For Love of the Game



An old-fashioned Hollywood sports story/romance.
  • Review Date: September 13, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 137 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Not applicable

Some sexually suggestive scenes.


Some profanity.


Brand names (the game in the movie is broadcast on Fox and their logo appears onscreen throughout. Also some sports companies logos appear, and there is one very clear shot of a bottle of Advil).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking, one character gets quite drunk during a celebration.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie contains some sexually suggestive scenes and strong language, but not a lot of either.

Kids say

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What's the story?

On the same day, aging baseball player Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) finds out his girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston) is leaving him and his team is being sold and he'll probably be traded. He is pitching a game that same day in Yankee Stadium, and the story unfolds in flashbacks as the game, which could turn out to be the elusive perfect game, goes on. Every movie romance cliché is on proud display. Billy and Jane "meet cute" when her car breaks down. They suffer through ups and downs and downs and ups. The flashbacks also cover Billy's career, including a serious injury and the inevitable slowing down of age.

Is it any good?


FOR LOVE OF THE GAME falls toward the sentimental side of the scale. It's an old-fashioned romance with no real surprises, but the material is handled well, and it's just about impossible not to get caught up in the story. Costner is great at this kind of role -- somber and stalwart, but with a streak of dark humor. Preston becomes more appealing as the film goes on, and by the end you're rooting for the team and the couple to pull it together.

In less competent hands this could be a slushy mess, but Sam Raimi brings a seriousness and maturity to the film that work well, and his shots are beautifully composed and edited. Most likely, he loves baseball, too. This is fine family viewing, though young children may find the relationship boring. The baseball, however, is beautiful, and any fan watching will remember why they fell in love with the sport.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different ways in which Billy and Jane each bring trouble to their relationship.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 13, 2003
DVD release date:September 13, 1999
Cast:Jena Malone, Kelly Preston, Kevin Costner
Director:Sam Raimi
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:137 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some strong language and non-explicit sexual situations

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  • 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 1 year old Written bygerbowski July 20, 2012

A great date night film!

This is a nice little movie to watch with your wife or girlfriend and not be bored to tears. The baseball parts are really well done and although it is a bit long, all and all its a good film. There's almost nothing in it that would bother most parents, my guess is though most younger kids won't be interested. This is one of those perfect compromise movies, that both men and woman can enjoy together.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism


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