The scouting report on The Natural has to read: lots of tools but no heart.
If you can suspend disbelief and let yourself be drawn into the movie, you'll be rewarded with an emotional and heart-warming experience that will have you cheering.
| Original Score: 4/5
Being a baseball fan involves repeatedly experiencing exquisite pain and exquisite joy. Well, there's a lot of both in The Natural.
| Original Score: 4/4
Barry Levinson deviates considerably from the wry, ironic tone of Malamud's novel, and if the film is mildly enjoyable it's due to the acting of the supporting cast and polished production values.
| Original Score: B-
An otherwise fine sports fantasy is dragged down by an overindulgence in sentimentality.
Levinson must have felt he had to swing for the fences. He can be forgiven for choking up with all The Natural's fans looking on dubiously. In fairness, the official scorer must credit him with a single. And Redford with an RBI.
...silly, repetitive, episodic, mannered...
| Original Score: 1.5/4
unabashedly sentimental and grand in its themes of goodness, honor, tenacity, and forgiveness
No popped-up fly doubles. Just wham, bam, home run. Get the picture?
Robert Redford isn't playing a 1930s baseball hero ... he's playing an instrument of God.
| Original Score: 2/4
Somewhat overly sentimental, lacking the novel's subtlety, and less interesting when the action leaves the ball park, Barry Levinson's beautifully shot film is nonetheless a charming fairy tale.
| Original Score: 3/4
The Natural is an impeccably made, but quite strange, fable about success and failure in America.
I've just about had it with directors who use the mythic mode as an alibi for unshaded characterizations, simpleminded plotting, and swells of artificial emotionality.
Jammed full with cliches, The Natural never misses a chance to manipulate the audience
| Original Score: 3/5
Let yourself go and be rewarded by the sight of a hero running home to victory through clouds of fire.
A mature and elegiac fantasy done with feeling and sincerity that really captures the mystique of old-time baseball.
| Original Score: A-
The message is: Baseball is purely and simply a matter of divine intervention. At about the 130-minute mark, I got the idea that God's only begotten son was playing right field for the New York team.
The most sentimental movie you needn't be ashamed to love.
| Original Score: 5/5
Though entertaining in short stretches, The Natural has no recognizable character of its own.
| Original Score: 4/5