For Love of the Game (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

For Love of the Game (1999)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Baseball wins, romance loses.

For Love of the Game Videos

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.

Watch it now

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
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for For Love of the Game

All Critics (93) | Top Critics (30)

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
New Yorker
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 8, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Here are two things that definitely don't go together: baseball and piano music.

Full Review… | May 8, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 8, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

On the field, Costner is consistent, but his exploration of Billy's romantic dilemma is superficial and often wooden.

Full Review… | May 8, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 8, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for For Love of the Game

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 White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Billy Chapel must choose between the woman he loves and the game he lives for. Saw it again! Absolutely love this movie. Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston dazzle completely. The story is quite good and entertaining. Sports movies like this one I could watch every day. Baseball great Billy Chapel, 40, wants nothing more than to reconnect with his one-time lover, Jane Aubrey. On the morning he's to pitch the last game of the season, she tells him she's leaving that evening for a job in London; he also learns that the Detroit Tigers' new owners plan to trade him. As he pitches that night, he must decide whether to accept the trade or quit the game he loves, and between innings, he recalls meeting Jane, their first date, happy times, miscommunication, and what may be a final break. Meanwhile, with Vin Scully announcing, one Yankee batter after another fails to reach first base. Can Billy pitch a perfect game, and if so, what does it matter if he loses Jane?

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is an aging major league pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. Billy does everything he can to be the best at the only thing he really cares about....baseball. However, Billy lucks up and finds a great woman named Jane (Kelly Preston). Will Billy find someone that he really really cares a lot about with Jane, or will America's favorite pastime, baseball, still be the only thing that Billy Chapel will fight for? I recommend watching the movie to find out. "Field of Dreams" is one of my favorite movies of all time. I know that just about everybody's question will be "Is For Love of the Game as great as Field of Dreams?" after they see that this is a baseball movie and that Kevin Costner is the movie's main star. In my opinion, they're both great movies and they're two of the best sports movies ever made, but I didn't think that "For Love of the Game" is quite as good as "Field of Dreams" is. This movie has its spectacular times such as when Billy is giving it all he's got to try and get a perfect game. The love interest between Billy and Jane is also interesting and well done. I think the only reason that I didn't think it was as good as "Field of Dreams" is because "Field of Dreams" was VERY original and it was unbelievably captivating. Whereas, "For Love of the Game" is a great movie, but it's not as original and not as captivating as "Field of Dreams." If you like great sports or baseball movies, and especially if you liked "Field of Dreams," I recommend getting "For Love of the Game." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. I was one of the thousands that were hyped to see this to see if it would be as good as "Field of Dreams", but no, not even in the same ballpark, or league.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

For Love of the Game Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss For Love of the Game on our Movie forum!

News & Features