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Leatherheads (2008)


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 163
Fresh: 85
Rotten: 78

Critics Consensus: Despite a good premise and strong cast, this pro football romcom is half screwball and half fumble.

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 14
Rotten: 25

Critics Consensus: Despite a good premise and strong cast, this pro football romcom is half screwball and half fumble.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 156,535


Movie Info

Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero, is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks. The captain hopes his latest move will help the struggling sport finally capture the country's attention. Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford, America's favorite son. A golden-boy war hero who single-handedly forced multiple … More

PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Duncan Brantley , Rick Reilly
In Theaters:
Sep 16, 2008
Box Office:
Universal Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Leatherheads

All Critics (164) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (78) | DVD (4)

The movie gets lots of things right, yet it fumbles key facets so badly that you simply can't christen it the gridiron version of 'His Girl Friday'.

Full Review… | April 11, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Leatherheads is a romp with some great chemistry between the leads and enough laughs and surprises to keep you entertained.

April 7, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Tragically, Leatherheads is just OK, though the film may well find an audience among those eager for a little diversion, what with the nostalgia factor and the George Clooney factor.

Full Review… | April 6, 2008
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Maybe the film loses a little steam as it rolls along, but it is still puffing and tooting as Clooney and Zellweger ride off into the sunset.

Full Review… | April 4, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

There's a jaunty score by Randy Newman, and Clooney, as always, has charm to burn, but here, he's off his game.

Full Review… | April 4, 2008
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

[Has] a breezy, affable spirit, and its very casualness is something that's extremely rare in mainstream movies these days.

Full Review… | April 4, 2008
Top Critic

Leatherheads is too light-hearted to rise above its limitations, and its inability to decide on a tone doesn't help any, but it's too well crafted and thought out to be actually bad.

Full Review… | March 29, 2011

Clooney stages screwball repartee like a ping-pong match shot through molasses

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

Leatherheads tries to be a screwball comedy, but it's more The Eleven Stooges.

Full Review… | February 2, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Agreeable yet uneven...

Full Review… | December 22, 2008
Reel Film Reviews

Mostly simply tries for fun, and for a good part of it, it delivers. But with it's jumble of elements, it doesn't allow a central one to take hold and truly fly.

Full Review… | October 15, 2008
Window to the Movies

Leatherheads really doesn't know what kind of film it is, and as a result it shanks the winning kick -not by a mile- but by enough to be a disappointment.

Full Review… | July 19, 2008
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

A gorgeous, charming, quaintly stylish movie comprised almost exclusively of moments and not so much story or characters.

Full Review… | July 17, 2008

Therein lies the problem with Leatherheads %u2014 it has too many fish to fry, and most of them come out half-done.

Full Review… | June 28, 2008
Illinois Times

This is the slightest of Clooney's directorial offerings, but it's carried over the line by two charismatic leads and a well-honed screenplay.

Full Review… | June 13, 2008
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Star power is not enough to save this film from mediocrity.

Full Review… | June 12, 2008
IGN Movies

"Leatherheads" fails because it has trouble balancing its many plots, and because it has nothing remotely interesting to say about any of them.

June 11, 2008
The Trend

I'm sad to report that Clooney has had his first misfire as a director.

Full Review… | June 8, 2008
Sin Magazine

It's the bad moments that will probably stay with you.

Full Review… | June 7, 2008
Courier Mail (Australia)

The movie does a nice job with the period details, but Clooney still can't get the romantic comedy angle right.

Full Review… | June 5, 2008
Atlantic City Weekly

Leatherheads, which opens with the logo that Universal used back in the 1940s instead of the present one, is so successful at reviving the screwball comedy that you're prepared to forgive it some flaws.

Full Review… | June 1, 2008
The Australian

As period rom-coms go, Leatherheads is mild entertainment.

Full Review… | May 29, 2008
FILMINK (Australia)

Leatherheads is like an oasis in the middle of a desert - a genuinely enjoyable romantic comedy.

Full Review… | May 29, 2008
At the Movies (Australia)

Meticulously recreating the era and the sensibilities of the time, Clooney looks as though he is having a riot of a time, be it is grappling in the mud for the ball, or throwing madcap lines at Renee Zellweger's worldly, ambitious journalist

Full Review… | May 22, 2008
Urban Cinefile

It's hard to deny that Clooney is one of Hollywood's best leading men, and "Leatherheads" proves that he can be just as good behind the camera as he is in front of it.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Watertown Daily Times

Clooney's third movie as director is his weakest.

