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Hardball

5.2
4,221
Ratings
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Original title
Hardball
Year
Running time
110 min.
Country
United States United States
Director
Screenwriter
John Gatins
Music
Mark Isham
Cinematography
Tom Richmond
Cast
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Producer
Paramount Pictures
Genre
Drama | Sports. Baseball
Synopsis / Plot
Brian Robbins (VARSITY BLUES) directs another sports-related picture with HARDBALL, an uplifting story about a man who finds redemption when he's least expecting it. Keanu Reeves stars as Conor O'Neill, an underachiever whose gambling addiction has gotten him into seemingly insurmountable trouble. Desperate for money, he begs his friend Jimmy (Mike McGlone) to bail him out one more time. Jimmy agrees to give Conor a weekly stipend, but only if Conor agrees to coach a little league baseball team in Chicago's inner city. At first, Conor realizes just how unequipped he is for this particular task, as the assembled team goofs off, fights, and curses, paying no attention to his authority. Eventually, however, he gains their respect, and pretty soon, they're winning games. Meanwhile, off the field, Conor finds himself falling for the children's schoolteacher, Miss Wilkes (Diane Lane). He also places a potentially life-threatening bet with a high-level bookie, but after a miracle saves him and he begins to fully embrace his new role as a coach and father figure, tragedy strikes and teaches Conor a much more valuable life lesson. Based on the non-fiction book by Daniel Coyle, HARDBALL is an uplifting story that gets a boost of energy from its non-professional cast of youngsters.
Awards
2001: Nominated for Razzie Awards: Worst Actor (Keanu Reeves)
Critics' reviews
  • "For all its shamelessness, the movie does surprisingly few lurches as it walks the tightrope between urban realism and family entertainment. And its uplifting message about teamwork and caring wouldn't hurt a fly. You might even say, the movie is good for you."
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