Ballplayer: Pelotero Reviews

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
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 16, 2012
It's an eye-opening look at a flawed, potentially exploitative system and how it is being gamed from all sides of the table -- the story of the collision of youthful dreams and a cutthroat adult cartel.
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
July 13, 2012
Hard-hitting sports doc examines the darker side of the recruitment of young baseball players in the Dominican Republic for the major leagues.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 12, 2012
A surprisingly nuanced essay on the collision between poverty, hope, exploitation and passion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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-
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 10, 2012
A gripping documentary that takes us inside the largely closed world of youth baseball training and recruitment in the Dominican Republic.
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Time Out
July 10, 2012
[An] essential, if artless, baseball exposé...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Michael Leaverton
Village Voice
July 10, 2012
An unexpectedly gripping portrait of how MLB's sausage gets made ...