Full Review… | May 4, 2008
Tucson Weekly

Audience Reviews for Leatherheads

What starts out as a sports comedy about the early days of the formation of a professional football league in the US soon turns into a romance slash screwball comedy, mostly thanks to Zellweger's usual "woman ahead of her times" character. While she is trying to uncover the truth about a young player's war hero story, her and Clooney are getting closer. That's sometimes witty, sometimes silly and most of the times a bit too stereotype-laden. The sports aspect gets mostly neglected in the middle section, except for the constant back and forth about the war hero story. In the end we do get a game of underdogs vs. favorites, with the expected outcome, but as someone who considers American football to be the most boring sports on the planet, it's hard to get excited about it.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer


I was pleasantly surprised by Leatherheads. Directed by George Clooney, this is a well made romantic comedy that I found enjoyable and fun. With some surprisingly good performances, Leatherheads is a different, refreshing romantic comedy. Renee Zellweger is pretty good considering I've never really found her that good to begin with. This is a fine film with a good script, and effective directing from Clooney who also stars in this film. What kept me involved with the film were the well written story, and the cast. Every person here delivered something special to the screen. This is not a film that is for everyone, but if you're interested in watching a different type of romantic comedy, then give this one a shot. The blend of sports film with the romantic comedy elements work well because of a smart script, a great cast and good directing. George Clooney clearly has talent, and he makes this a charming film to watch. I found this film to be a bit underrated, and I don't understand why it has received so much flack. This is much better than the usual Adam Sandler, Jenifer Aniston rom-com. I don't get why the negative reviews. The main actors give great performances and really bring out the best out of the film. This is a different take on the genre, and I very much loved it. Funny, silly and fun, this is a film worth watching. Leatherheads is an underrated film, one that should get more praise as a well written, well acted and actually very smart film in a genre where the films usually fall flat due to its predictability, poor plot and poor cast. This film has none of those, and really should be seen.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Three stars might be a little high, but I had heard such bad things about this movie that to end up liking it bumps up its rating. It's another old-timey Clooney joint, which he is perfect for, and Renee Zellweger, whose look is really not for me, plays well as a determined journalist in an age of blatant sexism. Lots of honest laughs and love, but there's a chase scene in the middle that's so campy you might want to turn it off. It's an immature work by an emerging director, but Clooney's going to keep getting better - Good Night and Good Luck showed a ton of promise. As for Leatherheads, though... it's a silly, disposable film, but fun nonetheless; I mean, how many other movies about 1920s professional football have you seen? If nothing else, it's fairly original (for Hollywood), and Rick Reilly's work on the script appears to have helped a lot.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


A lovely and amusing film which really looks the business but is unfortunatley rather dull haha. As said the look of the film is truly brilliant, the costumes and sets all look great and really stand out.
The casting was very good, Clooney shows his quite surprisingly good prat falls and facial humour, his acting isn't topps but for this its sufficent.
Both Krasinski and Zellweger are also good choices for the era, Zellweger has always looked as if she's been kidnapped from the era but her acting is pretty dire. Krasinski is fine but nothing special, alittle too wet really. To look at they fit perfectly yet the acting isn't too good.
One scene where Clooney and Zellweger are escaping from a speakeasy raid by the police is pretty embarrasing really, corny, cheesy and terrible acting, it isn't much better throughout to be honest.
The whole thing is sweet and charming but its just dull and not very entertaining with dodgy acting, the great period looks save it.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Leatherheads Quotes

Lexie Littleton:
And don't think just 'cause you haven't said anything that I don't know what you're up to. I'm talking to you, behind the magazine. Don't you know I could have you arrested for eavesdropping?
Dodge Connolly:
Excuse me?
Lexie Littleton:
Or are you really an avid reader of "Ladies Home Journal?"
Dodge Connolly:
I never miss an issue.
– Submitted by Raisul I (19 months ago)
Lexie Littleton:
Sure. Yeah. These are a lot like your plays, only a little more effective.
Dodge Connolly:
I'm not afraid to say it. I'm in love with Leonard. Go ahead and laugh, everyone does. We had something beautiful until you came along. You think you can just toss him away like a sack of flour?
– Submitted by Raisul I (19 months ago)
Dodge Connolly:
I guess I should get a couple of diagrams of the plays we run.
Carter Rutherford:
Sure. Yeah. These are a lot like your plays, only a little more effective.
– Submitted by Raisul I (19 months ago)
Carter Rutherford:
Wait. Where were you two?
Dodge Connolly:
Lexie Littleton:
Carter Rutherford:
Did you kiss her?
Lexie Littleton:
Now wait a minute.
Carter Rutherford:
I want answers!
Dodge Connolly:
Yeah, I kissed her! On the mouth, twice! And I liked it. A lot!
Carter Rutherford:
Oh you did, did you?
Dodge Connolly:
Lexie Littleton:
Dodge Connolly:
You're welcome.
– Submitted by Raisul I (19 months ago)
Dodge Connolly:
So you flying solo or is the Bullet casting about?
Lexie Littleton:
What do you care? You're here to entertain Miss Nipplewidth.
Dodge Connolly:
It wouldn't look good for you to get caught in a place like this.
Lexie Littleton:
I dare say it wouldn't look good for anyone to be caught in a place like this.
– Submitted by Raisul I (19 months ago)
Dodge Connolly:
Being the slickest operator in Duluth is sort of like being the world's tallest midget, if you ask me!
Lexie Littleton:
You know, it's too bad we are so much alike, otherwise we would have gotten along perfectly!
Dodge Connolly:
I'll live.
Lexie Littleton:
– Submitted by Raisul I (19 months ago)

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