Critics Consensus

Despite a good premise and strong cast, this pro football romcom is half screwball and half fumble.



Total Count: 168


Audience Score

User Ratings: 156,713
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Leatherheads Photos

Movie Info

Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero, is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks. The captain hopes his latest move will help the struggling sport finally capture the country's attention. Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford, America's favorite son. A golden-boy war hero who single-handedly forced multiple German soldiers to surrender in WWI, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed on the field. This new champ is almost too good to be true, and Lexie Littleton aims to prove that's the case. A cub journalist playing in the big leagues, Lexie is a spitfire newswoman who suspects there are holes in Carter's war story. But while she digs, the two teammates start to become serious off-field rivals for her fickle affections. As the new game of pro-football becomes less like the freewheeling sport he knew and loved, Dodge must both fight to keep his guys together and to get the girl of his dreams. Finding that love and football have a surprisingly similar playbook, however, he has one maneuver he will save just for the fourth quarter.

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George Clooney
as Dodge Connolly
Renée Zellweger
as Lexie Littleton
John Krasinski
as Carter Rutherford
Jonathan Pryce
as C.C. Frazier
Wayne Duvall
as Coach Ferguson
Peter Gerety
as Commissioner
Bill Roberson
as Mr. Dunn
Randy Newman
as Piano Player
Max Casella
as Mack Steiner
JD Cullum
as Leonard
Dylan Kussman
as Soldier Frank
Ryan Shively
as Corporal Jack
Grant Heslov
as Saul Keller
David Devries
as Princeton Reporter
Rick Forrester
as Princeton Reporter
Craig Harper
as Princeton Reporter
Lance Barber
as Toledo Referee
Jason Drago
as Toledo Player
George Nannarello
as Duluth Reporter
Dave Hager
as Duluth Reporter
Danny Vinson
as Duluth Reporter
Tom Glynn
as Newspaper Man
Kyle Nudo
as German Soldier
Tom Huff
as Writer/Photographer
Heather Goldenhersh
as Belinda/Flapper
Michael Scott
as Athletic Club Trainer
J. Todd Anderson
as Man in Pool
Ledisi Young
as Blues Singer
Christian Scott
as Band/Horn Player
Marcus Gilmore
as Band/Drummer
David Bryant
as Band/Piano
Luques Curtis
as Band/Bass
Dan John Miller
as Desk Clerk
Scott Reynolds
as Police Sergeant
John Vance
as Suicidal Man
John McConnell
as Bullhorn Fireman
Rob Gorman
as Speakeasy Soldier
Ted Huckabee
as Speakeasy Soldier
Sharlene Thomas
as Secretary
Craig A. Meyer
as Chicago Reporter
Blake Clark
as Chicago Referee
Patt Noday
as Chicago Radio Announcer
David Pasquesi
as Voiceover Announcer
Nick Toth
as Voiceover Announcer
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News & Interviews for Leatherheads

Critic Reviews for Leatherheads

All Critics (168) | Top Critics (39)

  • It's good-looking, good-natured and sophisticated, but Leatherheads can't choose between football biopic or screwball romance.

    Apr 11, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Laura Bushell

    Top Critic
  • The movie gets lots of things right, yet it fumbles key facets so badly that you simply can't christen it the gridiron version of 'His Girl Friday'.

    Apr 11, 2008 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Leatherheads is a romp with some great chemistry between the leads and enough laughs and surprises to keep you entertained.

    Apr 7, 2008
  • Tragically, Leatherheads is just OK, though the film may well find an audience among those eager for a little diversion, what with the nostalgia factor and the George Clooney factor.

    Apr 6, 2008 | Rating: 2/4
  • Maybe the film loses a little steam as it rolls along, but it is still puffing and tooting as Clooney and Zellweger ride off into the sunset.

    Apr 4, 2008 | Full Review…
  • There's a jaunty score by Randy Newman, and Clooney, as always, has charm to burn, but here, he's off his game.

    Apr 4, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Leatherheads

  • Jun 28, 2012
    I was pleasantly surprised by Leatherheads. Directed by George Clooney, this is a well made romantic comedy that I found enjoyable and fun. With some surprisingly good performances, Leatherheads is a different, refreshing romantic comedy. Renee Zellweger is pretty good considering I've never really found her that good to begin with. This is a fine film with a good script, and effective directing from Clooney who also stars in this film. What kept me involved with the film were the well written story, and the cast. Every person here delivered something special to the screen. This is not a film that is for everyone, but if you're interested in watching a different type of romantic comedy, then give this one a shot. The blend of sports film with the romantic comedy elements work well because of a smart script, a great cast and good directing. George Clooney clearly has talent, and he makes this a charming film to watch. I found this film to be a bit underrated, and I don't understand why it has received so much flack. This is much better than the usual Adam Sandler, Jenifer Aniston rom-com. I don't get why the negative reviews. The main actors give great performances and really bring out the best out of the film. This is a different take on the genre, and I very much loved it. Funny, silly and fun, this is a film worth watching. Leatherheads is an underrated film, one that should get more praise as a well written, well acted and actually very smart film in a genre where the films usually fall flat due to its predictability, poor plot and poor cast. This film has none of those, and really should be seen.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2012
    Leatherheads is a comedy/sports film directed by George Clooney that I will admit I found enjoyable. The plot was not very good, nothing really happens but the well written characters keep the film flowing enough so that its interesting. The dialogue of the film is also witty and clever, and for a comedy I thought it actually was a smart comedy. The cast consists of great actors like George Clooney, Renee Zellwegger, and John Krakinski and I liked each one of them, and I was espically impressed with Zellwegger who I usually am not a huge fan of. George Clooney is a good director in my opinion, I loved The Idea of March and Good Night, and Good Luck and here he has proved to me that although it was not perfect, his directing skills can range to sports and comedy.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2012
    Three stars might be a little high, but I had heard such bad things about this movie that to end up liking it bumps up its rating. It's another old-timey Clooney joint, which he is perfect for, and Renee Zellweger, whose look is really not for me, plays well as a determined journalist in an age of blatant sexism. Lots of honest laughs and love, but there's a chase scene in the middle that's so campy you might want to turn it off. It's an immature work by an emerging director, but Clooney's going to keep getting better - Good Night and Good Luck showed a ton of promise. As for Leatherheads, though... it's a silly, disposable film, but fun nonetheless; I mean, how many other movies about 1920s professional football have you seen? If nothing else, it's fairly original (for Hollywood), and Rick Reilly's work on the script appears to have helped a lot.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2010
    In 1972, legendary director Peter Bogdanovich followed up what would become his masterwork, the damn-near perfect The Last Picture Show, by resurrecting the screwball comedy from a 30-year Rip Van Winkle-esque hibernation. A student of film history, Bogdanovich gave audiences the bulls-eye laugh-riot What's Up, Doc?, which expertly captured the madcap mechanics used by two of his idols, Howard Hawks (Bringing Up Baby) and Frank Capra (It Happened One Night). With O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coen Brothers also emulated this sub-genre to great effect, albeit wrapped in their determinedly quirky style. Though he was the star of the latter, George Clooney seems unable to FULLY re-capture the magic of his forebears. He does not completely fail, however. Clooney's homage to the screwballs results in a romp that, although fun, simply lacks the slapdash tomfoolery (read: breakneck pacing) created by the masters. In Leatherheads, a 1920s pigskin hero (Clooney) tries to pluck the little-known sport of football from obscurity and capture the nation's attention by signing a war hero college star (John Krasinski) to join his team's ranks. Though his first two directorial efforts demonstrated the eye of a learned cinema scholar, Clooney's love letter to '20s cinema is not in the same game as, say, Bogdanovich...but he is in the same ballpark. Some of the rapid-fire dialogue between the spot-on cast echoes the brilliance of Preston Sturges (Sullivan's Travels). Owing much to an overly romantic sub-plot, however, the loco-motion often winds down, killing the frenetic pace needed to keep such screwy comedy a-chugging. Bottom Line: A couple screws loose.
    Jeff B Super Reviewer

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