This movie had everything for me: It's taken from an excellent author's book, it's a study in people by the people director, Barry Levinson, it's got baseball as a backdrop, and it has Robert Redford and a great cast to watch. It's not an exact adaptation of Malamud's story, because it has significant differences in the actual outcome, but it captures the spirit of the writing better than I expected. Laying the book aside, it's just a really great film.
If you're a sports fan, you'll appreciate it's nod to the good old days of baseball, and it's allegorical nod to various baseball scandals, as well as honoring real sports figures like Ted Williams. If you're not a baseball fan, there's still a lot to like here: The considerable onscreen presence of Redford as Roy Hobbs overcomes any quibbles, in my book, about his 'baseball playing skills'. It's a fable, guys, it's not Bull Durham.
The thread of mythology and superstition is a strong theme here. Pick a favorite herculean story, with its flawed hero, and this is it. It has so many nice touches, and so many great little 'french scenes' between characters. Pops and Roy; Roy and Memo; Roy and Iris, etc. The supporting cast is very strong all around, even if they only have small parts.
There are so many great lines, it would be hard to capture them all here, so I'll leave it to you to pick your favorites, but briefly...
"I believe people have two lives...the life they learn with and the life they live after that"
Pops: "Batting practice tomorrow...be there!"
Hobbs: "I have been, every day."