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Baseball wins, romance loses. Read critic reviews

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For Love of the Game Photos

Movie Info

Forty-year-old pitcher Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is practically a dinosaur by professional baseball standards, fast approaching the end of his career. But, as Chapel stands on the mound pitching the game of his life, his thoughts don't turn to his prized history in sports, but rather return again and again to his tumultuous relationship with Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston), a single mom who has stood at his side through the good and the bad but is now on the verge of leaving him.

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Critic Reviews for For Love of the Game

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (51)

  • For Love of the Game asks whether the same qualities that make an athlete a champion don't also destroy his happiness. The answer, unfortunately, is long-winded and redundant... But some of the baseball scenes are good.

    May 8, 2014
  • This is no perfect -- or even half-perfect -- game. It's another movie where conventions are subbed for life lessons, where the emotions are cued by golden oldies and where the motivation (at least on the studio's part) isn't love of the game but money.

    May 8, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Here are two things that definitely don't go together: baseball and piano music.

    May 8, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The baseball sequences are fabulous, not least because Costner looks and moves like a real player a rarity for actors in sports movies... But the love story, a five-year off-and-on affair, is little more than a sop to Costner's romantic faithful.

    May 8, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • On the field, Costner is consistent, but his exploration of Billy's romantic dilemma is superficial and often wooden.

    May 8, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Those flashbacks will drive you nuts. As if baseball didn't drag on long enough, almost every inning or out of that Yankees game is punctuated by a memory.

    May 8, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for For Love of the Game

  • Oct 23, 2013
    Longer than it needs to be, and sappy/predictable at times, but overall really enjoyable. I liked how Costner's character was reflecting on his career throughout the game. I feel that very few baseball movies show the pitcher alone on the mound with his thoughts. It's usually pretty rare. All in all, this is a good, likable baseball film. Worth seeing if you're a legitimate baseball fan.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 18, 2013
    Vin Scully: The cathedral that is Yankee Stadium belongs to a Chapel. "Billy Chapel must choose between the woman he loves or the game he lives for." For Love of the Game is a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's sort of weird that it has taken me this long to get to it. I love baseball and I really like Costner because of his love for two of my loves, movies and baseball. This may not be the best baseball themed movie he's starred in, but it's another great one. There's passion in it and in the end it is a really worthwhile, heartfelt, and inspiring film. Billy Chapel is an aging pitcher for the Detroit Tigers; he's forty to be exact. He was drafted right out of high school at the age of 18 and he quickly became one of the best pitchers in the game, and a sure fire hall of famer. Now with his career coming to close, he finds himself in New York and he's getting the start. The day of the game he finds out two pieces of bad news, firstly the owner of the Tigers, whom Chapel has been extremely close to for years is selling the team and the buyers plan on trading Chapel after the season. Secondly, Chapel's girl, who has been casually seeing for years is leaving for a job in London. When Chapel takes the hill for the game, he begins flirting with a perfect game, as a he flashes back to his relationship with the girl he loves. The movie can come off as somewhat corny at times, but for the most part it seems honest and real. It's hard to describe exactly how this movie made me feel throughout, but there was a lot of emotion that came with the story and the backstory. I loved the way the flashbacks were used throughout the game and I loved the raw emotion of the character that is Billy Chapel and how Costner brought that character to life. This is one that all baseball fans and fans of baseball movies need to see. It's not the best of the genre, but it is still a far above average addition. It's powerful at times, funny at times, sad at times, and fun at times. The movie is a roller coaster of different emotions and it all ends up working pretty well together.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2013
    Clichéd in parts and involving in others, For Love of the Game is a largely uneven romantic drama/baseball movie. It has a premise that is familiar, hinging on a final game and involving a romance that prematurely breaks up, but also has a clever structure in that its built up largely from flashbacks. This results in moments that feel real and well realized, and others that feel too tired and forced. The performances are also hit or miss, with Kevin Costner being mostly strong, but having no real chemistry with Kelly Preston, especially in the beginning two thirds of the film. Both actors seem to hit their stride in the last act, as does the script and direction, but the chemistry is certainly not evident in a number of scenes. This speaks to the film's overall momentum, lagging for most of the film, but picking up considerable strength in what is an actually fairly well done ending. The direction by Sam Rami was good from the standpoint that it built tension well, especially during the game moments, but got overly self indulgent, especially with the very last game sequence, feeling a bit choppy. Overall, it has elements that work well, and other elements which feel dull, but does enough just right to make it pass as a serviceable drama, if not one of Costner's more forgettable baseball movies. 3/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2010
    I thought this beat the snot out of Field of Dreams as a sports movie. It's real baseball and not ghosts walking out of a corn field to play ball. But I loved the character development throughout the nine innings of ball and the fact that this wasn't just a herculean effort but a guy at the end of his rope, putting everything down on the table and then trusting in the guys to carry him when he can't any farther.
    Jason T Super Reviewer

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