The Natural - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Natural Reviews

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½ March 29, 2015
It's too mushy and sentimental for me. Redford does a fine job like he always does same with Close and Duvall but the movie just doesn't flow well together. There are more interesting baseball movies that exists. There are great moments in cinematography and music but overall it is just an ok movie
March 15, 2015
that blonde haired pussy should play football he is so tuff, the reviews are remarkable for such a bullshit ending
March 10, 2015
Entertaining baseball movie.

Details the rise and fall and rise of a naturally gifted player, Roy Hobbs (played by Robert Redford). Full of heart, sentimentality and great baseball action.

Interesting plot, thought not entirely convincing or watertight. Relies more on sentimentality (though not overdone or overly sugary), emotion and character-depth than on being 100% plausible.

Solid performance in the lead role from Robert Redford. Good support from Wilford Brimley, Glenn Close (who received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination), Robert Duvall and Kim Bassinger.
½ February 27, 2015
Second best sports movie of all-time. The Natural tells the story of the most natural gifted baseball player who almost never gets to realize his destiny. Through 1 bad decision, his career (and life) is almost derailed until he resurfaces many years later as an old "rookie". From there, the story blossoms into one of success, failure, greed, secrets, blackmail, and finally, ultimate triumph. Strong cast with Redford playing his best role, Robert Duvall nailing the wormy sportswriter, and the Madonna/Whore differential between Glenn Close and Kim Basinger. One of the most emotional, elating endings of all-time.

Grade = 8.5/10
December 26, 2014
Hits a lot of predictable marks, but it hits them with the swagger and precision of a hall-of-fame slugger.
October 2, 2014
This is my favorite Robert Redford movie and one of my favorite baseball movies.
½ September 21, 2014
I've heard such great things about this movie, but it's really average at best. The overarching story of an older man trying to reclaim his once-promising career is a compelling one, if rather obvious and a little cheesy. But where it really loses me is when they start throwing in ridiculously cliched villains with no adequate motivations. There are a lot of these from the evil woman who shoots him (for no reason) to the owner who wants the coach gone (for no reason) to the reporter who wants to ruin Redford (for no reason). Having created a story with enough conflict in its premise alone the addition of such clumsy antagonists is just too much. These are the types of villains that I'd expect to see in a 1930s gangster film or a comedy. They throw in even further cliched plot points like an injury that will kill him if he doesn't quit and an ex-schoolmate who is clearly his soulmate. It quite quickly goes from being a modern fairytale to being a clumsy and cliched mess. Which is too bad because it really seemed to capture something there.
½ September 15, 2014
I love baseball as a sport, so I'm instantly inclined to like any movie about it. As a baseball and a movie fan I had a lot of people surprised I'd never seen this classic. And now I can see why so many people love The Natural. Robert Redford is great at playing a man of few words. He has a depth of expression that makes it clear he is thinking more than he says. He might not be convincing as a teenager in the opening scenes, but it's worth suspending your disbelief in order to get that great acting in the later scenes. I also think it's kind of neat how some of the most dramatic moments in the film are not targeted as the primary topic for the movie, instead they are only discussed in hushed tones almost completely off camera. It allows the current crisis of the New York Knights to take center stage. Of course it also fails to answer burning questions for a large portion of the movie, which led my mind to make some wild leaps trying to figure out what happened until they spelled it all out for us. Easily my favorite aspect of this film is that they captured how magical baseball can be. My heart swells in those big tense at-bats and I love watching Roy Hobbs when he accomplishes the impossible and stuns the fans and players alike.

