The Rookie



Sweet, engaging true story more appealing to tweens and up.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 128 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Intended to entertain, not educate, but with some positive social messages about setting goals and working toward them.

Positive messages

This story teaches the importance of setting goals and having an unyielding faith in something.  Also, if you do not succeed; try again. And, one is never too old to follow their dream. 

Positive role models

Jim Morris is an engaged teacher, an attentive father, and a loving husband. He teaches his students and his own children loyalty and the importance of having faith. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some kissing between husband and wife. 

Not applicable

Ford trucks and Planters peanut logos are in the background. Frequent scenes with baseball brand names on bats and uniforms. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink casually after games. A few scenes take place in bars where the players toast with beer. A married couple shares a bottle of wine. No one gets drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this movie is rated G, it will not be of much interest to younger kids, since it deals primarily with an adult's pursuit of his career goals. Some kids might be upset by the scenes of Morris with his father, who is cold and unsympathetic, or by the financial problems faced by the family. There are references to divorce and remarriage.

What's the story?

THE ROOKIE centers around Morris (Dennis Quaid), who loves baseball and had his shot at the big leagues, but didn't make it. Morris is a high school baseball coach in a Texas town where everyone loves football. One day, Morris throws a few balls to the catcher and the team is impressed with the power of his arm. He promises that if they win the division title, he'll try out for the major leagues. The boys start winning games, so Morris ends up going to the try-outs. Despite his age, Morris is throwing up to 98 miles an hour. But the success of the team has brought a coaching offer from a bigger school. Morris can take it and give his family a more comfortable life. Or he can accept the offer to play on a minor league team, with the slim hope that he might get picked up by the major leagues. His dream asks a lot of him, but it asks a lot from his family, too, perhaps more than is fair to expect.

Is it any good?


If this hadn't really happened, Disney would have had to make it up. But a high school science teacher did tell the baseball team he coached that if they won the division title he would try out for the major leagues. And they did and he did and Jim Morris did become the oldest rookie in 40 years. Sometimes, life just is a Disney movie. And this story turns out to make a very nice movie indeed, thanks to not one but two irresistible underdog-with-a-dream stories, dignified-but-heartwarming direction by John Lee Hancock, and a hit-it-out-of-the-ballpark performance by Dennis Quaid.


The story is inevitably predictable and there are some dramatic embellishments, like the awkwardly inserted reconciliation with his father and the way the minor league coach tells Morris the big news. But the dream is so pure and Quaid is so good that most audiences will be happy to go along.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about our responsibility to help those we care about try to make their dreams come true and to share the dreams of those we love. What kinds of big dreams do you have? What about your family members?

  • Morris's father tells him that it is "okay to think about what you want to do until it is time to do what you were meant to do." How long and hard should you fight for a dream? How do you know when it is time to put a dream aside?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 29, 2002
DVD release date:August 27, 2002
Cast:Dennis Quaid, Jay Hernandez, Rachel Griffiths
Director:John Lee Hancock
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:128 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Rookie was written by

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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 bybethlthomson April 9, 2008

i laughed

Adult Written byfritzsky April 9, 2008
Teen, 17 years old Written byYoung Parent October 11, 2011

For young parents.

It was a good inspiring movie. I recomend this movie for young parents to watch with their child(ren). It teaches them the importance of following your dream and stay close with family. Both in your heart and in person.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism


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