The Rookie

Film

 

Time Out says

If they gave an Oscar for Best Performance in a Mediocre Movie, Dennis Quaid should already be clearing his mantelpiece. A lesser actor might have been daunted by the clichés he faces as the small town high school baseball coach whose team of plucky no-hopers persuades him to try out for the Major Leagues years after injury halted a promising pitching career. Resisting the temptation to coast through on autopilot, Quaid never lets go of the fact it's actually a true story, wringing a whole spectrum of disillusionment and determination, insecurity and the elation of renewed self-belief from this saga of a guy who thought he'd missed his chance to shine in life. First-time director Hancock at least provides his leading man with a setting where he can show his worth. He takes it slow and homespun, leaving plenty of room for Carter Burwell's honeyed score, while trying hard not to notice every single minute is predictable. Satisfyingly so: with skilled supporting performances from Griffiths (ever-supportive wife) and Cox (stern old soldier dad) pulling together in service of the bigger picture. Easy to sneer at all this, but the movie's good enough to come over sincere, rather than empty and manipulative.
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Release details

UK release:

2002

Duration:

128 mins

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