What to know

critics consensus

Despite all the underdog sports movie conventions, the likable cast and lush production values make The Greatest Game Ever Played a solid and uplifting tale. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch

Show all services

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

The Greatest Game Ever Played Photos

Movie Info

Blue-collar Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) fights class prejudice while mastering golf, a game guarded by the upper crust. Employed as a caddy at the exclusive Brookline Country Club, Francis fine-tunes his skills during off hours. His father, Arthur (Elias Koteas), disapproves, but a few admirers help Francis enter the 1913 U.S. Open. The underdog competes against British star Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane) and finds common ground with his boyhood idol. The film is based on a true story.

Cast & Crew

Shia LaBeouf
Francis Ouimet
Stephen Dillane
Harry Vardon
Josh Flitter
Eddie Lowery
Peyton List
Sarah Wallis
Elias Koteas
Arthur Ouimet
Peter Firth
Lord Northcliffe
Michael Weaver
John McDermott
James Paxton
Young Harry Vardon
Mark Frost
Screenwriter
David Steinberg
Producer
Mark Frost
Writer (Book)
Francois Seguin
Production Designer
Brian Tyler
Original Music
Shane Hurlbut
Cinematographer
Elliot Graham
Film Editor
François Séguin
Production Design
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for The Greatest Game Ever Played

Critic Reviews for The Greatest Game Ever Played

All Critics (112) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (70) | Rotten (42)

  • Quote not available.

    April 1, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The most visually and emotionally dynamic film ever made about a game of golf — perhaps the most visually and emotionally dynamic possible film about a game of golf.

    October 10, 2005 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • ...the veteran British character actor is so good as Vardon I can't imagine another inhabiting the role so wonderfully. Dillane adds so many layers, so many idiosyncratic quirks, that the golfer comes to life the very first moment he takes the screen.

    October 8, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Ouimet versus Vardon probably was the greatest golf game ever played, and Paxton and Frost do it justice, but I wouldn't sit through another simulated hole of it for Tiger Woods's salary.

    October 4, 2005 | Full Review…
  • I know it's all about how well they construct the journey, but I just kind of felt like, okay, we know exactly what's going to happen here.

    October 3, 2005
  • The Greatest Game never thrills on an emotional level the way the best of sports films -- a Hoosiers, say -- can, but it's a satisfying entertainment nonetheless.

    October 2, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Greatest Game Ever Played

  • Apr 07, 2013
    Predictable movies, that with an inevitably uplifting ending and familiar character progressions, can still be good. The Greatest Game Ever Played is one of those films. The premise, that of an underdog underprivileged young man going up against the greatest golfers in the world, has been done. Like many of said stories, this one is based upon actual events. Unlike many similarly themed films, however, it strikes a resonance beyond the mere fact it's based on a true story, with a really effective execution. The acting is very strong all around, with Shia LaBeouf fitting his role perfectly. He captures resilience, charm, and bottled frustration as well as anyone, and felt very in tune with what the role called for. I liked the interactions he had with the rest of the cast, with Stephen Dillane being especially impressive. Dillane's deadpan intensity gave the film a dramatic weight that it wouldn't have had otherwise. All of the inner-character dynamics felt authentic and well realized. From a script standpoint, the film did an excellent job exploring the different character arcs. It was heavy handed, to be sure, in its main theme critiquing the aristocracy, but this was outweighed by the effective and inventive use of flashbacks. What was especially well done were the parallels between Dillane's early character and LaBeouf, with the film appropriately restraining itself from being too obvious. The film also struck a good balance from a tone standpoint. It worked as a pure drama and an underdog story, while also having a noticeable charm and humor to it. A fun, refreshingly positive, and always entertaining sports conventions fest. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2012
    The Greatest Game Ever Played is an excellent family-friendly, underdog, sports-themed film in the Disney tradition. I thoroughly enjoyed the cast; the young Shia LaBouf was perfect for the role. Sure, it's clichéd at times; the class conflict/social structure theme permeates the movie and is too heavy-handed at times. It's a period drama which may not be familiar to viewers not schooled in golfing history. In the early 1900s, golf was new to America and dominated by British champions such as Harry Vardon. Furthermore, the game belonged to the upper crust of society, those who inhabited exclusive country clubs. However, both Vardon and Francis Ouimet (LaBouf's character) arose from humble beginnings and signaled changes to come. It's predictable in the Disney tradition but positive and uplifting nonetheless. The golf itself is interesting, but this isn't Rocky in terms of sports excitement. The film even has several fine comedic moments, especially those featuring Ouimet's caddy, a plucky fifth-grader. In short, it's an enjoyable film, and you don't have to like golf to appreciate it.
    Clintus M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2012
    The Greatest Game Ever Played looks and feels like a great sports film, but the underdog has run its course. Don't get me wrong, this was a very enjoyable and enlightening film that really got my attentiok, but I'm just not seeing the genius in a script that we see in so many other sports films. But what seperates this from other sports films is the sport itself, golf. I play golf once and a while and it was nice to see a sports film that wasn't football or basketball, and it was also nice to see a golf film besides Happy Gilmore. Another thing that makes the film great is the cast, which has given me a lot more respect for Shia Lebeouf. I really like Labeouf in his earlier movies like this and Holes, and its always great to see him play a good and interesting performance that wasn't Transformers or playing Indiana Jones's son. I loved the tone and production of the film, Bill Paxton makes this film look truly magnificent and more interesting than a movie about golf should. But sadly I still can't ignore the fact that it tries way too hard to feel like other underdog sports films. The ending was very touching, but some moments I laughed because it really reminded me of Rudy and pulled a lot of cliches. The Greatest Game Ever Played doesn't feel original, but it does feel beautiful and interesting from start to finish, and has deemed itself worthy of being called a very good and entertaining sports film.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2011
    Enjoyable, with good production and good effects, just a bit confusing for non-golf fans.
    Rodrigo R Super Reviewer

The Greatest Game Ever Played Quotes

Movie & TV guides