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Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The Final Season is based on the true story of a small-town baseball team facing insurmountable odds. Tradition in Norway, Iowa (pop. 586) can be summed up in one word: baseball. From father to son, generation to generation, this high-school David exists to defeat Goliaths 10 times its size. As coach Jim Van Scoyoc leads the team to its 19th State title, it seems that following it with a 20th is a forgone conclusion. But the unexpected strikes when bureaucracy intercedes to merge the town with another. Petty jealousies and political designs conspire to rob Norway of its heritage and a 20th Championship. Making matters worse, coach Van Scoyoc is fired and replaced with a one-season assistant coach, Kent Stock--a move that seems to guarantee the team's failure. The Final Season is a film about the sudden nature of change, the identity of a small town, and the strength that brings out the best when we need it most. (Yari Film Group) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. There's a sign on the way into Norway, or at least a sign that somebody from the film crew put up: "On the eighth day, God created baseball." If amen is your answer to that, then The Final Season is the movie for you.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Grierson
    60
    Formulaic but not cynical, The Final Season has some sweet, thoughtful passages in what is otherwise just one more well-meaning inspirational sports movie.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Mayo
    50
    Nathan Wang's score borrows blatantly from "The Natural" and is slathered on thick in all the big emotional scenes. They establish the right nostalgic mood, but it's broken with that loud "ping" of a metal bat every time a kid gets a hit.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    50
    In a movie where the timing of a squeeze bunt is presented as the thing of beauty that it is, and the eradication of small-town culture in a changing world is a genuine concern, the simplifying countrified morality of The Final Season is the real crying shame.
  5. 50
    Exactly the formulaic, by-the-numbers movie it appears to be. These Tigers deserved better.
  6. 42
    All these stereotypes are meant to exalt small-town values, but The Final Season is proof that it's hard to paint masterpiece in broad strokes.
  7. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    11
    Kind of "Hoosiers": Part 2. But the storytelling is so backassward that it’s impossible to care about any of the characters or really engage in the movie whatsoever.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. ToddB.
    Oct 23, 2007
    10
    Never trust a movie critic. This was a good movie that my family and friends loved, so much that the audience all cheered at the end. Make an effort to see it you won't be sorry. Expand
  2. GayleneR.
    Feb 19, 2008
    9
    Great family film with terrific values and discussion points. If you love baseball it will push all your buttons.
  3. R.J.
    Oct 14, 2007
    7
    The baseball scenes in this movie were a lot of fun! It was pretty hard to not get caught up in the energy and excitement, even if you knew the ending. Expand
  4. ChadS.
    Apr 16, 2008
    6
    Same nickname, different sport, but the same theme that ran through Kenneth A. Carlson's "Go Tigers!", the 2001 documentary about a small town's obsession with its football team, runs through "The Final Season", as well. Which is: People should get a life. When an Iowaian school board votes to shut down Norway High School and have it merge with a sister school, a bigger school, academics is brought up briefly, only given lip service, by a woman with two college-aged children, before much of the town hall hubbub returns to, and revolves around the tiny high school's decorated baseball team. In "Go Tigers!", we can see with alarming clarity how those sports-minded townsfolk have their priorities all mixed up. In a sports call-in show, one concerned football fan complains that the Masillion players are hitting the books too hard. The father of a Norway player in "The Final Season" attends his son's game against doctor's orders, despite the possibility of imminent death. "The Final Season" treats this unflagging loyalty as cute, not demented, but that's because this "Hoosiers" for baseball purists slathers on so much corn syrup, fanaticism gets sugar-coated. "The Final Season" doesn't see a problem with a culture that's centered around the fortunes of its high school sports teams. There's no sane person like the Barbara Hershey character in the David Anspaugh-directed film about Indiana high school basketball, who speaks as an advocate for education. In the postscript, no mention is made about the academic progress of the transplanted Norway student body. Like most people when it comes to academic institutions, "The Final Season" seems only concerned about the school's athletic programs. The bigger school, we learn, has yet to produce a championship season. But is that a tragedy, if the kids of Norway are receiving a better education? Expand

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