Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Set against the backdrop of a golf tournament in 1930's Georgia, this is the classic joumey of a hero (Damon) who falls into darkness through some disconnect with his soul, and then of his coming back into the light with the help of a spiritual guide (Smith). (DreamWorks)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35
  1. 88
    It handles a sports movie the way Billie Holiday handled a trashy song, by finding the love and pain beneath the story.
  2. Despite some engaging performances and good scenes, it's by far the least original, and least accomplished, of the six Redford-directed films.
  3. 50
    Redford glances too lightly off the story's racial questions. You could call that approach "eminently tasteful" if you're looking for a nice substitute for "wimpy."
  4. A knuckleheaded period piece.
  5. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    Without full-bodied characters to play, Smith and Damon are left to get by on their native charm -- something both have in considerable quantity, thankfully.
  6. Not only is it excruciatingly boring -- but its central premises are so banal and dubious as to border on offensiveness.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Sep 6, 2013
    There are few movies that capture such a pure magical feeling with story, performance, cinematography, costuming and music that transcend subject matter, in this case golf, so that one can be mesmerized by the beauty of the story. Some critics have called it predictable, as if they expected to see a film with disfunctional people or explosive and mind-numbing plot twists. This is a simpe story told with exceptional creativity. Period. Expand
  2. Sep 28, 2011
    Having seen films of this nature I was sceptical as to the potential quality I was going to see, but I doubt there is a finer example of movie magic than this. Perfectly paced movie, with the utmost heart and passion to tell a story, this movie is a pleasure in every respect. From the perfectly pitched performances, wonderful edited scenes, and the marvellous attention to detail in everything from wardrobe to cinematography, this movie crafts a masterpiece. I watch this film often to renew the experience. Expand
  3. Dec 16, 2011
    almost 10 years later, but Iove this movie.. and agree with Michael P and Dick A.. why aren't movie critics called movie cynics.. It takes something dark, twisted almost abominable for them to give it a thumbs up.. I always know now, that if a critic hates it , i run to see it and likewise if they love it ... I RUN.. AS pretentious as they are, if the general public understands it and likes it , they only have contempt... I find them ( movie critics) as only in competition with other criitics, it is not popular to "like " a movie, they find that below themselves and I find them contemptible .. Collapse
  4. LarryC
    Mar 17, 2009
    Fantastic cinematography and a great performance from Smith make this mis-understood movie entertaining.
  5. Nov 5, 2011
    It's a beautifully romantic story based on a Steven Pressfield novel that uses a Depression-era exhibition golf tournament set in the heart if the South to tell the story of how war-scarred onetime hometown idol Rannulph Junuh (Damon) found his golf game again, and in the process, himself. Damon takes alternate turns being likable and frustrating as the promising local gold champ who leaves everything behind, including Adele Invergordon (Theron), the woman who loves him, to go to war only to disappear. But the jewel of the film is Smith's role as Junuh's inflappable caddy, Bagger Dance. Smith displays none of his trademark swagger, instead acting as a mythical advisor who knows the secrets of life but also has the wisdom to know that each man must discover those secrets for himself. J. Michael Moncrief is the adorable young boy who never stops believing in Junuh and the character through whose eyes the story is told. Jack Lemmon provides the narration. Theron is beautiful as always and navigates the tricky role of abandoned fiancee who in spite of waiting for ten long years without any word, never stopped loving her man. Redford's direction is gentle, reverent and steeped in the romance of the South and the game of golf. The cinematography highlights the natural beauty of the greens. Expand
  6. Nov 12, 2013
    Robert Redford directs an inspirational creation of patience and precision.
    The Legend of Bagger Vance excels with mythic performances from
    Matt Damon and Charlize Theron. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews