The Rookie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rookie Reviews

Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
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.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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.
Top Critic
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
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.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 12, 2013
Until The Rookie came along, I'd forgotten how good and smart a family film can be.
Top Critic
Joe Leydon
Variety
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.
Top Critic
Hank Sartin
Chicago Reader
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.
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
February 9, 2006
If they gave an Oscar for Best Performance in a Mediocre Movie, Dennis Quaid should already be clearing his mantelpiece.
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2002
You can see why the filmmakers optioned the story from a Sports Illustrated article: It just works.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
June 1, 2002
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.
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
June 1, 2002
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 14, 2002
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.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 10, 2002
Hancock's heartfelt movie scores a solid hit.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 10, 2002
A sports film with feel-happy appeal for all, regardless of age or interest.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 1, 2002
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.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
March 31, 2002
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
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
March 29, 2002
So unassuming and pure of heart, you can't help but warmly extend your arms and yell 'Safe!'
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
March 29, 2002
A rarity to be cheered: a smart, engaging family film that stands firmly in the best of the Disney tradition.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
March 29, 2002
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 29, 2002
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Melanie McFarland
Seattle Times
March 29, 2002
It soars with palpable sentiment and spirit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2002
It's an observant and worthwhile film that, for most of its running time, is a persuasive anatomy of middle-aged disappointment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
March 29, 2002
The idea is sentimental, but Quaid dries all the sappiness out of it.
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
March 29, 2002
Such a class act on so many levels that it feels as fresh and stirring as your first-ever baseball flick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
March 29, 2002
As averse as I usually am to feel-good, follow-your-dream Hollywood fantasies, this one got to me.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 29, 2002
Perfect family entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 29, 2002
As inspirational stories go, this one is top-notch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
March 29, 2002
When it's not glorifying baseball and Texas myths, The Rookie zips like a good fastball.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 29, 2002
The embodiment of the very message it so modestly conveys -- it's the accomplished little guy we fervently root for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 29, 2002
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 | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
March 29, 2002
It is lucky to have Dennis Quaid, who is a fit 47, give an extraordinarily honest and restrained performance as Morris.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 29, 2002
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
March 29, 2002
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 28, 2002
An unapologetically emotional film that doesn't make you gag, one that manages to be sentimental without turning into a shameless wallow.
Top Critic
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
March 28, 2002
[Quaid] puts on Jim Morris' game face, captures his pitching style and manages somehow to make 'bringing heat' seem sexy.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 28, 2002
It's hard not to get caught up in this improbable but true follow-your-dream tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
March 28, 2002
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 28, 2002
Shamelessly manipulative, but it's harder than you might imagine to steel your heart against its sentimental leanings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 28, 2002
Despite failed ambitions and occasional servings of corn, The Rookie manages to be both appealing and true to the game.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
March 28, 2002
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 18, 2002
Solid, lump-in-the-throat family entertainment that derives its power by sticking to the facts.