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Hardball (2001)



Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 61

Although Hardball contains some touching moments, they are not enough to transcend the sports formula.


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 17

Although Hardball contains some touching moments, they are not enough to transcend the sports formula.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 54,673

My Rating

Movie Info

Television actor-turned-director Brian Robbins follows up Varsity Blues (1999) and Ready to Rumble (2000) with another sports comedy. Keanu Reeves stars as Conor O'Neill, an underachiever and inveterate sports gambler who needs a bailout loan from a friend to pay off his mounting debt. As a condition for receiving the necessary funds, Conor is saddled with coaching a corporate-sponsored Little League baseball team for underprivileged youth in Chicago's notorious Cabrini Green housing project.


Drama, Comedy

John Gatins

Feb 19, 2002


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (118) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (61) | DVD (17)

A smarmy proposition passing itself off as family fun in the style of The Bad News Bears.

September 18, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Works where it counts, on the emotional level.

September 17, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reeves does pretty good in this giving us a decent watchable movie to feel good about.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Had Paramount played more team ball, they coulda been a contender

February 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

This umpire calls Hardball out at first base.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

This is less a hardball than a softball, without any curves or surprises.

September 17, 2007 Full Review Source:

Esforçando-se ao máximo para arrancar lágrimas do espectador, o filme apela para todas as convenções estabelecidas por produções semelhantes, falhando em todas as tentativas.

July 14, 2003
Cinema em Cena

...Hardball is much darker and far more adult than the commercials and trailer want you to believe.

April 19, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Home runs for all the young actors with Reeves stuck at second base.

March 5, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

The Hollywood adaptation admirably avoids the urge to sanitize the material -- this isn't Mighty Ducks in the Hood.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Lawrence Journal-World
Lawrence Journal-World

...a formulaic feel-good kind of film with cute kids and Keanu Reeves appeal. I wanted to like it more, but felt rather frustrated by its predictable storyline

June 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's exactly the sort of raw, powerhouse filmmaking you'd expect from director Brian Robbins, whose previous works include "Ready to Rumble," "Varsity Blues" and that gripping expose of the fast-food world, "Good Burger."

June 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

one of those irritatingly "well-intentioned" movies that constantly falls flat because it offers no depth

March 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

The toughness, tragedy and street slang built into it give it an aura of reality.

March 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Does what it's supposed to do, and it occasionally goes a little farther than it needs to.

February 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Simple, predictable, and marginally satisfying.

February 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

What is striking about Brian Robbins' forceful direction of Hardball is its unwillingness to compromise

December 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

An enjoyable movie about the how some of us learn when we least expect it

October 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Amounts to a two-hour torture session that would make one long for the great beyond.

October 9, 2001 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)

Can easily be an inspirational, feel good movie if you let it--as long as you abandon any hope for originality.

September 30, 2001 Full Review Source: Radio Free Entertainment
Radio Free Entertainment

...the halfhearted result of hundreds of sports movie and coming-of-age-flick clichés, thrown together without even the slightest care or reason.

September 29, 2001 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Hardball

It's an incredibly dumb urban sports movie that tries to cover racism and male comradery. Keanu Reeves plays a gambling low life who gets stuck coaching kids, so it's nothing you haven't seen before. I can tell that it wasn't supposed to be good, but that doesn't make it okay.
January 10, 2010

Super Reviewer

This hard-edged little dream deserves plenty of credit for avoiding the light comedy and fairy-tale conclusions by which underdog sports sagas usually are known, and would deserve an even higher rating were it not for Keanu Reeves's wooden (as usual) performance in the lead role. Really fantastic and emotional home run story.
February 10, 2008
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

It took me a week to come out with a rating on this one, and I still can't decide whether it's a pretty good movie with some really bad parts, or a bad movie with a few really good parts. The screenplay seems decent, but the dialogue is rough; Keanu Reeves is mostly bad, Diane Lane is mostly good. The sports scenes are more cliched and contrived than in any sports movie in recent memory - who makes up bristol board signs and cheers THAT much for little league baseball?? - but the "ghetto scenes" got away from the cliches that one usually sees in films with that subject matter and are surprisingly raw. All in all, the contrast the film draws between the hopelessness of day-to-day life in this particular community and the magic of baseball is very striking, and almost too stark for the film to hang together. The potential in this film is what keeps you watching, and though its execution is questionable, you don't really lose faith in the story, and I think most people will stick it out rather than turn it off. Most people.
February 7, 2008

Super Reviewer

This is a really dark movie really. The main guy is in the dumps in a bad way and he hooks up with inner city kids to play baseball. He is pretty much a scummy guy until the end and he doesn't seem to get the lesson the situation is trying to show him. The ending is a real bummer and you leave this movie feeling worse than when you started it.
August 2, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Ray-Ray: Coach Conor? You're not really trying to get Ms. Wilkes, are you?
    2. Conor O'Neill: No.
    3. Ray-Ray: Good. 'Cause I already tried and she ain't havin' it.
    4. G-Baby: Yeah, me too.
    – Submitted by Alexandra L (2 years ago)
    1. G-Baby: All right, let me break it down to you right quick.
    – Submitted by Alexandra L (2 years ago)
    1. Conor O'Neill: One of the most important things in life is showing up, and I'm blown away with your ability to show up.
    – Submitted by Jason G (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • Hardball (2001) (DE)
  • Hardball (2001) (CA)
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