Ballplayer: Pelotero Reviews

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Miles Bowe
Boston Phoenix
July 10, 2012
Ballplayer initially declares that it is about dreams, ambition, and family struggles, but by focusing almost entirely on money and market values, it strikes out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
August 9, 2012
[The] Directors...try to soften...ugly truths with sentimental stories of teenagers getting signed and pulling their families out of poverty, but the portrait of widespread exploitation overwhelms the intended effect...[ END HERE ]of these subplots
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
July 26, 2012
Although this film is a "must see" for baseball aficionados, its narrow scope takes it out of the big leagues.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Sarah Block
TV Guide's Movie Guide
May 12, 2014
[Ballplayer: Pelotero shows] the contrast between the pure joy of baseball and the hardcore, and often problematic, business that it has become in the Dominican Republic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Leaverton
Village Voice
July 10, 2012
An unexpectedly gripping portrait of how MLB's sausage gets made ...
Top Critic
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
July 12, 2012
Full of twists and turns, including use of a spy camera, charges of exploitation of young players and a wrenching betrayal, "Ballplayer" offers a starkly unromanticized picture of the life and times of these particular boys of summer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
David Malitz
Washington Post
July 13, 2012
An efficient and often-enthralling documentary that follows the plight of two Dominican hopefuls on their path to the major leagues.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Time Out
July 10, 2012
[An] essential, if artless, baseball exposé...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 11, 2012
An interesting film that requires you to think about where and from whom statements are coming from and consider the ideas and speculative accusations appropriately.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 13, 2012
The next time I see some superstar athlete giving an interview that suggests the absence of a functioning soul, I'll think of the two tense, joyless boys at the center of this quietly devastating documentary.
Chuck Bowen
Slant Magazine
July 11, 2012
The doc is a sly, interesting achievement: It opens as an entertaining sports story and closes as a metaphor for government corruption.
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
AV Club
July 12, 2012
It's a wealth of semi-examined ideas about globalization and a twist on the commoditization of our national pastime, all of which are tumbled out, then largely set aside.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Jennifer Merin
About.com
June 26, 2012
An up close look at the challenging lives of young men in the Dominican Republic who aspire to become major league baseball players in the U.S., as their ticket to a better life for themselves and their families.
Brent Simon
Shared Darkness
September 26, 2012
Illuminating -- gets into the uneasy combination of moral benevolence and almost parasitic business interest that informs non-familial adults helping shepherd poor Dominican kids into pro baseball.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
Variety
July 13, 2012
What gives Pelotero its edge is a nexus of corruption, exploitation and betrayal that transforms this well-shot, cannily edited item into an engrossing expose.
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
July 12, 2012
A scrappy documentary about teenage ballplayers in the Dominican Republic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Janice Page
Boston Globe
July 12, 2012
A well-crafted, bravely revealing little film that could be considered essential education for baseball fans.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
July 13, 2012
A documentary narrated by John Leguizamo that provides a seldom-seen look inside the training camps run by MLB in that impoverished nation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Marsha McCreadie
Film Journal International
July 12, 2012
Ballplayer: Pelotero answers the question on some sports fans' minds-Why is it that 20 percent of American professional baseball players are Dominican?-by tracking the rise (and sometimes fall) of hopeful young players in the Dominican Republic.
Top Critic
Neil Genzlinger
New York Times
July 12, 2012
We're so used to hearing innocuous clichés come out of the mouths of major leaguers in postgame interviews that the accusations and innuendo in this film are startling.
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