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Film review: ‘Trouble With the Curve’

Clint Eastwood is talking to a bar stool—and there’s actually someone sitting on it! In this case, Justin Timberlake, in Trouble With the Curve.

The Details

Trouble With the Curve
Two stars
Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake. Directed by Robert Lorenz.
Rated PG-13. Now playing.
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: Trouble With the Curve
Rotten Tomatoes: Trouble With the Curve

Trouble With the Curve marks the first time in 20 years that Clint Eastwood has acted in a movie that he didn’t direct himself, and it’s easy to view his performance as aging baseball scout Gus Lobel as a favor to first-time director Robert Lorenz, a longtime Eastwood collaborator. Eastwood coasts through the same crotchety-old-man performance he gave in Gran Torino, only minus the racial slurs, and the movie is a paint-by-numbers story about Gus reconnecting with his adult daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) while scouting a potential prospect in North Carolina. There’s corny father-daughter drama; a predictable romantic-comedy arc for Mickey and a young player-turned-scout (Justin Timberlake); and cartoonish villainy from a smarmy bureaucrat (Matthew Lillard) trying to replace Gus’ instincts with computer analysis (Curve is like the anti-Moneyball). It’s all ridiculously overstated and completely obvious, bolstered by lame jokes and flat dialogue. Eastwood would have been better off sticking to his onscreen retirement.


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Previous Discussion:

  • A balance of strong humor with serious danger and uncertainty with a cast full of great actors.

  • Remarkably, the film gradually neutralizes its apparent protagonist, adding to a harrowing experience.

  • Ken Jeong has had scene-stealing roles as oddball characters, but a little of his manic energy goes a long way.

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