Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. A surefire heart-tugger made with skill and judgment, affords Keanu Reeves a career high point.
  2. 75
    Cynics may roll their eyes at Hardball's earnestness, but the movie proves even the most conventional stories can move and engage you, provided they're told well.
  3. Reviewed by: David Germain
    Blends its seemingly disparate elements into a coherent film that's entertaining, funny, sad and even a bit uplifting and inspirational.
  4. 70
    It may follow a formula, but sometimes formula equals comforting routine. And there are times, in the movies and elsewhere, when routine is exactly what you need.
  5. Its uplifting message about teamwork and caring wouldn't hurt a fly. You might even say, the movie is good for you.
  6. Reviewed by: Matt Feeney
    Toward the end of Hardball, the story takes a jolting turn from heartwarming to tear-jerking that people might find cruelly manipulative. Perhaps under normal circumstances, I would too. But these are not normal circumstances, and instead of put off, I was completely undone.
  7. Surprisingly brusque yet likable film.
  8. 70
    Hardball is not as bad as it sounds, and at its best it's charming.
  9. 63
    It drifts above the surface of its natural subjects, content to be a genre picture. We're always aware of the formula--and in a picture based on real life, we shouldn't be.
  10. A by-the-numbers tearjerker notable mostly for the most adorable little sluggers this side of the "Bad News Bears."
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Those who were upset by the tragic ending of last year's "Pay It Forward" should be warned away.
  12. Reviewed by: Megan Rosenfeld
    It is only when Reeves meets up with his incredibly cute baseball team that this movie comes to life.
  13. 50
    Remains watchable when it's not hitting you like a baseball bat with poignancy. But by the time you've endured all of the shamelessly manipulative plot turns and heart-yanking speeches that close out the movie, all you can do is cry foul.
  14. Hardball works where it counts, on the emotional level.
  15. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Ultimately, the kids carry this manipulative tear-jerker. They're warm, lively charmers.
  16. 50
    The filmmakers realize that playing baseball isn't nearly enough to fix what's wrong in these kids' lives, which might have made a more provocative ending than what follows.
  17. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    The actors playing the team members have stereotypical roles, but these kids have got game.
  18. When the boys are tossing balls around and bopping in time to Notorious B.I.G., they -- and the film -- are right-on.
  19. 40
    Until its dismaying final 15 minutes, this baseball redemption movie sails along on the charms of cute kids and a star who makes up in bone structure what he lacks in talent.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    There's no cork inside Hardball, but there's more than enough corn. Everything about the movie is geared for maximum uplifting and tear-jerking effect, and seems designed, in the end, to question the old saw that there's no crying in baseball.
  21. As shallow and manipulative a movie as any that come to mind.
  22. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    Along the way, director Brian Robbins indulges Reeves in too many laughable inspirational speeches. He also wastes the terrific Diane Lane in the thankless role of the kids' dedicated teacher.
  23. The movie is so littered with clichés of genre, as well as clichés of artifice in Reeves' pained performance, that any semblance of social reality goes foul.
  24. Wants to be an offbeat, hard-edged, inspirational sports movie, but it misses its target by a country mile.
  25. 10
    The film takes a true story and drags it through a swamp of hyped-up Hollywood cliches.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 35
  3. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. ChadR.
    May 22, 2007
    Hardball is a very important movie to my life. i was amazed when i watched it. its the best movie ever made. I've learned a lot about myself cuz of this movie. and that part where he is talking about G-Babys loss. i don't no who could of done better then him. .. that was the only movie i ever cried in and still do when i watch it. Full Review »
  2. DestineeB.
    Mar 18, 2007
    This movie is fun to watch...everyday i get home i watch it ....i love g-baby in this movie he is so little but he can be hard at times...and this movie made me cry in a lot of parts...and i think that there should be a hardball 2 with the same characters.....i just lo e this movie a lot. Full Review »