61* - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

61* Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 7, 2017
Being a huge fan of baseball, but someone who was born much later than the 1961 Home run race, made 61* a real joy of a viewing experience for me. Not only is it a fascinating look at what it's like playing baseball every day for 162 games a year, but it provided perspective on the interesting relationship that players have with fans. I think even more so than the race itself, it was that dynamic that sold me on 61's story.

I think sometimes people forget that athletes and celebrities are humans too. Heck, even I find myself getting caught up in it all sometimes at these events and forget that these athletes have families and lives just like the rest of us. Sure, I loved watching the film explore Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris' power on the field, but it was fascinating to watch them go about their lives outside the diamond in an entirely different manner. I'm not sure how much of this movie is heightened or "Hollywood-ized", but that didn't really play into the determining factor for me. Personally, I feel as though 61* rivals some of the great sports movies in balancing on and off the field issues.

However, the film isn't without its flaws. 61* is a 2001 HBO movie made for TV, and I think that showed. The CGI, or lack thereof, was very noticeable, especially in the moments that needed to hit well. For example, I don't really need to see a slow-motion incredibly fake baseball coming towards my face before Roger smacks it out of the park. And I feel as though this movie had a tough time with the really big emotional and dramatic moments. Don't get me wrong, I like both Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane in the lead roles but I don't think their performances come close to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams or Robert Redford in The Natural. Not that they necessarily need to, but when the games are in their biggest moments, it felt like a TV production.

But as I said, this movie holds up incredibly well because of its content matter, especially now that baseball is desperately needing another HR race for its popularity. Plus, if we wipe away the guys who broke the record using steroids, Maris would still hold it with 61. It's actually remarkable what Maris was able to do at that particular stage of baseball, and considering he was never really able to recapture that power. So just for loving the game of baseball alone, 61* is worth a look.

7.7/10
Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2016
"Stick to what you know" is advice often rendered to art students and for Mr. Billy Crystal of New York City that apparently is just the ticket as he produced and directed this affectionate nod to American baseball, and most particularly the homerun race between Yankees Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) and Roger Maris (Barry Pepper). All in all the work is a nice memento of times gone by, such as when baseball was #1 in America.
January 20, 2016
Great Little Film...
½ December 26, 2015
Fantastic!! I can't believe I waited so long to watch this.
December 23, 2015
5 stars. One of the best baseball movies of all time. I was borderline solid as a rock the entire film
½ June 3, 2015
A good baseball movie is like a fine wine in as it gets better as the years go by....this is a fine wine.
May 21, 2015
The M&M boys are great film subjects.
March 8, 2015
Was much better than I expected. Perfect on a plane trip back to the USA.
February 27, 2015
The best baseball movie ever made.
½ August 12, 2014
(First and only viewing - 7/16/2008)
July 19, 2014
One of the best sport movies that I have ever seen. It was also a character study of what these guys go thru, It sure is a great reflection of what sports used to be like. Before drugs and money ruined the game, not just baseball but all professional sports, the ego maniac athletes these days have made it almost impossible to be able to afford to take your kids to see a real game. i grew up watching the 72 undefeated Miami Dolphins, because back then you could afford a ticket. Its sad because I cant afford to take my son to a real game. sorry for getting on my soapbox....kindof got of the review.
December 23, 2013
Really great sports movie.
November 10, 2013
I have a new favourite baseball movie!! This is a wonderful movie for sports fans and movie fans alike! Billy Crystal's attention to detail and his love of baseball are obvious throughout. Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane as Maris and Mantle are both excellent and are admirably supported by the other cast members.
September 29, 2013
Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane totally steal the screen in this well casted, engaging baseball drama. Pardon the pun but Billy Crystal hit a home run with 61; the movie made me (not at all a Yankees fan) want to put on the pinstripes.
ElCochran90
Super Reviewer
½ July 10, 2013
The advantage of rating and writing brief comments about films is that, if the film is extremely boring, uninspirational and/or forgettable, the rating remains with the original feelings before they are lost in oblivion. So, I saw this back when I rated films, but didn't write comments or reviews yet. I have no memory of this TV movie whatsoever, except for the opening baseball game.

So, I look at the rating and say: "Yeah, it was bad. Thank God I don't remember". I wish I could say the same thing about my half-star ratings.

47/100
½ June 11, 2013
Entertaining, and both Thomas Jane and Barry Pepper did quite well.
½ May 3, 2013
This film really was fun to watch. The acting is great, the story is great, and Billy Crystal did a solid job directing this movie. If this movie was released in theatres, it could've earned Barry Pepper an Oscar nomination for Best Actor(not saying it would've, it could've).
½ March 28, 2013
"You'd think we were tryin to replace Jesus christ or somethin."
March 4, 2013
My favorite baseball movie.
½ February 17, 2013
I hate the Yankees with a friggin' passion, but it you love baseball movies, you gotta see this. It really Makes you appreciate what Mantle and Maris went through in the '61 season.
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