The Rookie


Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31

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Critic Reviews

  1. Scene by scene, The Rookie does a better job of capturing the rhythms and rituals of the playing field and the electricity that flows between a team and its fans than well-regarded baseball films like "Field of Dreams" and "The Natural."
  2. 90
    A rarity to be cheered: a smart, engaging family film that stands firmly in the best of the Disney tradition.
  3. So unassuming and pure of heart, you can't help but warmly extend your arms and yell "Safe!"
  4. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mr. Quaid has long been a reliably likable actor, but this time he pitches a perfect performance -- no frills, no tricks, not a single false note -- in a film that's true to its stirring subject, and to the sweetest traditions of the game.
  5. Works mostly off Quaid's performance.
  6. Something particularly clean shines in this American fairy tale, a quality of simplicity that's almost as hard to achieve in such movies as a middle-aged man's boyhood dreams.
  7. 80
    Quaid doesn't make the best of the movie's baloney; he presents it to us as a believable truth.
  8. 80
    All the uplift could easily get cloying, but director John Lee Hancock knows how to keep things in control, and the whole is surprisingly satisfying.
  9. The pleasure of a film like this is not in wondering where it's going to go, but in knowing its exact trajectory. Getting us to pull for a foregone conclusion as if the outcome was in serious doubt is no small sleight of hand.
  10. 80
    Touching and wise, with fine performances and impeccable widescreen photography, The Rookie is a rare family film that encourages kids to pursue their dreams, but not before giving full weight to the consequences.
  11. The embodiment of the very message it so modestly conveys -- it's the accomplished little guy we fervently root for.
  12. Eschews cliches and cuts to the truth.
  13. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    It's not afraid to play cornball when it isn't playing baseball, but The Rookie gets away with it.
  14. It's hard not to get caught up in this improbable but true follow-your-dream tale.
  15. 75
    While this outing will not challenge the likes of "The Natural" for the title of the best baseball movie ever made, it's a solid effort in its own right.
  16. 75
    Qualifies as perfect family entertainment.
  17. 75
    The Rookie may be pushing buttons, but at least they're the right buttons.
  18. 75
    A family film, but it's a wonder if kids will really enjoy it. The picture is geared for older folks, people who'll be heartened by the message that sometimes, you can return to your passions.
  19. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Even when there are lulls, the emotions seem authentic.
  20. The Rookie is "Rudy" in a baseball uniform.
  21. Too bad Australian actress Griffiths ("Hilary and Jackie," "Six Feet Under") is as underused as Amy Madigan was in "Field of Dreams": She mastered a realistic Texan twang for the role.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Quaid's effortlessly compelling and engagingly earnest performance keeps pic grounded in down-to-earth reality.
  23. Doesn't break any new ground in the baseball movie playbook. However, it does bring it all back home with the assurance of seasoned pro.
  24. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Jack Mathews
    Commits the sin of a hundred sports biographies in overselling its inherent drama.
  25. 63
    Carries an undeniable follow-your-field-of-dreams appeal.
  26. 60
    At its best, there's nothing gushy about Dennis Quaid's portrayal of Morris, and more than anything it's his beautifully modulated reserve that holds this film in emotional check.
  27. 50
    Despite the inherently moving story and the respectable work of director John Lee Hancock and the cast, something remains absent throughout the entire film: a certain sense of verve and personality.
  28. 50
    Comforting, even soothing, to those who like the old songs best. It may confuse those who, because they like the characters, think it is good. It is not good. It is skillful.
  29. 20
    It's a paint-by-numbers job of the worst sort, stuffed with more tired old baseball baloney than Harry Caray and about as dramatic as shagging flies in St. Pete.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Apr 6, 2016
    Rookies were meant to live up its own years of starting to become experienced at things and the Rookie somehow brings all of the baseball teamRookies were meant to live up its own years of starting to become experienced at things and the Rookie somehow brings all of the baseball team in and you'll know what happens next. Full Review »
  2. Nov 29, 2015
    A baseball pltcher blows out his elbow and becomes a chemistry teacher, husband, father, and coach of the high school baseball team. Okay soA baseball pltcher blows out his elbow and becomes a chemistry teacher, husband, father, and coach of the high school baseball team. Okay so far. Now his team needs to see faster pitches in practice so they can hit the opposing team's pitcher during the games. Little does the coach know he's throwing in the high 90's; that's Major League "stuff." His players make a deal, they win, he goes to a Major League tryout. Who knew this was a true story about a real person? I don't have that many DVDs but this one is in my collection. Full Review »
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    Hey! It's the feel good movie of theHey! It's the feel good movie of the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........................................... Full Review »