• PG, 2 hr. 12 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Barry Levinson
    In Theaters:
    May 11, 1984 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 3, 2001
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


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The Natural Reviews

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Ralph Novak
People Magazine

The scouting report on The Natural has to read: lots of tools but no heart.

Full Review Source: People Magazine

May 6, 2014
Joanna Berry
Radio Times

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.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 4/5

May 6, 2014
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Being a baseball fan involves repeatedly experiencing exquisite pain and exquisite joy. Well, there's a lot of both in The Natural.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

March 19, 2013
Emanuel Levy

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.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B-

August 20, 2011

Empire Magazine

An otherwise fine sports fantasy is dragged down by an overindulgence in sentimentality.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine

March 25, 2011
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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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.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

March 21, 2011
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central

...silly, repetitive, episodic, mannered...

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 1.5/4

July 13, 2010
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

unabashedly sentimental and grand in its themes of goodness, honor, tenacity, and forgiveness

Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Original Score: 4/4

April 14, 2010


No popped-up fly doubles. Just wham, bam, home run. Get the picture?

Full Review Source: Film4

August 1, 2008
Josh Larsen

Robert Redford isn't playing a 1930s baseball hero ... he's playing an instrument of God.

Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Original Score: 2/4

June 9, 2008

TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/4

March 21, 2007
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Natural is an impeccably made, but quite strange, fable about success and failure in America.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 21, 2007
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
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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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 21, 2007
Christopher Null

Jammed full with cliches, The Natural never misses a chance to manipulate the audience

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 3/5

March 18, 2007

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Let yourself go and be rewarded by the sight of a hero running home to victory through clouds of fire.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Chuck O'Leary

A mature and elegiac fantasy done with feeling and sincerity that really captures the mystique of old-time baseball.

Full Review Source: FulvueDrive-in.com | Original Score: A-

September 27, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2/4

October 23, 2004
Martin Scribbs
Low IQ Canadian

The most sentimental movie you needn't be ashamed to love.

| Original Score: 5/5

July 14, 2004
Vincent Canby
New York Times
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Though entertaining in short stretches, The Natural has no recognizable character of its own.

Full Review Source: New York Times

May 20, 2003
Brian J. Arthurs
Beach Reporter (Southern California)

Sappy fun

| Original Score: 4/5

March 24, 2003
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