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Eight Men Out (1988)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 38 | Rotten: 6

Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.

55

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 5

Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 12,324

My Rating

Movie Info

Writer/director John Sayles' dramatization of the most infamous episode in professional sports -- the fix of the 1919 World Series -- is considered by many to be among his best films and arguably the best baseball movie ever made. This adaptation of Eliot Asinof's definitive study of the scandal shows how athletes of another era were a different breed from the well-paid stars of later years. The Chicago White Sox owner, Charlie Comiskey (Clifton James), is portrayed as a skinflint with little

PG,

Drama

May 8, 2001

Orion Pictures

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (6) | DVD (8)

It's a period re-created with a whoosh of energy and a redeeming vein of irony.

March 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The ensemble performances are of such a uniformly high caliber that our interest in the story never wavers.

March 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Eight Men Out never gathers much authority; the old themes have been hung on a rickety structure that constantly threatens to collapse.

March 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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In an ensemble movie like this one, an actor who grabs too much of the limelight can throw everything out of focus. The cast Sayles has assembled understands the value of teamwork.

March 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sayles often seems like a man who, trying to stretch a single, gets caught between bases and is desperately trying to evade the rundown.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps the saddest chapter in the annals of professional American sports is recounted in absorbing fashion in Eight Men Out.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Does a fine job in getting to the details of the baseball scandal.

April 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sayles deftly re-creates the forces that drove men at top of their class on the diamond to take bribes: big-time crime in Chicago and heartless management in the head office.

March 20, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The story is lumpy in spots, but fine performances and expressive camera work carry the day.

March 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

A treat for baseball fans but might bore others.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

In 1988, writer-director John Sayles made his most ambitious film to date with this intelligent chronicle of the 1919 sports scandal, cast with some of the best actors around (Strathairn, Cusack, Sweeney, Sheen).

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Sayles' excellent film is more of a human tragedy than a sports movie -- meaning that even those with a limited knowledge of baseball should find it fascinating stuff.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Sayles gives the film an intelligent, well-researched, nostalgic tone with plenty of quiet moments to round out the excitement.

April 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Sayles not only depicts the circumstances that led to the fix (most notably Sox owner Charles Comiskey's legendary tightfistedness), but he also re-creates the games in great detail, making the best possible use of an athletic cast.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Strong performances help -- especially from David Strathairn -- but it's not the great American sports drama it could have been.

September 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

he gist of t'The situation is probably captured accurately.

June 10, 2005
Movie City News

One of the best sports movies of all time.

November 11, 2004
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

For anyone who appreciates artistic integrity and is interested in genuinely independent films, the prolific and highly personal work of John Sayles is essential viewing.

June 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Eight Men Out

Good sports movie with a great cast and realistic 1919 setting that unfortunately suffers from too many moving pieces, convoluting what is otherwise a simplistic morality tale with true-story credibility.
January 20, 2014
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

This is writer/director John Sayles's historical drama about the infamous Black Sox Scandal in which eight players from the Chicago White Sox were paid to throw the 1919 WOrld Series- an event which is one of the mot notable and darkest moments in ports history.

The retelling here is pretty good, and qwuite insightful, yet not without its flaws. The story could have ued some more context and clearer motivations, and it helps to have at least a little prior knowledge of the story before seeing this, but even then, this is still an enjoyable look at just how different the sports world was way back when, as compared to the days depicted here where the players were true working class heroes not making millions of dollars, and were seen as truly being guys deserving of worship, making their screw ups all the more stinging and upsetting.

I think the film also could have further detailed the labor history aspect of things, and the exact cultural impact the scandal had, but it does a decent enough job as it stands.
May 29, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Worth seeing even if you don't like baseball. Great performances all round. How can you not love Michael Rooker?
June 27, 2011
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

This baseball drama is interesting, mostly because it's a true story, but also because it's got a lot of stars. The problem is, it gets really dull now and then. Overall, it's pretty good, though.
February 21, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

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January 31, 2006:
Strathairn Signs Up for New Line's "Fracture"
Movie geeks all over the place have admired character actor David Strathairn for several years now,...
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