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Million Dollar Arm (2014)

tomatometer

61

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 126
Fresh: 77 | Rotten: 49

Pleasant to a fault, Million Dollar Arm is a middle-of-the-plate pitch that coasts on Jon Hamm's considerable charm without adding any truly original curves to Disney's inspirational sports formula.

54

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 17

Pleasant to a fault, Million Dollar Arm is a middle-of-the-plate pitch that coasts on Jon Hamm's considerable charm without adding any truly original curves to Disney's inspirational sports formula.

audience

75

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 28,807

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on a true story, Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" follows JB Bernstein, a once-successful sports agent who now finds himself edged out by bigger, slicker competitors. He and his partner Aash (Aasif Mandvi) will have to close their business down for good if JB doesn't come up with something fast. Late one night, while watching cricket being played in India on TV, JB comes up with an idea so radical it just might work. Why not go to there and find the next baseball pitching sensation? Setting

PG,

Drama, Comedy

Tom McCarthy

Oct 7, 2014

$36.4M

Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Cast

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All Critics (126) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (77) | Rotten (49)

Sappy, saccharine, and predictable to the point where it's almost painful.

May 18, 2014 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A completely by-the-numbers affair.

May 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

JB is not the wisest of men and Million Dollar Arm makes no bones about him being a character in need of an upward arc. Even so, the movie never sacrifices the other characters as mere handmaidens to his growth.

May 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Million Dollar Arm, based on true events, did a fairly good job of keeping me engaged even though I knew exactly where it was going every step of the way.

May 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Million Dollar Arm is cute, cloying, simplistic, borderline offensive ... and thoroughly effective.

May 16, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hamm and Bell are likeable actors with terrific timing. The location shots in Mumbai are beautiful, chaotic and jarring. The script is amusing.

May 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though it doesn't offer much by way of freshness, Million Dollar Arm is about as enjoyable as a predictable film gets, thanks to a feel good mix of genuine heart and wit.

August 29, 2014 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys
HeyUGuys

It might sound like a superhero movie but Million Dollar Arm is a stirringly human drama based on a true story and a welcome reminder that extraordinary feats can be achieved by mere mortals.

August 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

A cold, hard business story, reshaped by Disney into a warm, fuzzy hug.

August 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

There's nothing wildly unpredictable on offer here, but it still winningly manages to sneak its way past your defences.

August 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

The steady hand of director Craig Gillespie (whose previous work includes the off-kilter Lars and the Real Girl) is evident throughout, and the result is warm, witty and thoroughly entertaining.

August 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Hamm's charm works well playing a debonair scoundrel on television but in this bland, family friendly offering, it's a resource that's quickly drained.

August 26, 2014 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Very funny underdog comedy that's genuinely heartwarming and full of charm.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A cross between Bend It Like Beckham and Cool Runnings, you can see what Disney is pitching from a mile away, but it's polished and pleasant.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Scotsman
Scotsman

Hamm and Bell keep this hooey light, but you can't lob a ball in here without hitting notes played better in Jerry Maguire and Slumdog Millionaire.

August 25, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Million Dollar Arm isn't a complete strikeout, but it's a by-the-numbers Disney sports movie, and it doesn't have enough wit, charm or drama to elevate the formula.

August 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

You don't have to be a sports fan to like this movie, and even when it's getting predictable you'll probably find yourself enjoying it anyway. It's not brilliant or daring, but it's got genuine heart...

August 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Forbes
Forbes

... has trouble finding the strike zone, and in the baseball-movie canon, is likely to be relegated to the bullpen.

June 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

As far as sports movies go, like Hamm, it's immensely likeable.

June 22, 2014 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

"Million Dollar Arm" benefits from a strong performance by Jon Hamm in the lead and a top-notch supporting cast.

June 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Leonard Maltin's Picks
Leonard Maltin's Picks

Its true story actually smells rather fishy in that almost everything about it plays as manufactured schmaltz.

May 29, 2014 Full Review Source: Your Movies (cleveland.com)
Your Movies (cleveland.com)

...it ultimately seems obvious that this material is inherently not able to sustain a feature-length endeavor.

May 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's everything you expect a Disney "inspirational sports movie" to be.

