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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.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
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    Yes it's as corny as Kansas in August, but this admittedly formulaic sports drama is base on a true story and has something important to say about the fate of many small Midwestern American towns whose popular sports teams fall victim to school consolidation.
  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. 50
    Exactly the formulaic, by-the-numbers movie it appears to be. These Tigers deserved better.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    The movie is decent and heartfelt, and it eventually settles into some sharp diamond action, but the small-town homilies are dropped like an anvil. If you thought 1993's "Rudy" was too spare and unsentimental, Final Season is for you.
  5. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    50
    There's not quite as much corn in The Final Season as there is in the Iowa farm fields that run through it, but it's close.
  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 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. Collapse
  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 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 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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