Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. A sprightly, lovingly researched, rather misty-eyed sports documentary that's steeped in ethnic pride.
  2. 91
    A rousing and agreeable movie that resurrects a small but important episode in baseball history that parallels the larger history of the nation.
  3. Engaging and revelatory, turning forgotten footnotes and discarded minutiae into the stuff of riveting drama and poignant laughs.
  4. 89
    Kempner's documentary is a streamlined, gorgeous piece of work, full of revelations of time, place, and person.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    88
    Tells an inspiring story, unknown or forgotten by many, while bringing the past to life and illuminating issues that persist today.
  6. Kempner demonstrates how the star's success and dignified bearing inspired a generation of Jews to fight through the ethnic barriers in all fields.
  7. Scrupulously made and deeply affectionate.
  8. A model of what a largely talking-heads documentary should be, with on-camera testimonials and lots of film clips that offer layers of context.
  9. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    While it preserves his baseball feats, it looks beyond them to clarify Greenberg's place in American culture.
  10. Filled with delightful sequences.
  11. Hank Greenberg was to Jews what Jackie Robinson was to African Americans: a great athlete, handsome and hard-working, who took the first line of abuse from bigots and proved that his people belonged at the highest level of professional sports.
  12. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    80
    What director Aviva Kempner has done is shine a light into the past and recover a classic American hero, one with all the integrity, decency and largeness of spirit that we have been taught makes up the American character.
  13. Aviva Kempner's warm and intelligent mash note to a man who clearly deserved it.
  14. 75
    If there's a flaw, it's that Kempner has fashioned more a hagiography than true biography.
  15. 75
    Hits one out of the park.
  16. Reviewed by: David Davis
    70
    Places Greenberg in historical context -- as a pioneering Jew and as an all-American sports hero.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    Sharing its subject's virtues, it is a lovely addition to the annals of the Greatest Generation.
  18. 70
    Kempner's lighthearted yet not apolitical collage conveys how Greenberg's success as an athlete in the 30s and 40s contradicted an ethnic stereotype.
  19. Reviewed by: Edvin Beitiks
    63
    Offers insights from a host of former players.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    60
    A fine, straightforward tribute to a sports giant who faced blatant prejudice and paved away for the likes Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and other minorities who dared make a place for themselves as heroes of America's greatest pastime.
  21. Simultaneously fascinating and vexing in ways that might tax informed devotees of both baseball and film.
  22. 57
    Aviva Kempner's utterly conventional documentary plays like a lost chapter from Ken Burns' "Baseball."
  23. 50
    In the absence of any greater cultural context, the ritual reiteration of Greenberg's greatness grows wearisome.

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