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Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
All Critics (38)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (31)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (10)
Being a baseball fan involves repeatedly experiencing exquisite pain and exquisite joy. Well, there's a lot of both in The Natural.
Levinson must have felt he had to swing for the fences. He can be forgiven for choking up with all The Natural's fans looking on dubiously. In fairness, the official scorer must credit him with a single. And Redford with an RBI.
The Natural is an impeccably made, but quite strange, fable about success and failure in America.
I've just about had it with directors who use the mythic mode as an alibi for unshaded characterizations, simpleminded plotting, and swells of artificial emotionality.
Let yourself go and be rewarded by the sight of a hero running home to victory through clouds of fire.
The message is: Baseball is purely and simply a matter of divine intervention. At about the 130-minute mark, I got the idea that God's only begotten son was playing right field for the New York team.
The allure of second chances speaks to anyone's hope for redemption, in any stage of their life. In The Natural, Roy Hobbs's second chance ... is realized at a stage when the character is inching toward the point of no return.
It's all very corny and much of it's almost alarmingly overbaked... Yet it works.
The scouting report on The Natural has to read: lots of tools but no heart.
If you can suspend disbelief and let yourself be drawn into the movie, you'll be rewarded with an emotional and heart-warming experience that will have you cheering.
Barry Levinson deviates considerably from the wry, ironic tone of Malamud's novel, and if the film is mildly enjoyable it's due to the acting of the supporting cast and polished production values.
An otherwise fine sports fantasy is dragged down by an overindulgence in sentimentality.
He lived for a dream that wouldn't die.
Saw it again! Probably one of the best baseball movies ever made. Robert Redford nail his role as Roy Hobbs, amazing talent! Wicked story! Everything about this movie appears authentic. From the time period, to the baseball scenes. These guys really look like a baseball team. A touching story, without being hokey. You get the feeling you are watching something mystical and magical along with all the characters in the movie, and it is played with just the right note. Thrilling and inspiring. A well-made, well-acted film. Loved the end, one of the best endings ever!
An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league in this magical sports fantasy. With the aid of a bat cut from a lightning struck tree, Hobbs lives the fame he should have had earlier when, as a rising pitcher, he is inexplicably shot by a young woman.
I won't call The Natural a bad movie but that doesn't mean I'm going to say that it lives up to its almost mythic status as a truly great movie. Robert Redford is likable and despite some weird aspects of the story (Barbara Hershey and Kim Basinger's bad luck superpower in general) you like him and you root for him. Despite the over 2 hour running time it feels like another 15 or 20 minutes could've smoothed some rough edges out. The mystery behind Roy Hobbs was kind of anticlimactic (I was ALMOST hoping he'd be a ghost or an angel or something.) The "bad guys" were either an unlikable shade of unlikable or just downright creepy (Darren McGavin and his glass eye.) Not great, not awful, but that final home run was pretty wild...
I remembered this being a childhood favorite, but I hadn't seen it for a long time. It has even gotten better with age, being such a classic example of a true American Dream. Robert Redford really did a great job as Roy Hobbs, a character that has your heart from the moment he appears onscreen. The story is extremely well told with a truly beautiful late thirties backdrop. You don't have to be a baseball fan or a sports fan period to love this movie and feel a sense of attachment to it, that's how strong it is.
Quintessential sports movie with something for fans and non-fans alike. Hobbs rounding the bases in a shower of electrical sparks is iconic cinema at it's best.
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