One of the aspects that I didn't pick up on, but heard about after watching is all the symbolism and connection to the Arthurian legends. It would be interesting to watch it again and look for all those connections to the lore, but I'm not familiar enough with those tales to fully appreciate the links. I wonder if this connection with popular legends is why the plot feels so familiar. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I never found the story all that unique, so I could easily predict what would happen from one scene to the next. The biggest negative issue I found in The Natural is the fact that the baseball doesn't feel authentic. Almost everyone who pitches a ball or swings a bat looks like an actor pretending to be a baseball player. As an avid fan of the sport I really appreciate when movies fake it right, but this movie seemed to fake it all wrong. Robert Redford doesn't have a big league style of swing or pitching and yet we're supposed to believe he's the best of the best. That being said, I still think The Natural is a feel-good sports drama that is worth watching. I won't be adding it to my collection, but I can see why many hold it in such high esteem.
August 9, 2014
This movie is just fantastic. It has everything a good baseball movie should have, and then everything an amazing baseball movie should have. I remember watching this the first time with my dad, I loved it. My dad had already seen this movie and I was just getting in to baseball so he wanted to show it to me. I would recommend this movie to any baseball fan it's fantastic.
June 14, 2014
I've seen several great baseball movies, but never have I come across anything out there like "The Natural."
June 2, 2014
The greatest baseball movie ever made!!!!!!!!!!
½ May 31, 2014
Too long, but it has the score and its really nicely shot
½ May 30, 2014
One of the best movies about America ever made. Maybe the best baseball movie ever made.
April 20, 2014
Really good sports movie with a very emotional ending. Robert Redford is great in this.
April 8, 2014
One of the best sports movie ever made.
April 8, 2014
This is an absolutely brilliant movie. Every aspect of this movie is extremely well thought out and executed beautifully, with the soundtrack and photography leading the way. Beautifully filmed, giving a genuine, sentimental American feel.
March 25, 2014
In 1923, a 19-year-old Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is on his way to Chicago to try out for the Chicago Cubs as a baseball pitcher. Along the way, the train stops at a carnival, and Hobbs is challenged to strike out "The Whammer" (Joe Don Baker), the top hitter in the Majors. Sportswriter Max Mercy (Robert Duvall), traveling with Whammer, draws a picture of the event. Hobbs also encounters Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey), an alluring woman, who becomes fixated on him after he strikes out Whammer. Bird lures Hobbs to her hotel room, shoots him, then commits suicide. It is revealed that Bird kills rising athletes, having already murdered two others. Skip to 1939. The New York Knights sign the now 35-year-old Hobbs to a contract, to the ire of the team's manager and co-owner, Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley). With the Knights mired in last-place, Pop is angry over being saddled with a "middle-aged" rookie. During the next game, the team's star player, "Bump" Bailey (Michael Madsen), angers Pop with his lackadaisical playing, and Pop sends Hobbs to pinch hit. Hobbs literally knocks the cover off the baseball, winning the game. When Bump later dies after crashing through an outfield fence, Hobbs becomes the league's sensation, turning the Knights' fortunes around. Hobbs' success prompts Mercy to try to unearth Hobbs' background. Later, Hobbs is summoned to a meeting with the principal owner of the team, The Judge (Robert Prosky). The Judge has an agreement with Pop that if the Knights fail to win the Pennant at the end of the season, Pop's share of the team reverts to the Judge. To ensure the team loses, the Judge had a scout stock the roster with unknown players like Hobbs. When Hobbs refuses a bribe to throw the season, gambler Gus Sands (Darren McGavin) and the Judge devise a plan to manipulate him though Memo Paris (Kim Basinger), Pop's niece and Bump's former girlfriend. Hobbs needs to figure out whatīs important in life and in baseball...

Barry Levinsonīs "The Natural" is claimed to be one of the most beloved sports movies of all time and I have been keen to see it for a long time. I do like baseball and I understand the magic of the sport despite the fact that Iīm european. My problem with "The Natural" is the fairy-tale or of other-worldliness that is the base of the story. A touch of "Forrest Gump" if you will. I simply donīt buy into the storyline of the all american sports superhero/godlike creature finally making it in at an older age with a bat made out of a tree struck by lightning. And I think the movie is as well inconsistent, slow-paced and not that engaging. Itīs almost like itīs an idol portrait of Robert Redford (whom I have all the respect for as an actor) and thatīs pretty much it. Itīs simply not really what I hoped for.
½ March 25, 2014
If you go into this film thinking only of the book, and it's a damn fine book, you're probably going to be disappointed, but it's still a fine baseball fable; Beautifully photographed and acted.
March 21, 2014
It's been a long time, but the allure of The Natural as one of the pre-eminent baseball movies still holds true. Didn't remember it ending so suddenly though. Would probably be a bit different if it were made today.

3/22/14 - Home
February 22, 2014
The baseball movie I enjoy most. I have watched this one each year since it came out in 1984.
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