Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 31
  2. Negative: 8 out of 31
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    After revitalizing baseball movies with "Field of Dreams" and "Bull Durham," he's now three for three with the funny, quirky, rueful, and richly textured For Love of the Game.
  2. It is impossible to think of anyone but Costner in this role. His commitment and sincerity are never in doubt.
  3. It could do without any kind of love story, let alone the one it got.
  4. 38
    It's the most lugubrious and soppy love story in many a moon, a step backward for director Sam Raimi after "A Simple Plan."
  5. 50
    The weighty themes of loss, regret and abdication of personal responsibility are undermined by the reverential use of baseball as a symbol of mankind's potential for selfless greatness.
  6. Watching Raimi's visual style and narrative verve flatten out into this pale reiteration of a middle-aged-male weepie is an exercise in modern horror.
  7. Goes down like a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day.
  8. Costner's determination to avoid change keeps this baseball movie at a low line drive when it might have knocked one into the bleachers.
  9. Those who have even a small soft spot for baseball's soothing rhythms will be hard-pressed to resist it.
  10. The game is cool to watch, and the love story is assertive enough to hook even the stodgiest ESPN man.
  11. 50
    The film's larger, surprisingly mature emotional rhythms are strong enough to pull it through.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Costner is as uneven as the storytelling itself, stone cold at moments, shimmeringly real in others.
  13. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    Costner's serious-as-a-heart-attack performance...slowly kills the movie's energy in a gooey morass of forced sincerity.
  14. Reviewed by: Moira Macdonald
    Call it baseball interruptus, or just call it a missed opportunity.
  15. Sometimes even a talented lineup produces unexceptional results.
  16. 30
    A dreary, humorless affair, with no real feeling for the rhythms of either baseball or love.
  17. 30
    Costner himself is the doggedly humorless heart and soul (and brains?) of this monumentally maudlin picture.
  18. The baseball half of the story just slightly works. ... Nothing in [the other] half of the film works.
  19. For the first 100 minutes or so I found this hokey but serviceable; after that my watch became more meaningful than anything I could locate on-screen.
  20. Reviewed by: Eleonore Snow
    None of their efforts can turn this ho-hum, mildly entertaining line-drive single into a solid, explosive home run.
  21. Much of this movie seems a crock.
  22. This sentimental drama is wildly uneven as it switches between ballpark scenes, which are very involving, and romantic episodes, which are badly overplayed.
  23. 50
    The real love affair in For Love of the Game is between Costner and himself.
  24. Reviewed by: Edvins Beitiks
    A piece of baseball fluff...Costner cinema, pure and simple.
  25. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Tested my own love of the game more than anything since the time Roseanne screeched the national anthem.
  26. Reviewed by: Rod Dreher
    It's "The Postman" on a pitcher's mound.
  27. 25
    This dialogue isn't helped by two actors who look terrific but can barely choke out a word that sounds remotely authentic or spontaneous.
  28. More of a bunt than a home run.
  29. 40
    Plays like an unholy union of "The Natural" and "The Prince of Tides." Too bad...Build a movie as a shrine to baseball and they will come. Suckers!
  30. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    You will simply want to shoot yourself by the third inning.
  31. Reviewed by: Jennifer Nowitzky
    A bona fide, no-doubt-about-it love story disguised as a sports movie.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Feb 24, 2013
    On the surface, this movie is a cheesy romance flick, but what makes it unique is it's backdrop. An aging pitcher, at the end of his career,On the surface, this movie is a cheesy romance flick, but what makes it unique is it's backdrop. An aging pitcher, at the end of his career, looks back on how it all started, while in the middle of pitching what could be his final game. Along with the flashbacks of his baseball memories, come flashbacks of his romance, which are long and lame. The baseball part of it is what attracted me and is great. If this was strictly a sports movie, it would be 5 stars. The story of his career is much stronger than several other films dedicated to just the game. With this film you have to take the good with the bad. At times it seems like two entirely different movies and it really takes away from what is otherwise a great film. Full Review »
  2. May 24, 2012
    Sam Raimi n'aurait pas dû quitter l'horreur et le fantastique pour se lancer dans un film romantique. Parce que là,Sam Raimi n'aurait pas dû quitter l'horreur et le fantastique pour se lancer dans un film romantique. Parce que là, le réalisateur se retrouve sans imagination. En effet, il nous livre un film du genre, tout ce qu'il y a de plus banal, avec surdose de bons sentiments et de musiques appuyées. Bon, ce n'est quand même pas désagréable à regarder, d'autant plus que les acteurs ne s'en sortent pas trop mal et que les passages de base-ball se montrent plutôt intéressants. Mais bon Dieu que c'est mou du genou! Et il n'y a rien qui empêche d'ennuyer le spectateur : histoire d'amour sans intérêt, dialogues qui semblent bâclés, montage en flashes-back dispensable... Sans compter une VF des plus loupées, les doubleurs se faisant rarement comprendre ni même entendre (cela marmonne trop!). Pour l'amour du jeu n'est qu'une pure guimauve hollywoodienne comme il en existe déjà tant. Et comme les autres, il vaut mieux l'oublier rapidement. Full Review »