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Up for Grabs

Up for Grabs (2005)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 4

You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 2

You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 193

My Rating

Movie Info

In the summer of 2001, baseball star Barry Bonds was in the final stretch of a remarkable season when he knocked his 73rd home run of the year into the stands at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, breaking the major league record in the process. However, what happened after that soon became something of a tempest in a teapot -- spectator Patrick Hayashi walked away with the record-setting ball, but fellow fan Alex Popov claimed that he caught the ball, but it was wrestled away from him when

Feb 27, 2007

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (4)

Even if you didn't follow the story then, Wranovics tells it so wryly your interest never flags -- and there's more suspense for newcomers, since the mystery and court verdict remain in doubt until the end.

June 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Up For Grabs, a buoyant documentary by Michael Wranovics, touches three bases of contemporary life: greed, litigiousness and a fixation with fame, however fleeting, that rises to the level of dementia.

May 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a terrific story -- part mystery, part farce, part legal nail-biter -- with a last-minute reversal so bitterly ironic it could have been scripted by Billy Wilder.

April 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the annals of baseball history, their battle will remain a curious little footnote, but sometimes footnotes are more compelling than the main text.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This smartly assembled comedy articulates irritation with and bewilderment at its subject: the legal battle for possession of a baseball.

August 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It would be hard to find a more succinct and entertaining indictment of American popular culture and obsessive sports fans.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Michael Wranovics' well-meant documentary about the absurd legal battle over the ownership of the baseball Barry Bonds hit for his season-record 73rd home run, back in 2001, is instantly overshadowed by subsequent events.

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

Up for Grabs isn't just about a ball. It's about America.

May 1, 2007
Palo Alto Weekly

Their greed provides an excellent opportunity to examine the law and a bizarre media circus.

April 23, 2007

A crackerjack documentary.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

This well-made documentary takes a seemingly small subject and uses it to illuminate the widening tears in the fabric of American society.

March 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

And Justice for Ball

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: JWR

inadvertently reveals more about the modern game than Ken Burns could in a nine part mini-series (and infinitely more entertaining)

January 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

A wry social commentary about contemporary life for those caught up in celebrity.

December 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

you can't help but get sucked into this powerful story

December 24, 2005 Full Review Source:

Wranovics tells his parable with a great sense of wit and a bit of bemusement.

December 1, 2005 Full Review Source:

Wranovics reveals the absurdity of it all without being preachy; he even makes it hard to decide who the bigger weasel is.

August 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

It's an engaging story about how overwhelming greed can turn a silk purse into a sow's ear.

July 29, 2005
San Francisco Examiner

The film keeps a straight face, letting the story's hilarious triviality speak for itself, and neither of the litigants comes off that well, though Wranovics cleverly changes our opinions of both as the complicated tale goes on.

July 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

A wry and humorous documentary with fascinating (if not entirely likable) characters and a subtle moral about what happens when money makes grown-ups act like children.

July 29, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

A subversive little documentary about the intersection of greed and America's national pastime.

July 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

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