Field of Dreams

 
(i)

 

Baseball crowd pleaser with a supernatural twist.
  • Review Date: January 10, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a story about following your dreams, even if everyone thinks you're crazy. Reconnect with loved ones any way you can.

Positive role models

Ray and his wife are under a lot of financial stress, but they take the time to listen to their young daughter when she suggests what they should do to earn income. Annie speaks out against closed-mindedness and censorship, and is not afraid to ruffle some feathers in the process.

Violence

Main character hears ghostly voices and sees things that other people cannot see. Terry threatens to beat Ray if he does not leave Terry's house. A child falls from the top of a bandstand and is knocked unconscious. She recovers without any injury. No fighting, no blood.

Sex

Adults kiss in bed.

Language

Moderate use of words like "ass," "hell," "damn," "piss off." Infrequent use of "s--t," "son of a bitch"

Consumerism

Signs that advertise Coca-Cola, Polaroid, Michelin, and Citgo. Some Coca-Cola products are used.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Ray talks about how he "smoked some grass" during the '60s in college. When his wife suggests he is having an acid flashback, Ray responds: "But I never took acid." Men drink beer at a baseball game

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this story about following your dreams and reconciling relationships could appeal to young teens, older teens, and adults, especially families who like baseball. Some positive messages about tolerance and believing in yourself go along with a bit of strong language ("s--t" and "son of a bitch"). There are a couple references to past drug use, as well as a couple tense scenes.

What's the story?

In FIELD OF DREAMS, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) stands in the middle of his first Iowa corn crop and hears a voice say, "If you build it, he will come." He begins to understand that this means he must plow under the corn crop and build a baseball field so that Shoeless Joe Jackson, barred from baseball since 1919 and dead for years, can play on it. Ray and his wife (Amy Madigan) know this is a crazy thing to do, but they do it. And Jackson does show up, with his teammates. Jackson was the hero of Ray's father, a former minor leaguer, with whom Ray had never been able to connect. The voice speaks again: "Ease his pain." Ray comes to understand that this refers to an iconoclastic author of the 1960s named Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones), now a recluse. Ray finds him, and together they hear the voice say "Go the distance." This leads them back in time to find an elderly doctor (Burt Lancaster), who had a brief career in baseball but never got a chance at bat and they set out to find Mann.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The themes of this movie are dreams, family, and baseball. There are echoes of Ray's father throughout the movie. It begins with Ray's description of growing up, using his refusal to play baseball as his teenage rebellion, and as a way to test his father's love. Ray tells Mann that his father's name was used for a character in one of Mann's books. Ray builds the field to bring back Shoeless Joe, his father's hero, the hero Ray accused of being corrupt because he knew that would hurt his father.

And of course at the end, it turns out that the dream all along was not bringing back the greats of baseball, but of a reconciliation with his father that was not possible before he died. "I only saw him when he was worn down by life," Ray says. His own understanding and maturity are what enable him to see his father as he really was, even before he reappears on the baseball field. Ray asks his father, "Is there a heaven?" and his father answers, "Oh yeah. It's the place dreams come true."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about dreams. How do you know when to follow a dream that seems crazy or foolish? What thoughts go into weighing the risks of certain choices? Is there a way to know for sure whether an idea is a good one?

  • How did Ray's experience with the baseball field help him heal his pain related to his relationship with his father? What could you do to mend some family wounds?

  • What kinds of stereotypes are discussed or displayed in this movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 21, 1989
DVD release date:April 29, 1998
Cast:Gaby Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta
Director:Phil Alden Robinson
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Drama
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Field of Dreams was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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Parent of a 8 year old Written byBrad Kemp October 16, 2009
 

Good father-son film

This film underscores the relativity of baseball and it's timeless endurance as it transcends the generations. I see little content objectionable material, but the theme may be too complicated for those younger than 8. My son (8) is just the age he can appreciate this type of film and differentiate the reality of future, past, and fiction. Also, he recognized there were a couple of pieces of mildly rough language, from the ball players (as you might expect) and James Earl Jones, who plays a grouch early on in the movie.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Parent of a 12 year old Written byTsion April 9, 2008
 

An Instant Classic! Magical, Funny, Inventive!

Field of Dreams is a fun family film for all. The CommonSense review can tell you the story. The main problem in the film is language. S**t, D**n, and A** are used frequently, as well as crude names like "nazi cow". Other than that, the acting is terrific and the story magical. Highly reccommended!
Teen, 14 years old Written byTotally500 April 29, 2011
 

a Dream is your destiny

This movie is so good. If you bullt it he will come its a way to make your dreams go flying. Overall it is very good
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models

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