Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius

  • Review Date: November 8, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 128 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Bobby Jones deserves a better movie than this one.
  • Review Date: November 8, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 128 minutes





What parents need to know

Not applicable

Kisses, mild sexual references.


Strong language for a PG.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has strong language for a PG and a child uses four-letter words. Jones' swearing is an issue in the story and ultimately he learns not to do it any more. There are some brief mild sexual references (a character is teased that she "doesn't pet," a man is said to have broken "all eleven" of the ten commandments and refers to debauchery). Characters drink and smoke, sometimes to excess. The portrayal of minorities is consistent with the era, but may be seen as insensitive by today's standards. (No mention is made of Jones' Augusta Golf Club's famous battles to keep women from becoming members.)

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What's the story?

BOBBY JONES: STROKE OF GENIUS chronicles the remarkable early years of golf legend Bobby Jones. Jim Caviezel stars as the adult Jones, who became the only golfer to win all four of the sport's top titles in the same year, refused to be paid for playing golf, turned down millions of dollars in endorsements and awards, and retired at the age of 28. The film begins with Jones as a sickly child, growing up next door to a golf course, imitating the swings of the men who play and attracting the attention of the Scottish golf pro. Eventually, he enters his first big tournament as a teenager. Skeptical journalist O.B. Keeler (Malcolm McDowell) becomes an awestruck fan. Meanwhile, Jones struggles to control his temper and faces family problems as his grandfather disapproves of his playing golf, his mother wants him to study literature, and his wife Mary (Claire Forlani) wants him to spend more time with their family. Plagued by an ongoing, mysterious ailment, he won't give up until he's won the grand slam of the four top titles.

Is it any good?


A great man and a great golfer like Bobby Jones deserves a better movie than this one, which is as clumsy as its title. Clearly, this movie was made for love of the game and for love of Jones, but it tells us rather than shows us, and then tells us again, and it takes a very long time doing it, too. Like the game it depicts, it moves very, very slowly. There are lots of long, loving shots of the sun-dappled greens, slow-mo swings and swelling strings, glimpses of golden light accompanied by hooting panpipes, and quotes from Kipling, Will Rogers, Tennyson, and then Kipling again.

The film is nice to look at, and actor Jeremy Northam's turn as the dissolute but resolute golf pro Walter Hagen adds some flavor to the story. But the other performances are as flat as the dialogue.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the comment by one character that "money is going to ruin sports." Was he right? They could also talk about the question asked of Jones at the end of the movie, "What are you going to do for yourself?" What did he do for himself, and why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 30, 2004
DVD release date:November 30, 2004
Cast:Claire Forlani, James Caviezel, Jeremy Northam
Director:Rowdy Herrington
Studio:Film Foundry Releasing
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:128 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language

This review of Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

A sleeper film

Not bad if you have insomnia, OR really, really like golf. Otherwise, just pass. The language is really obscene.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLuB April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age




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