Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. New-era losers (the cast is a cheery scrum of relaxed kids, led by genuine whiz pitcher Sammi Kane Kraft in the role created by Tatum O'Neal) now include a rotten kid in a wheelchair.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    The new Bad News Bears has adopted a somewhat raunchier tone but delivers enough laughs to go the distance.
  3. 80
    Does nothing to justify its own existence other than be consistently funny from start to finish.
  4. 80
    There may be no other actor (Thornton)working today (or as frequently) who is this good each and every time out.
  5. Filled with small, cute kids and large, goofy laughs and buoyed by fine supporting work from Greg Kinnear and Marcia Gay Harden, the director's latest effort won't rock your movie world, but the fact that he manages to keep the freak flag flying in the face of our culture of triumphalism is a thing of beauty.
  6. A straightforward, surprisingly faithful and definitely loving adaptation of the original.
  7. Matthau was merely worthless, while Thornton, God bless his soul, rises to the actual level of sociopathic. I love it when that happens.
  8. 80
    At least Linklater isn't just picking the bones of his forebears; he honors them as they deserve.
  9. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Wholly unnecessary but highly enjoyable.
  10. The new Bad News Bears may not make you cheer, but it should provide laughs and a good time. Isn't that what some movies are all about?
  11. The coach is certainly an offensive goofball, and the Bears are certainly a pack of hard-to-handle whippersnappers. But the picture's point is that surfaces don't tell the whole story about people, about teams, or about anything.
  12. The strong script (with updated flourishes by "Bad Santa" writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa) and some of the vibrant child characters pull it through, with the comically reptilian Thornton egging them on with one inappropriate shocker after another.
  13. 75
    The movie is like a merger of his ugly drunk in "Bad Santa" and his football coach in "Friday Night Lights," yet Thornton doesn't recycle from either movie; he modulates the manic anger of the Santa and the intensity of the coach and produces a morose loser who we like better than he likes himself.
  14. 75
    Linklater has crafted an entertaining motion picture.
  15. 75
    The mischief Thornton does make adds up to wild, rowdy fun.
  16. Many moments of laugh-out-loud comedy. But somehow those moments never add up to a fully satisfying viewing experience.
  17. You don't watch Bad News Bears for the action out on the diamond. You hang out with that hangdog coach so you can catch every slurry, sour-mouthed retort coming out of his mouth.
  18. Fortunately almost everyone acquits himself coolly and admirably; only costars Greg Kinnear and Marcia Gay Harden ham it up.
  19. 67
    While Linklater's version has its own unique pacing, mounting up more like a series of innings than a series of acts (even if you think you know how it ends, that bottom-of-the-ninth screwball still beans you silly), it lacks the screwball-to-the-noggin punch of the original.
  20. 63
    Linklater's Bears are even scrappier, fouler and worse-behaved than their 1976 counterparts.
  21. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The remake is stranded between pushing the scatological envelope and caving in to the formulas the 1976 movie established, and until the well-nigh foolproof ending, it comes up gasping for air.
  22. Reviewed by: Brad Wheeler
    It falls short of the original but surpasses its sequels.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sure, it's a pleasure to watch Thornton stretch his legs in Matthau's role, but I miss Tatum O'Neal as his firebrand daughter.
  24. Linklater, whose intimate "Before Sunset" was an art-house wonder last year, proved he could make mainstream money with "School of Rock." With Bad News Bears, he proves he can waste it, too.
  25. Thornton swills the Matthau role with the unslakable thirst of W.C. Fields and idiosyncratic sexuality of Johnny Depp. So this is what Bad Santa does during the off-season.
  26. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The material is so solid and Thornton so tailor-made that the movie almost gets by.
  27. 50
    For all the updated riffs and personal noodling, it's best when it doesn't stray too far from the original material.
  28. 50
    Merely a passably amusing excuse to pass a couple of hours in an air-conditioned theater.
  29. 50
    The most grievous flaw in Richard Linklater's remake of Michael Ritchie's 1976 misfit juvenile baseball comedy The Bad News Bears is that it over-relies on Thornton's willingness to play an irredeemable degenerate.
  30. 50
    It's the screenwriting equivalent of those fat substitutes used by snack food manufacturers: the finished product looks all right but the taste is off, and the aftereffects are embarrassing and uncomfortable.
  31. In a blind taste test, I couldn't possibly have identified this as a Linklater movie, and he's a filmmaker I generally like. If anything, Bad News Bears shows that Linklater can get in and out of a movie like a cat burglar, without leaving his fingerprints anywhere. OK, he's proven it. He need never do that again.
  32. Hardly the kids'-sports movie we need, but maybe it's as much as we can handle.
  33. This is simply another in a long line of utterly unnecessary remakes that, having nothing new to say, clutch at crassness and dumbness.
  34. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    Just isn't a very good movie. In fact it's kind of like living in the San Fernando Valley where it was filmed. It's big, kind of neat, has nice weather and has all the accouterments of a real city. But there's no "there" there.
  35. The year's least necessary and most unimaginative remake slogs half-heartedly to its pre-destined conclusion without making a ripple.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 5 out of 21
  1. Sep 24, 2013
    Bad News Bears is mildly entertaining, at best. It is definitely not Linklater's best film, and probably his worst. But, Linklater's worst, isBad News Bears is mildly entertaining, at best. It is definitely not Linklater's best film, and probably his worst. But, Linklater's worst, is any average director' best. Full Review »
  2. ScottH
    Jan 4, 2006
    Fairly entertaining, but the the girl is quite annoying, and none of the kids seem their age in looks or behavior.
  3. DanC.
    Dec 18, 2005
    The original is simply better. Thorton is quite good (as expected), but someone of the caliber of Tatum O'Neil is sorely missing as The original is simply better. Thorton is quite good (as expected), but someone of the caliber of Tatum O'Neil is sorely missing as Amanda. The kids and the context seemed so much more real in the original movie. Here, they're a pretty bland bunch, except for Tanner (who hits all the right notes) and the new Ogilvie, now an Indian-American whiz kid with the same awkward intellectual charm. Worth seeing, but the original is much more worth seeking out. Full Review »