Curveballs play a central role in this baseball movie about an ageing half-blind talent scout, Gus Lobel, played by Clint Eastwood. What a shame then that its join-the-dots script is all straight lines. Gus is an instinctive old-timer at odds with the number-crunchers (guys like Brad Pitt in ‘Moneyball’) he thinks are ruining the game. On what may be his last schlep around the Carolina minor leagues, he’s got his sights on arrogant major-player Bo Gentry (Joe Massingill); but Gentry is also being sized up by inexperienced Boston Red Sox scout Johnny ‘The Flame’ Flanagan (Justin Timberlake) – an ex-player kicking his heels while he waits for a TV commentator’s job. Johnny has an eye on Gus’s daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) too, a hotshot lawyer who’s risking a lucrative partnership and a text-book marriage to baby-sit her grouchy, long-widowed dad. Heavy-hitters Eastwood and Adams do the best they can with the cornball sentimentality and cheesy dialogue, but first-time director Robert Lorenz merely photographs the on- and off-field action. Give it a pass.
Cast and crew