The Phenom

Critics Consensus

Powerfully acted and emotionally affecting, The Phenom proves a baseball movie can step away from the mound and still deliver a heater down the middle.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

39%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 726
User image

The Phenom Videos

Watch it now

The Phenom Photos

Movie Info

When major-league rookie pitcher Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) can't find the plate, he's sent down to the minor leagues and begins sessions with an unorthodox sports psychologist (Paul Giamatti). In the process, hidden conflicts with his overbearing father (Ethan Hawke) are brought to light.

Cast

Johnny Simmons
as Hopper Gibson
Ethan Hawke
as Hopper Sr.
Paul Giamatti
as Dr. Mobley
Alison Elliott
as Susan Gibson
Yul Vázquez
as Eddie Soler
Paul Adelstein
as Scott Borwitz
Louisa Krause
as Candace Cassidy
Elizabeth Marvel
as June Epland
Marin Ireland
as Rachel Cullum
Sophie Kennedy Clark
as Dorothy Boyer
John Ventimiglia
as Red Briles
Frank Wood
as Richard Boyer
Melissa LeEllen
as Bevan Mahaney
Ruben Vidal
as Mack Edelsack
Emily Fleischer
as Betsy Schmidt
Meg Gibson
as Jill Boyer
Steven Marcus
as Ernie Jaster
BreeAnna Marie
as Kelley Gates
Dann Fink
as Jason Bayne
Niesha Butler
as Tuesday Davis
Jacob Roberson
as Barry Dorsey
Billy James
as Danny Kerman
Chameria Law
as Maya Moore
Joseph Geoffroy II
as Bobby Collins
Michael Preziosi
as Hugh Sweeny
Journey Smith
as Lloyd Moseby
Ashlee Miller
as Sue Dekleva
Yoel Kanchelov
as Ben Sterling
Aaron Judlowe
as Stan The Fan Charles
Evans Griffin
as Howard Glass
Tonya Baines
as Kate Boothe
Valerie Martin
as Teresa May
J.A. Geoffroy
as Woodrow Morton
View All

News & Interviews for The Phenom

Critic Reviews for The Phenom

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (10)

  • When Buschel narrows his focus and has a handle on these characters' essences, there are flashes of greatness. All he needs is a tighter grip.

    Jan 1, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Steve Greene

    indieWire
    Top Critic
  • This "love me daddy" baseball pic that earns points for spending less than 5 percent of its time on the diamond and refusing to end in open competition...so far as the playing field is concerned.

    Jul 1, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It's Hawke who gives the film its dramatic urgency.

    Jun 24, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Not everything here works... But it's an interesting, great-looking film, and Simmons is just dynamite in it.

    Jun 24, 2016 | Full Review…

    Linda Holmes

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • A welcome surprise for sports cinema, "The Phenom" handles itself like Robert Redford's "Ordinary People" when exploring the psychology of a Lebron James or Johnny Manziel-like sports sensation.

    Jun 24, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Instead of big fireworks, "The Phenom" offers low-key character moments. It's a small film with a lot of insight.

    Jun 24, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Phenom

  • Jan 31, 2018
    Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) is in a position that every little boy dreams about. He is a star rookie pitcher in Major League Baseball. His numbers and talent are off the chart, when all of a sudden, he can't find the strike zone. There is nothing wrong with him physically, so the team sends him down to the minors and puts him to work with the top sports psychologist in the country. I really don't understand professional critics and what they look for when they rate a film. Take The Phenom for example, this film has got to be the slowest and most boring sports film I've ever seen, yet it has an 80 on Rotten Tomatoes. There was very little sports action in this film and the fast majority of it consisted of this guy sitting in a room talking to a shrink! Yes, the shrink was played by Paul Giamatti, who is an unbelievably talented actor, but why the hell would anyone want to watch some dudes therapy session? When he wasn't in therapy, he should be on the field, but no, he's dealing with his over barring father, who is fresh out of prison. Who plays this bad ass, bullying his pro-athlete son, who is in peak physical condition? A very old looking, very tattooed, Ethan Hawke and I really wasn't buying that for a second. There were some talented actors in this film, no doubt, but The Phenom was 88 minutes of talking and nothing more, what in the hell is so great about that? This film was as boring as movies get, so unless you're a die hard Paul Giamatti fan, I would absolutely let this one pass you by.
    Todd S Super Reviewer

The Phenom Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features