The Rookie

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Rookie Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Sweet, engaging true story more appealing to tweens and up.
  • G
  • 2002
  • 128 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 10 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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
Sexy Stuff

Some kissing between husband and wife. 


"Hell" and "damn."


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.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although The Rookie 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. "Hell" and "damn" are said. 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMissBella June 14, 2011

Good movie BUT......

I was pretty disappointed in this movie, because it is rated G, but it should be rated PG! In one seen his wife grabs his butt briefly, and in another scene the... Continue reading
Adult Written byJustinInTown November 22, 2009
Kid, 11 years old August 6, 2018
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus February 20, 2013

Really good!

This is a great movie for older kids. Some drinking, a few minor sexual things (a female teacher grabs another male teachers "behind" and a couple is... Continue reading

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?

This movie boasts dignified-but-heartwarming direction by John Lee Hancock, and a hit-it-out-of-the-ballpark performance by Dennis Quaid. If the story 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.

The Rookie 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.

Talk to your kids 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 dreams does Morris have in The Rookie? 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?

  • How does this compare to other basbeball moves you've seen?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the game

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate