For Love of the Game

1999

For Love of the Game

Critics Consensus

Baseball wins, romance loses.

45%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 93

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 43,514
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For Love of the Game Photos

Movie Info

This film takes a provocative look into the professional and personal passions of Billy Chapel, a legendary baseball pitcher nearing the end of his career who is forced to re-examine his priorities when confronted with unexpected circumstances: Not only is he about to be traded after 20 years with the same team, but the woman he has been with for several years, Jane Aubrey, is leaving him. In the midst of pitching a perfect game against the New York Yankees, Chapel, who has been the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers, thinks back upon his long career and his tempestuous relationship with Jane. Aware that the stakes in his life have increased dramatically, the veteran ballplayer knows that he has some serious decisions to make by the bottom of the ninth inning.

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Cast

Kevin Costner
as Billy Chapel
Kelly Preston
as Jane Aubrey
John C. Reilly
as Gus Sinski
Jena Malone
as Heather
Brian Cox
as Gary Wheeler
Vin Scully
as himself
J.K. Simmons
as Frank Perry
Steve Lyons
as Himself
Bill E. Rogers
as Davis Birch
Hugh Ross
as Mike Udall
Greer Barnes
as Mickey Hart
Bill Rodgers
as Davis Birch
Domenick Lombardozzi
as Tow Truck Driver
Arnetia Walker
as Airport Bartender
Larry Joshua
as Yankee Fan in Bar
Scott Bream
as Brian Whitt
José Mota
as Jose Garcia
Earl Johnson
as Marcus Ransom
Chris Lemonis
as Lee Giordano
Jesse Ibarra
as Dennis Skinner
Pedro Swann
as Juan Vasquez
Michael Rivera
as Jimmy Pena
David Eiland
as Relief Pitcher
Jim Colborn
as 3rd Base Coach
Michael Borzello
as Catcher Double
Paul Bradshaw
as Tiger Pitching Coach
Gene Kirley
as Tiger Bench Coach
Chris Fischer
as Detroit Tiger
Barry Bradford
as Detroit Tiger
Kevin Craig West
as Detroit Tiger
Wes Said Drake
as Detroit Tiger
Luis Moro
as Detroit Tiger
Michael Papajohn
as Sam Tuttle
John Darjean Jr.
as Jonathan Warble
Donzell McDonald
as Lenny Howell
Scott Pose
as Matt Crane
Vick Brown
as Jesus Cabrillo
Chris Ashby
as Nardini
Bill Masse
as Mike Robinson
Mike Buddie
as Jack Spellman
Eric Knowles
as Ted Franklin
Juan Pablo Nieves Dominguez
as Francisco Delgado
Augie Garrido
as Yankee Manager
Rick Reed
as Home Plate Umpire
Rich Garcia
as 1st Base Umpire
Jerry Crawford
as 2nd Base Umpire
Robert Leo Shepard
as Yankee Stadium Announcer
Eddie Layton
as Yankee Stadium Organist
Robinson Frank Adu
as Locker Room Attendant
David Mucci
as Heckler
Jacob Reynolds
as Wheeler's Nephew
Maurice Shrog
as Yankee Stadium Usher
Karen Williams
as Kisha Birch
Tracy Middendorf
as Blonde Player's Wife
P.J. Barry
as Waldorf Doorman
Frank Girardeau
as Waldorf Bellhop
Caterina Zapponi
as Waldorf Singer
Monty Alexander
as Waldorf Pianist
Daniel Dae Kim
as ER Doctor
Judith Drake
as ER Nurse
Bill Vincent
as X-ray Technician
Billy V. Costner
as Billy's Father
Sharon Rae Costner
as Billy's Mother
Mark Thomason
as Billy's Father (Early Years)
Ted Raimi
as Gallery Doorman
Michael Emerson
as Gallery Doorman
Shelly Desai
as Taxi Driver
Lucinda Faraldo
as Airline Ticket Agent
Ed Morgan
as Man at Cafe
Brian Donald Hickey
as Autograph Seeker
Tracy Perry
as Autograph Seeker
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Critic Reviews for For Love of the Game

All Critics (93) | Top Critics (29)

  • 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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