Critics Consensus

Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.



Total Count: 48


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,232
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Movie Info

What does a biographer do when the truth about his subject is far less pleasant than the legend? That is the moral dilemma at the heart of Cobb, which explores the lives of both baseball's premier hitter, Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones), and the sportswriter assigned to set his story down, Al Stump (Robert Wuhl). Stump arrives at the Tahoe home of the dying Cobb to write the official life story of the first man inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He finds a drunken, misanthropic, bitter racist who abuses his biographer as well as everyone else. Stump must either candycoat his subject's life or present an accurate picture of a disgusting man who happened to become an American sports hero. The movie's biting focus on Cobb, ferociously performed by Jones, is not matched by its weaker representation of Stump, an imbalance which ultimately weakens the film's overall effect. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi


Robert Wuhl
as Al Stump
Lou Meyers
as Willie
Stephen Mendillo
as Mickey Cochrane
William Utay
as Jameson
Rhoda Griffis
as Ty's Mother
Jeff Fellenzer
as 1st Sportswriter
Doug Krikorian
as 2nd Sportswriter
Gavin Smith
as Sportsman's Lounge Bartender
Gary Morris
as Baptist Minister
Jerry Gatlin
as Train Engineer
Jay Chevalier
as 2nd Gambler
Dana Hill
as Wife at Motel
Roger Clemens
as Opposing Pitcher
Jay Tibbs
as 2nd Teammate
Rodney Max
as Umpire
Gary D. Talbert
as Opposing Catcher
Fred Lewis
as Philly Fan
David Y. Hodges
as 2nd Philly Fan
Joy Michiel
as Last Chance Hotel Clerk
Michael 'Mitch' Hrushowy
as Harrah's Club Manager
Eloy Casados
as Louis Prima
Paula Rudy
as Keely Smith
Artie Butler
as Harrah's Bartender
George P. Wilbur
as Casino Security Man
Steven Brown
as Husband at Motel
Dana Y. Hill
as Wife at Motel
Tony L. McCollum
as Texas Motel Manager
Bobby Holcombe
as Texas Motel Security Guard
Tom Todoroff
as Hall of Fame Announcer
Ernie Harwell
as Hall of Fame Emcee
Reid Cruickshanks
as Pie Traynor
Rath Shelton
as Paul Waner
Jim Shelton
as Lloyd Waner
Stacy Keach Sr.
as Jimmie Fox
Clive Rosengren
as Hall of Fame Director
Tommy Bush
as Rogers Hornsby
Michael H. Moss
as The Lover
Janice Certain
as Cobb's Daughter
Bradley Whitford
as Process Server
Jeanne McCarthy
as 1st Nurse
Patricia Forte
as 2nd Nurse
Toni Prima
as Hospital Receptionist
Michael Chieffo
as Young Doctor
Don Hood
as Older Doctor
Jennifer Decker
as Sportsman's Lounge Waitress
Bill Wittman
as Newsreel Narrator
Brian Mulligan
as Charlie Chaplin
Jerry Hauck
as Handicapper
Lou Myers
as Willie
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Critic Reviews for Cobb

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (17)

  • Cobb is a refreshingly spiky antidote to all the Hollywood paeans to the glory of the game.

    Feb 20, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Most biopics mistakenly try to take us from cradle to grave and end up skimming the surface. The wisdom of Cobb is that writer-director Ron Shelton knows that the close study of a single day can decode a human life.

    May 6, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Unfortunately, the movie just makes Stump look like a self-important jerk, possibly a bigger jerk than Cobb, and Wuhl's affable, weightless performance doesn't help.

    May 6, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Cobb cuts right through the winner-take-all ethos of American athletics. It's a raw, inspired, audaciously funny, and unexpectedly moving collaboration between the writer-director Ron Shelton and Tommy Lee Jones.

    Mar 19, 2013
  • Ty Cobb is such a towering figure in this motion picture that it's easy to overlook Al Stump -- and Robert Wuhl's feisty, witty performance in the thankless role.

    Mar 19, 2013 | Full Review…
  • [Jones] lets it all loose here. It's the performance of a lifetime: full of menace and venom, eloquence and fire, rot and pathos, crackling rawness and realism.

    Mar 19, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cobb

  • Mar 12, 2012
    Tommy Lee was great as Ty Cobb.There were times where I wanted to strangle him, Times where I truly felt sorry for the guy & some times I couldnt help but laugh.Cobb reminded me of those old people who are cranky & sometimes mean but once you get to truly know them, They're alright.Cobb is worth taking a look at but nothing I'd probably watch more then once
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2011
    Okay, so yes I know it doesn't have that many baseball scenes in it and it only details the last days of his life, but Tommy Lee Jone's performance is so great, that I'm surprised he didn't get oscar or golden globe nominations. If you understand who Ty Cobb was, his personality, or the way he acted won't like this film. I you want to know more about Cobb and the way he was than see this film. Also it includes great performances by other actors as old baseball players like Mickey Cochrane, Sam Crawford, and Jimmie Foxx. Robert Wuhl's performance as Al Stump was also great. The baseball scenes that are featured are all great.
    Ian I Super Reviewer
  • Sep 23, 2009
    I thought Shelton hit a Grand Slam at first, only to realize it was in a 45-12 blow out! This movie is okay, yet some will loath it at it's core.
    Joseph E Super Reviewer
  • Mar 06, 2009
    Haven't seen it in a while, but I remember being quite taken with it.
    Tim S Super Reviewer

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