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For Love of the Game (1999)

tomatometer

23

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 23

Baseball wins, romance loses.

audience

76

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 43,142

My Rating

Movie Info

This film takes a provocative look into the professional and personal passions of Billy Chapel, a legendary baseball pitcher nearing the end of his career who is forced to re-examine his priorities when confronted with unexpected circumstances: Not only is he about to be traded after 20 years with the same team, but the woman he has been with for several years, Jane Aubrey, is leaving him. In the midst of pitching a perfect game against the New York Yankees, Chapel, who has been the heart and

PG-13,

Drama, Romance

Dana Stevens

Aug 15, 2000

Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (94) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (50) | DVD (15)

For Love of the Game asks whether the same qualities that make an athlete a champion don't also destroy his happiness. The answer, unfortunately, is long-winded and redundant... But some of the baseball scenes are good.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is no perfect -- or even half-perfect -- game. It's another movie where conventions are subbed for life lessons, where the emotions are cued by golden oldies and where the motivation (at least on the studio's part) isn't love of the game but money.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here are two things that definitely don't go together: baseball and piano music.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The baseball sequences are fabulous, not least because Costner looks and moves like a real player a rarity for actors in sports movies... But the love story, a five-year off-and-on affair, is little more than a sop to Costner's romantic faithful.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

On the field, Costner is consistent, but his exploration of Billy's romantic dilemma is superficial and often wooden.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Those flashbacks will drive you nuts. As if baseball didn't drag on long enough, almost every inning or out of that Yankees game is punctuated by a memory.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kevin Costner is back starring in his third baseball movie, and after those two box office home runs, Mighty Kevin has struck out.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Vanity is one thing, but Costner's act is beginning to feel like a particularly self-righteous -- and tiresome -- form of pathology. Someone should tell him that an actor's job is to disappear into his characters, not vice-versa.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

For Love of the Game's earnestness seems itself like a desperate cry for attention.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Far more horrifying than Evil Dead, Sam Raimi's attempt at making a sports-oriented romance strikes out, forfeits and loses three times before its two hours and 10 minutes are up.

May 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Like Billy this movie is good on the field, but not so much once off it.

March 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Memo to all involved: It's a game.

March 25, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for For Love of the Game

Vin Scully: The cathedral that is Yankee Stadium belongs to a Chapel.

"Billy Chapel must choose between the woman he loves or the game he lives for."

For Love of the Game is a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's sort of weird that it has taken me this long to get to it. I love baseball and I really like Costner because of his love for two of my loves, movies and baseball. This may not be the best baseball themed movie he's starred in, but it's another great one. There's passion in it and in the end it is a really worthwhile, heartfelt, and inspiring film.

Billy Chapel is an aging pitcher for the Detroit Tigers; he's forty to be exact. He was drafted right out of high school at the age of 18 and he quickly became one of the best pitchers in the game, and a sure fire hall of famer. Now with his career coming to close, he finds himself in New York and he's getting the start. The day of the game he finds out two pieces of bad news, firstly the owner of the Tigers, whom Chapel has been extremely close to for years is selling the team and the buyers plan on trading Chapel after the season. Secondly, Chapel's girl, who has been casually seeing for years is leaving for a job in London. When Chapel takes the hill for the game, he begins flirting with a perfect game, as a he flashes back to his relationship with the girl he loves.

The movie can come off as somewhat corny at times, but for the most part it seems honest and real. It's hard to describe exactly how this movie made me feel throughout, but there was a lot of emotion that came with the story and the backstory. I loved the way the flashbacks were used throughout the game and I loved the raw emotion of the character that is Billy Chapel and how Costner brought that character to life.

This is one that all baseball fans and fans of baseball movies need to see. It's not the best of the genre, but it is still a far above average addition. It's powerful at times, funny at times, sad at times, and fun at times. The movie is a roller coaster of different emotions and it all ends up working pretty well together.
August 18, 2013
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Billy Chapel must choose between the woman he loves and the game he lives for.

Saw it again! Absolutely love this movie. Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston dazzle completely. The story is quite good and entertaining. Sports movies like this one I could watch every day.

Baseball great Billy Chapel, 40, wants nothing more than to reconnect with his one-time lover, Jane Aubrey. On the morning he's to pitch the last game of the season, she tells him she's leaving that evening for a job in London; he also learns that the Detroit Tigers' new owners plan to trade him. As he pitches that night, he must decide whether to accept the trade or quit the game he loves, and between innings, he recalls meeting Jane, their first date, happy times, miscommunication, and what may be a final break. Meanwhile, with Vin Scully announcing, one Yankee batter after another fails to reach first base. Can Billy pitch a perfect game, and if so, what does it matter if he loses Jane?
November 26, 2011
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

A good sports movie but it's more of a drama about a guy that is nearing the end of his career. Costner plays the role well and the rest of the cast works around his character nicely.
September 7, 2007
superclerk25

Super Reviewer

Movies Like For Love of the Game

    1. Billy Chapel: [repeated line] I can always tell when I'm in New York.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Gus Osinski: The boys are all here for ya, we'll back you up, we'll be there, cause, Billy, we don't stink right now. We're the best team in baseball, right now, right this minute, because of you. You're the reason. We're not gonna screw that up, we're gonna be awesome for you right now. Just throw.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Jane Aubrey: You ever gotten your heart broken?
    2. Billy Chapel: Yeah. When we lost the pennant in '87.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Billy Chapel: [consoling Mickey Hart after an embarrasing play] There's a bunch of cameras out there right now waiting to make a joke of this, Mick. So you can either stop, give them the sound bite, do the dance. Or you can hold your head up and walk by, and the next time we're in Boston, we'll go out there and work the wall together. Don't help them make a joke out of you.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Billy Chapel: [consoling Mickey Hart after an embarrasing play] There's a bunch of cameras out there right now waiting to make a joke of this, Mick. So you can either stop, give them the sound bite, do the dance. Or you can hold your head up and walk by, and the next time we're in Boston, we'll go out there and work the wall together. Don't help them make a joke out of you.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Billy Chapel: I don't know if I have anything left.
    2. Gus Osinski: You just throw whatever you got, whatever's left. The boys are all here for you. We're gonna be awesome for you right now!
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
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