May 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Showbiz Junkies
Showbiz Junkies

A Grand Slam

May 20, 2014 Full Review Source: ReviewExpress.com
ReviewExpress.com

Achieves a certain emotional authenticity even as the viewer anticipates exactly which heart string will be plucked and how.

May 19, 2014 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Million Dollar Arm scores a triple.

May 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Audience Reviews for Million Dollar Arm

J.B.: How fast do they pitch in cricket?...Fine, bowl. How fast do they bowl in cricket?

It is easy to see the main issue with Million Dollar Arm, as it is all over the poster. I like Jon Hamm, I look forward to seeing what he does, once Mad Men ends and he can really delve into some much better film roles, which he is more than able to handle, but his character is not the interesting part of this story adapted from reality. Still, we follow this sports agent in a film that takes the Disney sports movie formula (which has worked many times before) and applies it to this "Jerry Maguire heads to India" story. Unfortunately, while there are commendable elements, the film has little desire to really delve into the more interesting material involving the two kids with the million dollar arms.

read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com
May 14, 2014
DrZeek

Super Reviewer

Though charming, inspiring and visually appealing, Million Dollar Arm presents a captivating story with somewhat choppy potholes in its presentation. Jon Hamm is fantastic along with the prospective cast, but it's not enough (even with the Disney charm) to fully hit out of the park. 3/5
May 13, 2014
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

"Million Dollar Arm" starts with JB Bernstein(Jon Hamm, relaxed with 70% less self-loathing), a sports agent, making a lucrative deal to sign Popo(Ray Maualuga), one of the best NFL players in the league right now. But before the members of JB's team can bump various body parts, Popo has a catch. He wants a million dollar signing bonus which JB honestly cannot deliver on. Now facing bankruptcy, JB cannot sleep. When suffering from a near lethal dose of watching televised cricket and 'Britain's Got Talent,' he comes up with the risky idea of going to India to look for fresh idea to look for fresh pitching talent to sign, funded by Chang(Tzi Ma) as a contest.

Even as it is too long, "Million Dollar Arm" is a nice movie with yet again a very good turn from Alan Arkin. In general, the movie is inoffensive, harmless, charming and nowhere near as broad as it could have been in its comedy.(My brother found the story inspiring, so maybe he should have wrote this review instead.) Overall, it is about a protagonist who finds what is truly valuable in life. Except this is is not really JB's story, is it?
June 2, 2014
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Conditioned to be feel-good sports flick using a rigorous but proven workout regimen, the predictable but likeable Million Dollar Arm nonetheless mostly hits the sweet spot. Just like the '61 Yankees, Disney has an amazing and track record churning out star-studded, audience-baiting, heart-tugging sports dramas. Million Dollar Arm easily joins the ranks of 2000's Remember the Titans, 2002's The Rookie, 2004's Miracle, 2006's Invincible, and 2010's Secretariat as crowd-pleasing notches on this well-worn belt. Of course, therein lies the problem as well. Like the features listed above, it's a solidly built mixture of laughs and tears that elicits moments of Rah Rah fist-pumping, but the whole endeavor feels manufactured like a decent weight lifter getting his game enhanced by steroids.

In this PG-rated sports drama based on a true story, a sports agent (Hamm) stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players (Suraj Sharma, etc.) to play Major League Baseball.

Disney put together a swell team in Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal, Lake Bell, and Alan Arkin. Most of the movie's scant success goes to ace screenwriter Tom McCarthy, however. Though he's more widely known for pulling double duty writing and directing Oscar-worthy projects such as The Station Agent and The Visitor, here he only provides script duties, giving Disney exactly what they wanted: a grounder that plays out like a heavy hitter.

Bottom line: Underdog Millionaire
May 19, 2014
Jeff B.
Jeff Boam

Super Reviewer

    1. JB Bernstein: Welcome to America, boys.
    – Submitted by Jean R (16 days ago)
    1. Aash: Who's that?
    2. JB Bernstein: She's my neighbor. Not my type.
    3. Aash: Why? Because she's not a model? Yeah, stay away from that.
    – Submitted by Jean R (16 days ago)
    1. JB Bernstein: I'm J.B. Bernstein, I'm a sports agent.
    – Submitted by Jean R (16 days ago)
View all quotes (3)

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