A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2005)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Even if bowling isn't your sport, this colorful documentary is still an entertaining watch.

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Movie Info

Can one of America's least glamorous sports survive a media-savvy makeover...and can it survive without one? In the 1950s and '60s, bowling was one of America's most popular sports, with millions spending their spare time on the lanes and watching professional bowling on television. However, the game's popularity took a nosedive in the 1980s and '90s, and matters only got worse when network television dropped regular bowling coverage. Eventually, the Professional Bowlers Association was bought out by a group of Microsoft executives, who pumped five million dollars into the organization and hired former football player Steve Miller to give the game a PR makeover in hopes of attracting a new audience. In A League of Ordinary Gentlemen, documentary filmmaker Chris Browne follows four professional bowlers -- Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, and Wayne Webb -- as they scrape out a living on the pro bowling circuit and try to make sense of Miller's attempts to give the game a higher profile, with the solid play of Williams, who has won the PBA championship a whopping 39 times, often overlooked in favor of the "bad boy" showboating of Webber.

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Critic Reviews for A League of Ordinary Gentlemen

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (15)

It's a workmanlike film, but by the time two of the above bowlers are rolling against each other for the PBA championship, Browne has the audience sweating every spare.

September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

After a few flourishes of Errol Morris-like editing, first-timer Browne settles into a tone resembling the ESPN telecasts so crucial to the PBA's revenue stream, thriving on the intrinsic drama of competition and the league's emerging star system.

Full Review… | August 19, 2005
Village Voice
Top Critic

The film is part nostalgia, part wary tale of wasted youth and part underdog struggle.

July 8, 2005
Detroit News
Top Critic

Manages to be funny, sad and as informative as you'd want any movie about bowling to be.

July 8, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

It's a curious movie, in the best sense, acknowledging that everybody is obsessed with something, then finding out why this particular group of people is obsessed with this particular pastime.

Full Review… | July 8, 2005
Denver Post
Top Critic

Amusing and insightful.

Full Review… | July 7, 2005
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A League of Ordinary Gentlemen

A League of Ordinary Gentlemen is a great doc about pro bowling. Also, the only doc about pro bowling. 6.5/10

. ShArKnEsS
. ShArKnEsS

Youd think a documentary about bowling would be boring but I was suprised how much I enjoyed this flick.Great documentary

Brody Manson
Brody Manson

Super Reviewer

½

Everyone's gone bowling, which is I guess why almost anyone can relate to this documentary. I still haven't heard much about the PBA Tour so I think bowlers are still struggling in that aspect. The film, however, was really interesting with all the crazy characters of the Tour. Walk into any bowling alley and I can picture any of these guys there. The final match was pretty close and made for good suspense, too bad it didn't take off in the TV ratings.

Zachary Long
Zachary Long

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