiment of the very message it so modestly conveys -- it's the accomplished little guy we fervently root for.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Something particularly clean shines in this American fairy tale, a quality of simplicity that's almost as hard to achieve in such movies as a middle-aged man's boyhood dreams.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

March 29, 2002
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
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It is lucky to have Dennis Quaid, who is a fit 47, give an extraordinarily honest and restrained performance as Morris.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The movie is so resolutely cobbled together out of older movies that it even uses a totally unnecessary prologue, just because it seems obligatory.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2/4

March 29, 2002
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
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A welcome relief from baseball movies that try too hard to be mythic, this one is a sweet and modest and ultimately winning story.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2002
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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An unapologetically emotional film that doesn't make you gag, one that manages to be sentimental without turning into a shameless wallow.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

March 28, 2002
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
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[Quaid] puts on Jim Morris' game face, captures his pitching style and manages somehow to make 'bringing heat' seem sexy.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

March 28, 2002
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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It's hard not to get caught up in this improbable but true follow-your-dream tale.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

March 28, 2002
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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It's a family movie (rated G, no less) that is actually about family, and one that treats families in a realistic, recognizable way.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

March 28, 2002
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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Shamelessly manipulative, but it's harder than you might imagine to steel your heart against its sentimental leanings.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 28, 2002
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Despite failed ambitions and occasional servings of corn, The Rookie manages to be both appealing and true to the game.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 3/5

March 28, 2002
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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The film goes beyond being just another sappy, come-from-behind baseball yarn to score as an easygoing ode to modest, forestalled dreams.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

March 28, 2002
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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Solid, lump-in-the-throat family entertainment that derives its power by sticking to the facts.

March 18, 2002
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