American Pastime (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

American Pastime (2007)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Gary Cole, Aaron Yoo, John Gries, and Judy Ongg star in an inspirational small town drama exploring the lingering effects of World War II on Japanese-American citizens struggling to overcome lingering hostilities and be accepted in country they now call home. The Nomuras are a typical American family who just happen to be of Japanese heritage. When World War II breaks out and the Nomuras are ushered into the Topaz internment camp, teenage son Lyle (Yoo) becomes the target of harassment to camp guard and frustrated minor league catcher Billy Burrell. Lyle is a star pitcher who had been accepted into college on a baseball scholarship, but was subsequently forced to abandon his dreams when his family was interned. Billy's daughter is a musical instructor at the camp, and when she and Lyle strike up a tenuous romance, tensions quickly come to a head between the two families. Hoping that the two families will be able to find a common ground due to their mutual love of baseball, Lyle's father proposes a goodwill game between Burrell's team and the internees. As the two teams take to the diamond for a game organized to unite them all, the small town's tolerance will be put to the ultimate test in a match that reveals the true spirit of American culture.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Desmond Nakano, Tony Kayden
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 22, 2007
Warner Home Video


Aaron Yoo
as Lyle Nomura
Gary Cole
as Billy Burrell
Judy Ongg
as Emi Nomura
Sarah Drew
as Katie Burrell
Carlton Bluford
as Lester Johnson
Jon Gries
as Ed Tully
Tod Huntington
as Corporal Mack
Charles Halford
as Corporal Norris
K.J. Adachi
as Little Bambino
Richard Allen
as Joe Johnson
Jeff Herr
as Director Watson
John Kruck
as Announcer
Kerry Shimizu Lee
as Rose Hirose
Joey Miyashima
as Dissident
Jeff Olson
as Umpire
Sami Roe
as Jimmy Gorney
Seth Sakai
as Morita
Susanna Thompson
as Shirley Burrell
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for American Pastime

Critic Reviews for American Pastime

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2)

A moving, heartfelt drama.

Full Review… | May 11, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

With such rich material about dreams deferred, it's disheartening that co-writer-director Desmond Nakano's nobly made but patchy drama mires itself in nostalgia tropes and storytelling clichés.

Full Review… | May 10, 2007
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Full of interesting characters and placed in a charged setting, but the preachy and obvious spin it takes is ultimately melodramatic and predictable.

Full Review… | August 24, 2010

American Pastime asks what it truly means to be an American. What better question to ask these days?

Full Review… | November 15, 2007

While everything else about Pastime is very good, it's all rooted in a mediocre screenplay.

Full Review… | June 9, 2007

While historically sensitive and thought-provoking, the film has serious flaws. The story line is scattered and the direction uneven.

Full Review… | May 16, 2007
Fresno Bee

Audience Reviews for American Pastime

I am a complete sucker for these kinds of movies. This movie touches the heart. It is a good reminder that the American-Japanese went through a hard time during WWII, not just the Jews. Though America was not so harsh on Japanese, as Germans were to the Jews, they still deserve recognition for their plight. Add a little baseball rivalry, forbidden romance, and questions of honor to this story, and we have a nicely done little film...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


A nice little drama gem I found on Netflix. Could it have been better? Sure, but the film does it's job and I think is a good introductory film to a very dark period in American history- when hundreds of thousands of American citizens were denied thier rights, great loss of property and livelihoods. Set against the backdrop of baseball and jazz music, the actors did a really good job and told it's tale.

A very moving story about a Japanese-American family during World War II. Wow was this good. And it all comes down to a baseball game. I rarely rate anything a 4 or higher, but I have to this time.

Shawn E

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