Playing for Keeps Reviews

Top Critic
Anna Smith
Time Out
December 26, 2012
Everyone involved deserves a script with more wit, originality and sense of purpose.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 14, 2012
Dennis Quaid hammers away at a nothing role as Thurman's husband, an adulterous alpha dog; it's nearly identical to the one he played earlier this year in What to Expect When You're Expecting, but who's counting?
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Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 10, 2012
These are actors due a break. Unfortunately, this comedy-drama about a kids' soccer coach boinking a bunch of desperate housewives doesn't appear to be it.
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 7, 2012
Smarmy. Dopey. Sloppy. Lazy. Creepy. Tone-deaf. Predictable. Embarrassing. Lousy.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
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Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
December 7, 2012
I'll long be haunted by Dennis Quaid's manic performance as a palm-greasing dad who seems to be under the influence of bath salts ...
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Darren Franich
Entertainment Weekly
December 7, 2012
Playing for Keeps takes place in a tonally incoherent universe, constantly shifting between rom-com farce and mawkish family drama.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 7, 2012
The only thing Playing for Keeps teaches us is: Guys, forget the bars and nightclubs. Soccer moms are where the action is.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 7, 2012
A film that's pretty much from the assembly line.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 7, 2012
An undistinguished, impact-free watch-checker that will soon be vaguely distracting transatlantic travelers who forgot to carry on their iPads.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 7, 2012
Butler beware: In acting as in soccer, if you keep taking dives, sooner or later you pay the penalty.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 7, 2012
It appears to be an empty-headed piffle of a film about a dashing former professional soccer star coaching his son's team and having affairs with an assortment of randy soccer moms. And that's precisely what it is.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 7, 2012
One of those movies that comes "straight from the heart" - the heart of the hack screenwriter's manual that pushes formulaic structure to cover up a lack of compelling characters, genuine emotion or actual humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 6, 2012
For a trifle - one that probably looked like one on the printed page, too - "Playing for Keeps" somehow attracted a strong cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 6, 2012
At some point you hope [Butler] will find a movie that will give him the right material to make hearts truly beat faster.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 6, 2012
If Gerard Butler exudes rakish charm and Jessica Biel a charming flintiness, then why is Playing for Keeps so utterly charmless?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 6, 2012
"Playing for Keeps" plods along pretty much as you'd expect. Its small pleasures come from the relaxed cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 6, 2012
None of it is especially credible or engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 6, 2012
A bedroom farce without the farce, a fish-out-of-water comedy on sun-cracked lake-bed, a story of fatherly redemption that barely gets past the hair-mussing stage.
Full Review | Original Score: D-
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 6, 2012
This is modern movie stardom, and it's depressing: the romantic lead who could also be selling us body spray.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 6, 2012
Playing for Keeps doesn't play with a full deck.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
December 6, 2012
Is it a heartwarming romantic drama? Or a cynical sex and sports comedy? There is no wrong answer, dear ticket buyer.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 6, 2012
Playing for Keeps is a throwaway movie if ever there was one.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 6, 2012
This rock-stupid combination of family schmaltz and horny-MILF male fantasy does this charismatic leading man (and everyone else involved) no favors.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 6, 2012
"Playing for Keeps" is a perfectly pleasant romantic comedy completely lacking in novelty. This will leave many viewers unengaged, but may not be a disadvantage for its core audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 6, 2012
Perhaps, if this movie fails, studios will finally accept that we all deserve better.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 6, 2012
Not only is it not funny and not particularly romantic, it treats women like idiots.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 6, 2012
Half the actors realize they're in a bit of Hollywood fluff, but others deliver emotional performances worthy of a serious drama. As for Butler, well, it's hard to say exactly what he's doing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 6, 2012
A sloppy, poorly focused comedy that wants to be about the relationship between a father and his 9-year old son but ends up being about nearly everything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
December 6, 2012
'Playing for Keeps' wants to run and kick feel-good moments through the goalposts, but it limps and wheezes from the opening faceoff until its final whistle, with a lot of effort expended to earn, and make, very few points.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 5, 2012
It is truly baffling that all the talented, acclaimed actors involved actually read this script and then agreed to devote their time to this movie, especially given its uncomfortably flagrant misogynistic streak.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
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Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
December 5, 2012
Attractive actors can't redeem a sodden script.
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Justin Chang
Variety
December 5, 2012
A modestly affecting reconciliation drama wrapped in a so-so sports movie by way of a misogynistic romantic comedy, Playing for Keeps can't stop tripping all over itself.