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Trouble with the Curve

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Trouble with the Curve Movie Poster Image
Teen-friendly baseball drama raises father-daughter issues.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 111 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Several worthwhile messages. For example: You can rely all you want on gadgets and technology, but nothing can replace wisdom acquired with experience and acumen. Also, parent-child relationships can be a minefield of disappointments and triumphs, but forgiveness and communication can help you create a new bond in adulthood. Also, find work you love, and passion will always be a part of your work.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gus is crotchety and difficult, but he's dedicated to his craft and loves his daughter fiercely, even if he doesn't often show it in ways she can decipher. Mickey can be withholding and impatient, but she's also smart and successful, and she perseveres and rises above her resentments when her father's welfare is on the line. While she's portrayed as "emotionally unavailable" it's not because she's successful but more because of the abandonment issues she has from her father. Despite their dysfunctional relationship, Gus believes in her and is supportive of her ability to succeed in more "male" pursuits, whether it's becoming a partner in her law firm or becoming a sports agent.


A man breaks a beer bottle and uses it as a weapon against another patron at a bar; also, earlier in his life, he beat up another man due to a potential assault on a child, strangling him until he passed out.


Kissing and flirting; two adults take a dip in a lake in their skivvies. An early scene goes into detail of the effects of aging on a man's ability to pee.


One "f--k," plus fairly infrequent use of words including "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "crap," "douchebag," "hell," "damn," "crap," "goddamn," "oh my God," "suck," and "piss."


Products/labels shown include Schlitz, Pabst, Budweiser, Spam, Buick, Ford, Jack Daniels, Coca-Cola, Apple, Dell, Toshiba, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes show adults drinking -- beer, whiskey, tequila -- sometimes to numb their pain. One character smokes a cigar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trouble with the Curve -- a carefully rendered portrait of a baseball scout (Clint Eastwood) facing the possible end of his career -- pulls no punches in portraying what life on the road can do to a father and his daughter. Expect some intense conversation about past disappointments and tragedies, as well as lots of beer drinking, some profanity (including one "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch"), kissing/flirting, and one intense fight. Teen baseball fans may enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at talent scouting, but the themes are likely to resonate most with adults.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4, 9, and 12 year old Written bylanefoard September 24, 2012

Not Exactly a "Baseball Movie"

I pre-screened this movie because my 12 and 9 year old sons had heard quite of bit of advertising for it while listening to Atlanta Braves broadcasts. My suspic... Continue reading
Adult Written bydavyborn September 22, 2012

Clint Eastwood baseball drama is sentimental but satisfying

Robert Lorenz's Trouble with the Curve, is a soft spoken, reasonably pleasent, but not all that memorable, baseball movie, which just so happens to star Cl... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 23, 2012

Trouble with the Curve: One of the BEST Baseball Movies Ever!!

This movie was great! It inst for younger kids though. There is A LOT of language and a brief intense fight scene and a couple makes out. A character smokes in... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJavier Noyola February 18, 2014

well made

great baseball movie (my favorite sport) which has some family crisis with some sexual references and some language but not to much.

What's the story?

Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) may just be the best scout that baseball's ever seen. He can tell whether a pitcher is golden by the sound that the ball makes when it hits a glove. He can tell whether a hitter is worth a contract by how his arm looks at rest. Consider him, if you will, the baseball player whisperer. Gus has worked for the Atlanta Braves for decades, but in life -- especially in fatherhood -- his batting average is in the dumps. His lawyer daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), can't climb over the wall that's wedged between them, even though each has been all the other has had since Gus' wife died when Mickey was just 6. Meanwhile, the business of baseball is changing, and the Braves' management is under pressure to cave to the "modern" way of assessing picks: via computers and statistics. And it definitely doesn't help that Gus' eyes might be failing. Is this his last strike?

Is it any good?

Trouble with the Curve isn't a home run, but it's on its game nonetheless. The best baseball movies mimic the poetry and thoughtfulness of the game, mixing the thrill of a strike with the languor of waiting for the bases to be loaded. TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE hits these marks and then some, exploring not just the intricacies of the game -- why a drifting arm might spell doom, for instance -- but also those of a trenchant father-daughter relationship that deserves mending. Eastwood is (no surprise) pitch-perfect as curmudgeonly sage, but it's Adams who surprisingly, mightily stands up to the icon, mixing grit and vulnerability like a champ.

Justin Timberlake shows up in a supporting romantic role, which, though inoffensive and even somewhat charming, seems unnecessary except to forward the plot. The movie's flashbacks edge on stagey, and the most powerful moments are sometimes muted, which is a shame. But fans of the stars and the sport may be able to overlook these digressions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the movie presents the central father-daughter relationship. Is it realistic? Understandable? How do Gus and Mickey compare to other movie fathers and daughters?

  • Is Gus a good father? What is the movie saying about fatherhood (and/or parenthood in general)?

  • Baseball movies often seem rife with life lessons. Why do you think that is? Do you have to be a baseball fan to enjoy a movie about it?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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