Reviews

Five baseball movies we love

The Bad News Bears (1976) It starred kids, but it wasn’t a kids’ film. It was crass and offensive to most every cultural demographic. The team’s coach was a beer-swilling Walter Matthau. Its top hitter rode a Harley-Davidson to games. The film was as raw as a knee scraped from a slide into second base. It was also a home run. –John Katsilometes

Eight Men Out (1988) John Sayles' adaptation of Eliot Asinof’s book about the 1919 'Black Sox' scandal—in which members of that season’s White Sox threw the World Series—gets to the heart of the issue: the players' emotions as they conspired to do the unthinkable. –Spencer Patterson

Major League (1989) As a teen with big-league dreams, I assumed the wacky antics of catcher Jake Taylor, pitcher Ricky Vaughn and the rest accurately depicted the lifestyle. I’ll also never get tired of announcer Harry Doyle’s one-liners. “Haywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair.” –Ray Brewer

Pastime (1990) It’s less a sports movie than a movie about life that happens to involve baseball. An aging pitcher on a minor-league team imparts his wisdom to a rookie while veering begrudgingly toward retirement. There’s no big win, no special effects, no dramatic speech—but you’ll love the game even more after seeing this. –Ken Miller

Sugar (2008) A baseball story and an immigrant story, the second film from Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden follows a Dominican athlete who comes to the U.S. to play minor-league ball and struggles to adapt to life in heartland America. It’s a moving character study and a look at a side of the game that generally goes unnoticed. –Josh Bell

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