The Natural

  • Review Date: July 25, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 134 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sappy baseball flick makes grown men cry.
  • Review Date: July 25, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 134 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Strong moral lead offsets sleazy minor characters .

Not applicable

Implied sex.


Some mild profanity.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie features racketeering, sex, (unwitting) parental abandonment, and a singular violent scene. With no nudity or extreme language, and only glimpses of blood, the director relies on suggestions and allusions to the King Arthur legend that will probably go over tweens' heads.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE NATURAL stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, a rising baseball star sidetracked by tragedy, who mysteriously reappears decades later as a rookie in the major leagues. His smashing at-bats quickly dispels skepticism about his age, but when he succumbs to temptations his luck runs cold. He does not want to help himself out of the funk: his mysterious \"lost years\" are off-limits for discussion to his girlfriend, his managers (Wilford Brimley and sweet-eyed Richard Farnsworth), and press hound Robert Duvall.

Is it any good?


Off the field, the dialogue is often inexplicable and women, in general, are trouble. Barbara Hershey and Kim Basinger play femme fatales, and Glenn Close is Hobbs' reticent lady in white. Each are given complexity to flesh out character, but some scenes fall head-scratchingly flat: the true trouble stemming from the strain of forcing legend into a modern script.

Still, The Natural has iconic moments (Glenn Close in the stadium under a sunlit halo of a hat, and the cascading shards of popping stadium lights), and is off-kilter enough to temper much of the sentimentality. Baseball fans will appreciate that this movie is at its most intelligent and loosest in the ballpark, where happily, Redford and Levinson are also most comfortable. The lead's unwavering integrity is the movie's heart: The Natural does not glamorize vice but triumphs over it with a wholesome finale.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about morals in face of pressure (refusal to be on the "take," rejecting a temptress for a childhood sweetheart). The "scandals" of the movie may seem tame today, and can be explained that they were problematic for a public sports hero at the time. A discerning viewer may be more troubled by the anachronistic head of hair on Robert Redford -- the only landscape in the film that defies the aesthetic conventions of the 1930's.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 11, 1984
DVD release date:April 3, 2001
Cast:Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Robert Redford
Director:Barry Levinson
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:134 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language

This review of The Natural was written by

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  • 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.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byjwidrow March 5, 2011

Not appropriate for sensitive children

After grabbing this movie from the library with vague memories of seeing it the first time, I checked with this site for a review to ensure that it was appropriate for my kids. The review seemed fine, so we went with it. The "singular violent scene" kept my 11 year old up for two nights straight with nightmares. It was very graphic. I would not recommend this for any child who hasn't been exposed to violence in movies - the one scene is quite alarming.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written byGoodOlBoy1130 June 27, 2014

One of my favorite movies

This is a great movie but has some parts that you should skip. For some parts have violence and other elements that you should not show your children yet. But over all this is a fantastic movie one of Robert Redfords best
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old January 19, 2014

The natrual

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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