The Only Real Game (2014)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This deeply stirring documentary by award winning director Mirra Bank and narrated by Academy Award (R)-winner Melissa Leo, THE ONLY REAL GAME illuminates the magic of baseball for people in a remote and troubled place. Once princely Manipur, a strife-torn border state in northeast India, defies armed insurgency, drug trafficking and HIV/AIDS through love of our national pastime. Dreams chase reality when a band of baseball-loving New Yorkers, and two Major League Baseball Envoy coaches, team up with Manipuri men, women and children to "Play Ball." With gifted women and girls among the best players - as well as leaders of peace and justice initiatives - this far away story brings us to the heart of the great American Game, or as Babe Ruth put it, "the only real game in the world." (c)
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
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Melissa Leo
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for The Only Real Game

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (5)

[A] clear-eyed snapshot of sports hope struggling against socioeconomic stagnation.

Full Review… | June 19, 2014
Top Critic

A stirring ode to cultural bridge-building.

Full Review… | June 19, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The history lesson is fascinating, and it's nice to see an American export other than a Hollywood blockbuster engendering good will.

Full Review… | June 5, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

Bank's story of the women, men, and children so passionate about their game is itself wholly absorbing.

Full Review… | June 3, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

As well-intentioned, feel-good humanitarian acts go, "The Only Real Game" hits one out of the park for fanatics of America's favorite pastime or good-hearted folk with a little extra scratch in search of a new pet project.

Full Review… | March 6, 2014
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

The Only Real Game is refreshingly devoid of sentimentality, yet despite itself oddly affirmative.

Full Review… | November 5, 2014
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for The Only Real Game

Fantastic! .....well done piece with a beautiful back-story and incredibly interesting feature characters. Baseball Fans &'ll love this story!

Keith Moon
Keith Moon

This phenomenal film is beautiful, just like the people of Manipur. In the presence of conflict and injustice, their love, determination to play the game and to see their dreams fulfilled is unwavering.


Great documentary and humanitarian story. It's inspiring to see acts of good-will being conducted across the world and how these impact people's lives.

Natalie Murphy
Natalie Murphy

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