Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 31 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A former professional athlete with a weak past tries to redeem himself by coaching his son's soccer team, only to find himself unable to resist when in scoring position with his players' restless and gorgeous moms.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 26
  2. Negative: 15 out of 26
  1. 50
    Though the script takes pains to paint George as a passive boy-man, there's just not enough lovable here and too much of the thoughtless lout. Butler beware: In acting as in soccer, if you keep taking dives, sooner or later you pay the penalty.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 6, 2012
    At some point you hope the actor (Butler) will find a movie that will give him the right material to make hearts truly beat faster. Until then, it appears we'll have to settle for films with more flaws than his characters.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 6, 2012
    Sometimes the movie swerves toward farce, sometimes into the zone of smiley family comedy and at other times into full-on weepiness. None of it is especially credible or engaging.
  4. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Dec 6, 2012
    This saga of a former soccer star coaching his son's team in order to worm his way back into the heart of his ex-wife aims to be warm and funny. Alas, it is mechanical and exhausting, like a windup toy of a monkey crashing together cymbals for 106 minutes while incrementally winding down.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 7, 2012
    Style can be a risky thing in a movie like this, which aspires above all to inoffensiveness. Originally titled "Playing the Field," which was deemed too racy, this rom-com would have been more aptly renamed "Running Out the Clock."
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 6, 2012
    There isn't a moment in the entire picture in which you will recognize an element of your own life.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 10, 2012
    Just stay away. It's awful.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 9
  2. Negative: 7 out of 9
  1. Dec 7, 2012
    This is a heartwarming film showing the main character who from a life of stardom as a popular soccer player bedomews a has been. He still has name recognition, but he is down and out. He reconnects with his 11 year old son after 7 yearsof absence and unwittingly becomes a coach for his son's team.

    I am sorry that the critics gave it a poor review. It is worth seeing.
  2. Aug 15, 2013
    The fact that Playing For Keeps received such poor reviews doesn't surprise me because movie critics are some of the most closed minded individuals on the planet and this movie doesn't fit into one of their predetermined little genres. It is too raunchy to be a family movie, doesn't focus on relationships or drama enough to be a romantic-comedy, doesn't involved enough soccer to be a sports movie, and doesn't have the proper type of humor to be dude movie. What it is, however, is just an all-around decent film. There's nothing great about it but it does everything pretty good. The cast is great, though they are a bit underwhelming and underutilized in the film, and they provide solid performances, albeit a bit cliche. The plot is decent enough to keep you engaged. Is it predictable? Of course it is but so are 99% of movies made nowadays so that's nothing new. All in all, I think most open-minded viewers will enjoy this as a pretty good all-around movie, nothing more, nothing less. Expand
  3. Nov 13, 2014
    "Playing for Keeps" 10 Scale Rating: 3.0 (Awful) ...

    The Good: While Gerard Butler hasn't had a great track record with me as of late, he
    wasn't the problem here. In fact, he did a pretty good job with what little he had to work with. The film starts off with promise.

    The Bad: Everyone not named Gerard Butler was dreadful. Biel, Thurman, Zeta-Jones, and Quaid all have solid reps, yet were stiff and terrible in this. The film itself becomes predictable and everyone in the film comes across as a complete idiot, especially the women. Poorly written and a complete waste of time.
  4. Apr 22, 2013
    Football films and cinema have never really meshed, they just don't translate well. To combat this Playing for Keeps keeps to the sidelines, looking at the supporters and the kids inspired by the game. However judging by the film I just watched, it's surprising that any part of the sport is inspiring, especially for the kids.
    George (Gerard Butler plays a screw up ex footballer who is perpetually feeling sorry for himself. When he is forced to coach his sons team by his ex wife Stacie (jessica Biel) he is given an opportunity to prove himself the man he thinks he is, not the child everyone else does.
    Now I know the word reprehensible is a little extreme but this film really is. I mean it doesn't compare to the horror of Die Hard 5 but Playing for Keeps is dreadful none the less. The script is awful, the characters interact in the most unnatural ways, the women behave like neanderthals for comedy's sake and rarely eliciting more than a chuckle. Bulter is a likable idiot but he only really entertains when playing the game and not talking. Dennis Quaid pops in and out of the film to annoy the viewer with his over the top business man father, a slimebag who is more alien than human. Biel is actually surprisingly good for once in her career but she can't stop the ship from sinking. In fact there are few acting problems, except for Quaid and Uma Thurman, whose shrillness makes her scenes unbearable. The problem is that the film has no direction,a message it never convincingly delivers and because of this, Playing for Keeps is nowhere near the inspirational story of a mans comeback into something so unbearably crass. Overall the film gives you characters you don't like, sets a tone that makes you think Farelly brothers instead of touching family drama and fails to convey why the game is so important to George and the kids that he coaches and fails to inspire.
  5. Dec 7, 2012
    Image This reviewer is a sucker for romantic comedies and even more of a pushover for
  6. Dec 7, 2012
    OMG if you loved GIGLI you might like this! (Vomits in the corner)...BOO! More crap from Hollywood. The money would have been better spent on underprivileged kids soccer camp. Expand
  7. Dec 28, 2012
    I want to punch Dennis Quaid in his **** face. Don't go and see this stupid piece of trash. Stay home and finger your anus or something, it would be far more entertaining than this. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews