Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Though his film is like no other baseball movie, it may remind you of Paul Newman's hockey comedy Slap Shot: a knowing look at sport's underbelly - punctuated by jelly-belly laughs. [15 June 1988]
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Shelton has written the wittiest, busiest screenplay since Moonstruck, and his three stars do their very best screen work. [20 June 1988]
  3. It's just that when a movie is this close, with so much of the sports flavor (co-producer Thom Mount is co-owner of the real Durham Bulls), you like to see it perfect. [15 June 1988]
  4. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    It eases up on you, lazy as a cloud, and carries you off in a mood of exquisite delight. To borrow W.P. Kinsella's phrase, it has the thrill of the grass.
  5. The movie evokes Howard Hawks (in spirit if not to the letter) with its tight focus on a snug, obsessive world of insiders and camp followers where the exchanges between buddies and sexes have a euphoric stylishness and a giddy sense of ritual.
  6. 88
    A treasure of a movie because it knows so much about baseball and so little about love.
  7. A loopy, loving nine innings full of comic curve balls, emotional home-runs and euphoric, summertime music.
  8. 80
    The best movie ever made about baseball, and it's not even really that close... "Major League" was funny, but Bull Durham is funny, literate, romantic, and overwhelmingly adherent to the idiosyncracies of the game.
  9. You may catch yourself trying to remember where you parked a little before the end.
  10. 75
    Successfully avoids the grandiose mythmaking that has been the bane of the baseball movie from ''Pride of the Yankees'' to ''The Natural.'' Rather than a vapid national epic, it is a warm, droll, deftly cracked romantic comedy. [15 June 1988]
  11. Even if baseball isn't your favorite sport, or if you don't like sports much at all, you'll find something to catch your attention in this smartly made (if unblushingly vulgar) new comedy. [7 July 1988]
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    Featuring outstanding lead performances by Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins; a witty, literate script; and an insider's familiarity with life around minor league baseball--Bull Durham is both one of the best films ever made about the national pastime and a charming romantic comedy.
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    A fanciful and funny bush league sports story where the only foul ball is its overuse of locker-room dialog.
  14. Dialogue that strains to be colorful, indiscriminately piled-on pop songs, plot developments that aren't followed through on, and minor aspects of motivation that are never known. [15 June 1988, p.C20]
  15. What is outstandingly incredible are the high-flown pronouncements, including literary judgments, given suddenly to Costner. They make him sound like a dummy for Shelton the ventriloquist. [1 Aug 1988]
  16. Reviewed by: Gerald Nachman
    In a word, bull - cruddy, foul-smelling and fly-specked, an excuse for a series of cheap sex scenes and single-entendre gags. [15 June 1988]

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