Bull Durham

1988

Bull Durham

Critics Consensus

Kevin Costner at his funniest and most charismatic in Bull Durham, a film that's as wise about relationships as it is about minor league baseball.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 66

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 51,042
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Movie Info

A blend of comedy, drama and romance, Bull Durham follows the intertwining of three lives brought together by the great American pastime. Crash Davis (Kevin Costner, showcasing his Midwestern charm) is a perennial Minor Leaguer assigned to the Durham Bulls, a hapless team with a long tradition of mediocrity. There he tutors a young, dim-witted pitching prodigy, Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) in the ways of baseball, life, and love. Each strikes up a romance with Annie (Susan Sarandon), the team's "mascot" who takes it upon herself to sleep with a new player every season. Each has his/her own conflict: Crash struggles to end his career with some measure of dignity; Nuke struggles to make it to the "big show"; and Annie struggles to find something more than a roll in the hay -- and of course, Crash and Nuke come into conflict over Annie's affections to further complicate matters. The film treats the sport of baseball with a sort of casual reverence, highlighting both the drama and the humor inherent in the game, illustrated by Annie's numerous references to baseball as "her religion."

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Cast

Kevin Costner
as Crash Davis
Susan Sarandon
as Annie Savoy
Tim Robbins
as Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh
Trey Wilson
as Joe 'Skip' Riggins
Robert Wuhl
as Larry Hockett
Sid Aikens
as Baseball Player
Craig Brown
as Baseball Player
Butch Davis
as Baseball Player
Max Patkin
as Himself
George 'Buck' Flower
as Nuke's Father
Don S. Davis
as Scared Batter
Stephen Ware
as Abused Umpire
Antoinette Forsyth
as Ballpark Announcer
Shirley Anne Ritter
as Cocktail Waitress
Alan Mejia
as Chu Chu
El Chico Williams
as Baseball Player
Pete Bock
as Minister
Wes Currin
as Core Baseball Player
Garland Bunting
as Teddy (Radio Announcer)
Paul Devlin
as Core Baseball Player
Jeff Greene
as Core Baseball Player
Kelly Heath
as Core Baseball Player
Mo Johnson
as Core Baseball Player
Todd Kopeznski
as Core Baseball Player
John Lovingood
as Core Baseball Player
Eddie Matthews
as Core Baseball Player
Alan Paternoster
as Core Baseball Player
Bill Robinson
as Core Baseball Player
Dean Robinson
as Core Baseball Player
Tom Shultz
as Core Baseball Player
Sam Veraldi
as Core Baseball Player
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Critic Reviews for Bull Durham

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (14)

  • Screwball Annie and hardball Crash aren't playing the same game, which is Shelton's conceit as well as a possible screen-writing miscalculation.

    Mar 20, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Ron Shelton, who wrote and directed the film, displays a knowledge of and affection for the national pastime. You can see it in the knowing detail he brings to even the minor characters.

    Mar 20, 2013 | Full Review…
  • [Shelton is] uncanny at putting us inside his players' heads when they're on the mound or up at bat, running their private litanies of encouragement and subversion to psych themselves up.

    Mar 11, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Rather than a vapid national epic, it is a warm, droll, deftly cracked romantic comedy.

    Mar 11, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The acting in Bull Durham cannot be faulted and should be remembered at Oscar time. Sarandon has one of the juiciest female roles in years and she makes you think no one could play it better.

    Mar 11, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Shelton locates the tension and the humor between pitches, between ball games, between the sheets. It helps too that he has written the wittiest, busiest screenplay since Moonstruck, and that his three stars do their very best screen work.

    Mar 16, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bull Durham

  • May 13, 2017
    Who doesn't love a great sports movie? Sometimes sports can provide a nice avenue for a perfect character arc. The ups, downs, and overall weirdness that sports can supply is well encapsulated with Bull Durham. The things I look for in a sports movie are; if the film is accessible to non-sports fans; provides an accurate look at sports from people who do play sports; and if it's able to cover multiple genres, whether that be comedy, drama, romance, or whichever. Bull Durham accomplishes all of those things surprisingly well. Kevin Costner, in one of his 3 baseball movies, gives one of his most memorable performances as Crash Davis, a close-to-retirement minor league baseball player who never got his true shot at fulfilling his dreams in the big-leagues. That's the strongest asset the film boasts, is the bittersweet story of someone who gave it his all and even then, it may not be enough to be successful. Due to me being a ballplayer myself, this especially hit home, because I had those dreams when I was younger. To watch someone struggle for over a decade in the minors and still never get his shot is tough to watch. Luckily, Bull Durham isn't a straight drama, it's got a bit of comedy and a whole lot of romance. Costner plays the catcher (Davis) to a young project-pitcher, 'Nuke' Laloosh, played by Tim Robbins. Davis is forced to train Nuke to use his strong arm to reach the minors and to do more with his life than just lay with the next beautiful woman in the stands. That relationship is the core of the film, as is Susan Sarandon's dynamic and potential romance with them both. Sarandon's character feels a little bit like it was a female character written in a different era and rarely holds up. Think about it, she spends all of her time watching baseball in an attempt to find the next player she can sleep with. Granted, she does offer some useful advice every once in a while, but it isn't anything earth-shattering. I hardly think a character like this would be written in today's Hollywood. Baseball is known as the most "romantic" sport, and Bull Durham personifies that belief. It's as romantic as it is thrilling and hilarious. That's the thing I'll take away from watching Bull Durham, is how well it balanced the baseball and romance aspects of the film. Complement that with a bittersweet story, memorable performances, and a funny script and you have one of the great sports movies of the last 30 years. +Well-written +Romance & baseball +Back and forth with Catcher-Pitcher dynamic -Sarandon's character motives don't hold up 7.9/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2015
    Okay film I guess. I like a lot of the baseball aspects of the film, but I really wish it focused less on the romance, which is pretty boring here. Susan Sarandon can get irritating at times in this film too. I know a lot of people love this film for some reason, which I don't understand. It's a decent baseball movie, but by no means would I call it a great film.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 28, 2012
    The grooming relationship between the classy, seasoned catcher, Crash, and the callow, rookie pitcher, Nuke, is funnier, more exciting, and more heartwarming than Annie's pseudo-intellectual, baseball is religion, poetry is foreplay, seduction wiles.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    Bull Durham is a genius sports film and one of the greatest sports films ever made. Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon play three genius performances. The plot is great, I was never bored and it had so many different stories. I loved this movie.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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