Parents' Guide to

Hardball

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

This umpire calls Hardball out at first base.

Movie PG-13 2001 106 minutes
Hardball Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

Do not compare this to Mighty Ducks!

I foolishly thought this movie was similar tk Mighty Ducks - it is not! The swear words are intense, the Biggie Smalls song (“cuz I see some ladies tonight that should be having my baby!”) and the gang violence is intense. This movie is not even like Bad News Bears. I watched with my 9 and 6 year Old boys who love baseball. Movie lesson was less about baseball, more about growing up in the projects. If the kids are older, I think there is a good message. Otherwise, it’s too intense.
age 10+

Sensibilizar

Considero que las generaciones actuales viven en una burbuja y muy aislados de lo que es la realidad, me gustó lo que un niño que a pesar de su entorno tiene ilusiones y lo que puede provocar en un adulto

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

There's always room for another story of underdogs and redemption, but Hardball never delivers on any of the opportunities that formula creates. We barely get to know any of the kids on the team except for two inevitable cliches -- the fat kid and the cute little kid who talks a lot. Reeves can be terrific in a part that suits his range, but he can't pull off the character's struggle with his gambling compulsion or anger at himself. And he gets no help from the script, which makes him behave in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner and does not have a single memorable line of dialogue. We don't want to be told that he and the kids come to care for each other in a movie like this – we want to be shown. And there is not one moment of practice, teaching skills, or conversation to make us believe it.

The movie makes the most of the audience's inherent commitment to the storyline. We want those kids to make it, and we want Conor to make it, too. The other reason to watch is yet another quietly arresting performance by Diane Lane, and there is a timely plot twist concerning a player with a forged birth certificate. One of the movie's most wrenching scenes shows him after he is kicked off the team, wearing gang colors and warning his former teammates with a meaningful glance to get away quickly.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 14, 2001
  • On DVD or streaming: February 19, 2002
  • Cast: D.B. Sweeney , Diane Lane , Keanu Reeves
  • Director: Brian Robbins
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Asian actors, Polynesian/Pacific Islander actors
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 106 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: thematic elements, language and some violence
  • Last updated: December 12, 2023

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