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At Theaters: 9/14/2001 On Video: 2/19/2002
Rated: PG-13 Length: 1 hr. 42 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 339913
Studio: Paramount Pictures Corp.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
Conor likes to bet on sports games, which makes him a dubious choice for a role model. However, his buddy won't help him pay off his debts unless he coaches for a corporately sponsored youth baseball team. All of a sudden, Conor O'Neill is thrust into molding underprivileged kids into a cohesive unit in one of the toughest parts of Chicago.
DETAILED STORYLINE
.
Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - This movie may appear to be a light hearted comedy, and it is most of the time. But it also has a dark drama streak dealing with gambling. Ladies, you'll want to have some tissues ready, it's a tear jerker near the end.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Keanu Reeves SWEET NOVEMBER, THE GIFT, THE WATCHER
Diane Lane THE PERFECT STORM, MY DOG SKIP, A WALK ON THE MOON
John Hawkes THE PERFECT STORM
Director: Brian Robbins READY TO RUMBLE, VARSITY BLUES
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: 1 F-word, No GD's, 43 S-words. Kids use a LOT pf profanity.
SEX/NUDITY: None
VIOLENCE: Threats of violence, two beat up, one killed.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some smoking and drinking. Nothing of much concern.
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Probably not as funny as many are expecting.
DETAILED CONTENT
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All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Average

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

(Close new window when finished with Full Reviews)

USA TODAY  Full Review
Above Average "
Despite some strong language, Hardball's message of rising above a tough situation should make it viable kid fare. But when the filmmakers try to inject a twist, the results are disturbing and may be too intense for a youthful audience. Those who were upset by the tragic ending of last year's Pay It Forward should be warned away.''

Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Poor "..the movie is so littered with clichés of genre, as well as clichés of artifice in Reeves' pained performance, that any semblance of social reality goes foul.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Above Average "I doubt the book is as inauthentic as the movie; the screenplay shows signs of having been tilted in the direction of the basic Hollywood workshop story structure in which we get a crisis because it's time for one. And Keanu Reeves seems subdued in the role--so glum and distant, we wonder why we should care if he doesn't.''

Newsday  Full Review
Average "With the steel-jawed Reeves in the dugout, the picture owes the bulk of its crowd- rousing appeal to the kids, its pulsing hip-hop soundtrack and its reassuring predictability. The crowds who flock to "Hardball" will appreciate being able to call the plays with greater acumen than its hard-luck gambling hero."

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 164 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
1-12Children (M/F)
18
Very High
94%
13-19Teens (M)
10
High
100%
13-19Teens (F)
11
Very High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
15
Very High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
17
High
94%
30+Adults (M)
34
Very High
94%
30+Adults (F)
59
Very High
98%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

As I thought, NEARLY EVERYONE LOVED HARDBALL! GO SEE IT! Neither age or gender made much difference. With no one giving a review lower than "Fair," (which is somewhat rare) no one should be disappointed in this movie.

This is another example of how the critic reviews aren't very accurate for the average moviegoer.

Publisher Comments: (before opinions collected)
Not the lighthearted comedy it may appear to be from the previews! While much of it is on the light side and there is some comedy, it has a darker side dealing with gambling addiction and it's a tearjerker near the end. It also has some great uplifting "feel good" scenes. I thought it was very good and believe most moviegoers will feel the same. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND "HARDBALL."

NOTE: Be aware that in this movie the young black boys from the projects use a LOT of profanity.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
A man merely drifting through his life is about to find inner strength he never knew he had. Conor O'Neill (Keanu Reeves) -an underachiever who is both inspired and redeemed by the unlikeliest group of people he could ever have imagined.

Conor likes to bet on sports games, which makes him a dubious choice for a role model. However, his buddy won't help him pay off his debts unless he coaches for a corporately sponsored youth baseball team. All of a sudden, Conor O'Neill is thrust into molding underprivileged kids into a cohesive unit in one of the toughest parts of Chicago.

What could hardly be a worse punishment to Conor will slowly become a learning experience. For the first time in his life, this man is responsible for someone other than himself. His meager existence and selfish pursuits begin to seem empty, and his eyes are opened by young lives and hearts barely scraping by on the fringes of society.

Surprising even himself, Conor begins to form deep attachments to the street-smart youngsters-and to their dedicated young teacher (DIANE LANE). These impoverished boys are able to show the aimless O'Neill a thing or two about trust and heart. Tough on the outside but vulnerable inside, his kids come to rely on Conor and baseball to lift them-if only for a few hours-out of their hard and sometimes tragic lives.

The boys begin to realize they can triumph over their often oppressive environment, and their coach learns even more: Conor discovers that redemption can come in all shapes and sizes, and from the most unexpected source.
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