The Only Real Game Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Only Real Game explores the power of baseball for people in a troubled, distant place. The small, once princely state of Manipur joined the Indian Union under pressure in 1949 triggering a corrosive separatist conflict that continues to this day. With paltry infrastructure, widespread corruption and unemployment - it's an astonishing place to find reservoirs of inner strength that are tapped in pursuit of baseball. Even more surprising in a deeply patriarchal society is that women are a driving cultural force. Though Manipur has been closed to the outside world for 60 years, baseball delivers release from daily struggles, and a dream for healing a wounded society. Dreams chase reality when First Pitch, a small group of baseball-loving New Yorkers, and two Major League Baseball Envoy coaches team up with Manipuri men, women and children to "Play Ball." Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Jun 19, 2014
    Banks allows the exhilaration of the game and the exigencies of realpolitik to determine the ups and downs of her film’s sentimental journey.
  2. Reviewed by: Daphne Howland
    Jun 3, 2014
    This film is like another work in the canon of baseball poetry.
  3. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jun 5, 2014
    The history lesson is fascinating, and it’s nice to see an American export other than a Hollywood blockbuster engendering good will.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Jun 19, 2014
    A stirring ode to cultural bridge-building.
  5. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Mar 6, 2014
    In spite of the compelling raw material in the lives of its ostensible subjects, it strikes out as an act of storytelling.
  6. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jun 26, 2014
    The movie doesn't really focus on many individuals long enough to make them compelling screen characters.