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Bad News Bears (2005)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 158
Fresh: 76
Rotten: 82

Critics Consensus: This too-faithful remake aims low for laughs, turning off the easily offendable; despite another lovably irascible contribution by Thornton, it lacks the ensemble strength and originality of the 1976 version.

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 24
Rotten: 19

Critics Consensus: This too-faithful remake aims low for laughs, turning off the easily offendable; despite another lovably irascible contribution by Thornton, it lacks the ensemble strength and originality of the 1976 version.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 76,350


Movie Info

A washed-up ballplayer is put in charge of a pack of kids scarcely more mature than himself in this remake of the 1976 comedy hit. Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton) is a former major league baseball player whose career and life has hit the skids thanks to his overwhelming fondness for booze and women. Needing a break, his lawyer (Marcia Gay Harden) arranges for Buttermaker to take on coaching responsibilities for the Bears, a Little League baseball team comprised of a handful of hapless … More

PG-13 (for rude behavior, language throughout, some sexuality and thematic elements.)
Directed By:
Written By:
Bill Lancaster , Glenn Ficarra , John Requa
In Theaters:
Dec 13, 2005
Box Office:
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Bad News Bears

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (76) | Rotten (82) | DVD (18)

The best reason to see Richard Linklater's wholly unnecessary but highly enjoyable remake of The Bad News Bears is Billy Bob Thornton, who's doing a PG-13 version of his Bad Santa.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Top Critic

Fortunately almost everyone acquits himself coolly and admirably.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Billy Bob Thornton has proven he can do pretty much anything, but he simply does not look haggard, washed-up or miserable enough to be a believable Morris Buttermaker, the role Walter Matthau immortalized.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Associated Press
Top Critic

There are many lingerings over communal feelings other directors might pass through more quickly to get to the next giggle or guffaw more efficiently.

Full Review… | August 4, 2005
New York Observer
Top Critic

Billy Bob Thornton is the best weapon against cute that a kid baseball movie ever had.

Full Review… | July 28, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

More irksome is the ordained focus on plot undulation and simplistic motivation, as if nobody remembered that the first film was a social satire.

Full Review… | July 26, 2005
Village Voice
Top Critic

It's no Bad Santa, but it's fun.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014

Having cast a knowing eye on teen debauchery in Dazed and Confused and coaxed a stellar performance out of Jack Black in School of Rock, the director is just the man to launch a surprise spitwad attack in the current culture wars.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

If you're looking for another Adam Sandler/Jack Black comic masterpiece, this isn't it. It is, though, Billy Bob Thornton at his best, dropping analogies that would make a Hooters waitress blush.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Spokesman-Review (Washington)

Even if you never saw the original Bad News Bears, you've probably seen this movie. You know, the one where the reluctant coach pulls together the ragtag bunch of misfits and teaches them important lessons about teamwork.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Florida Times-Union

Linklater's spirit is true: Practice still unfolds to the waltz of Carmen. Sentiment is avoided at all costs.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Toledo Blade

Director Richard Linklater has wisely stayed with the structure of the 1976 classic (with Walter Matthau in the Butterworth role) but populated it with dialogue from Bad Santa's Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

Full Review… | May 13, 2014
Sky Movies

Thornton [knocks] every one-liner out of the park with the free rein Linklater allows him, though a picked-up pace would've been welcome.

Full Review… | May 8, 2014
Total Film

Thornton is the real reason to watch. He plays most of his scenes with an understated unrepentant scumbaggishsness that makes him easy to simultaneously hate and like. It's a tricky balance to pull off, but he manages it well.

Full Review… | January 7, 2011

Linklater's "Bad News Bears" doesn't approach the giddy comedy of Ritchie's original, but it does inspire an attentive contemplation on the similarities and differences between adults and children in approaching the game of life.

Full Review… | June 21, 2009

Linklater's directorial prowess can not be argued, but "Bad News Bears" just isn't good enough to watch again...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.

Full Review… | July 23, 2007

Bad News Bears is packed with laughs, but almost all of them are cheaply won

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

I'm not sure why filmmakers think we want to see kids put into dark situations and berated with profanities by Billy Bob Thornton.

September 8, 2006
Christianity Today

...what should've been a fun and breezy comedy is ultimately transformed into an incredibly tedious ordeal...

Full Review… | July 15, 2006
Reel Film Reviews

This hasn't the advantage of seeming so new, nor so shocking. It mixes cute and crass with a dollop of social critique.

Full Review… | July 1, 2006
Sydney Morning Herald

There's just no reason for this thing.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006
Sacramento News & Review

Ainda que esquemático, gera boas risadas graças à dinâmica entre Thornton e o elenco infantil.

December 25, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Audience Reviews for Bad News Bears

I've not seen the original films so I can't comment on Richard Linklater's Bad news Bears in terms of remake but for what it's worth, I thought that for a cliched story, it was pretty cliche light. There is an element of 'seen it all before' but I think it was handled pretty well and even though this is nothing special It did keep me entertained throughout. I find Richard Linklater pretty dependable in this area.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


This remake is better than I expected, and, even though it's Linklater, I really wasn't expecting much.

Morris Buttermaker is a washed-up boozy exterminator who once had a career as a minor league baseball player (with a very, very short stint in the majors) who agrees to coach a lousy team of misfits, if only because he needs the paycheck.

Yeah, it's the typical underdog sort of scenario, but with a twist. It's also pretty faithful to the original, even recreating some scenes almost note for note. It does enough to stand out on its own with some of the changes it makes, and that's good. Essentially it's a filtered version of Bad Santa to a degree, but even then it's surprisingly watchable and enjoyable.

Thornton delivers the sort of performance you'd expect given the character, and I liked him, even though he's not supposed to be likable. The team is a motley crew of typical misfits, but they deliver decent performances that rise above the ranks, making characters that stand out from the norm of this sort of scenario. Of the kids, my favorites include the late Sammi Kane Kraft as ace pitcher (and token girl) Amanda, Timmy Deters as the pint-sized foul mouth Tanner, and Troy Gentile as the wise-cracking wheelchair bound Matt Hooper. As for the other adults, Greg Kinnear is okay as the rival coach who personifies the parent that overvalues winning, and Marcia Gay Harden is giving the thankless role of the ACLU-minded hardworking mom who thinks all kids should be given a chance at everything, just because.

The film has some of the expected sports movie cliches, but ultimately avoids being a paint-by-numbers affair. I also liked that, while it is sort of aimed at a younger audience, it doesn't pull punches, and easily earns the PG-13 rating, with some of these kids being hilariously edgy right along with Thornton. One of my favorite examples of this is when he offers the kids non-alcoholic beer as a celebration, and Tanner comments, "Non-alcoholic beer? What's the damn point?" That's pretty funny.

Better than it has any right to be, this is a pretty decent film. Yeah, it has the smell of familiarity all over it, but Linklater is a smart filmmaker, and while he clearly has reverence for the original, he smartly does enough to set his remake apart and make it relatable to contemporary audiences. Give it a go.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


I enjoyed this remake of Bad News Bears, although not as memorable as the original, this film still has plenty of enjoyable crazy moments. The cast do a pretty good job and the film is pretty funny I very much enjoyed this film and it was lots of fun to watch. Billy Bob Thornton delivers a good comedic performance, and he is perfect for the part. The film is a must see for people who want something enjoyable, and Bad News Bears delivers memorable comedic moments. Sure the film has its downside, but it's far better than the remake to The Longest Yard. The film for the most part succeeds at making you laugh, and the jokes are very funny. This is a better remake than what most people would care to admit, and like I stated before, it's better than The Longest Yard remake, which was a total comedic failure. Of all the comedies starring Billy Bob Thorn, this film and Bad Santa are his best. This is in my opinion an underrated comedy, and it does deserve some credit as a film that has lots going for it. The film is much better than most comedies and remakes for that matter, and that says something. If you enjoy the sport, and want to watch something funny, then Bad News Bears is the perfect film to watch. The film is not as memorable as other baseball comedies such as Major League, The Sandlot or the original Bad News Bears, but it's still a worthy viewing nonetheless.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


It was a good try and Thorton did a really great job as coach, but in the end its not as good as the original.

Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

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