Cobb (1994)



Critic Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.

Movie Info

What does a biographer do when the truth about his subject is far less pleasant than the legend? That is the moral dilemma at the heart of Cobb, which explores the lives of both baseball's premier hitter, Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones), and the sportswriter assigned to set his story down, Al Stump (Robert Wuhl). Stump arrives at the Tahoe home of the dying Cobb to write the official life story of the first man inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He finds a drunken, misanthropic, bitter racist … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Ron Shelton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 2, 2003
Warner Home Video


as Al Stump

as Willie

as Mickey Cochrane

as Jameson

as Prof. Cobb

as Ty's Mother

as 1st Sportswriter

as 2nd Sportswriter

as Sportsman's Lounge B...

as Baptist Minister

as Train Engineer

as Wife at Motel

as 2nd Gambler

as Opposing Pitcher

as 2nd Teammate

as Umpire

as Opposing Catcher

as Philly Fan

as 2nd Philly Fan

as Last Chance Hotel Cl...

as Harrah's Club Manage...

as Louis Prima

as Keely Smith

as Harrah's Bartender

as Casino Security Man

as Husband at Motel

as Wife at Motel

as Texas Motel Manager

as Texas Motel Security...

as Hall of Fame Announc...

as Hall of Fame Emcee

as Pie Traynor

as Paul Waner

as Lloyd Waner

as Jimmie Fox

as Hall of Fame Directo...

as Rogers Hornsby

as Heckler

as The Lover

as Cobb's Daughter

as Process Server

as 1st Nurse

as 2nd Nurse

as Hospital Receptionis...

as Young Doctor

as Older Doctor

as Sportsman's Lounge W...

as Newsreel Narrator

as Charlie Chaplin

as Handicapper

as Willie
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Cobb

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (17)

Most biopics mistakenly try to take us from cradle to grave and end up skimming the surface. The wisdom of Cobb is that writer-director Ron Shelton knows that the close study of a single day can decode a human life.

Full Review… | May 6, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Unfortunately, the movie just makes Stump look like a self-important jerk, possibly a bigger jerk than Cobb, and Wuhl's affable, weightless performance doesn't help.

Full Review… | May 6, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Cobb cuts right through the winner-take-all ethos of American athletics. It's a raw, inspired, audaciously funny, and unexpectedly moving collaboration between the writer-director Ron Shelton and Tommy Lee Jones.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Ty Cobb is such a towering figure in this motion picture that it's easy to overlook Al Stump -- and Robert Wuhl's feisty, witty performance in the thankless role.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

[Jones] lets it all loose here. It's the performance of a lifetime: full of menace and venom, eloquence and fire, rot and pathos, crackling rawness and realism.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The result, whether Cobb is wailing about greatness or ruminating about the dark circumstances around his father's death, is a performance too operatic and out of control.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cobb

Haven't seen it in a while, but I remember being quite taken with it.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


Ty Cobb is in the top five of the greatest players in Baseball history. In fact, he was the first man elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but there has never been a film about his life. While Cobb was a great baseball player and one the toughest men to ever live, he was also an outspoken racist, who was quick to fight anyone, including his wife and kids. In 1960, a dying Cobb contacted sportswriter, Al Stump to ask him to tell his story. That is what I thought this critically acclaimed film would be, but it wasn't. While the title is Cobb, the film is really about Al Stump and what it was like to spend time with the great Ty Cobb, after he'd completely lost his faculties. While it wasn't the film I'd hoped it would be, Tommy Lee Jones gave the performance of a lifetime. What can you say about Jones that hasn't already been said? He is the best actor in Hollywood and can play absolutely anyone. Jones was very convincing, showing Cobb as a deeply troubled man who covered his shame with outrageous behavior. In recent years, since the passing of Al Stump, many people who knew Cobb have come out saying the book and film were overly exaggerated, but even so, the facts about Cobb are well documented. Cobb is not the film most people expected it to be and it ranks among the biggest flops in box office history. The story however is one you haven't heard before and is performed admirably by an all-star cast. This is not your typical baseball movie, but rather a moving look at a man who was destine to either be a legend or an inmate.

Todd Smith

Super Reviewer

I thought Shelton hit a Grand Slam at first, only to realize it was in a 45-12 blow out! This movie is okay, yet some will loath it at it's core.

Joseph Eastmond

Super Reviewer

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