Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  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. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    A rarity to be cheered: a smart, engaging family film that stands firmly in the best of the Disney tradition.
  4. So unassuming and pure of heart, you can't help but warmly extend your arms and yell "Safe!"
  5. 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.
  6. Works mostly off Quaid's performance.
  7. 80
    Quaid doesn't make the best of the movie's baloney; he presents it to us as a believable truth.
  8. 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.
  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. Reviewed by: Hank Sartin
    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.
  11. 75
    The Rookie may be pushing buttons, but at least they're the right buttons.
  12. 75
    Qualifies as perfect family entertainment.
  13. It's hard not to get caught up in this improbable but true follow-your-dream tale.
  14. Eschews cliches and cuts to the truth.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Even when there are lulls, the emotions seem authentic.
  16. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    It's not afraid to play cornball when it isn't playing baseball, but The Rookie gets away with it.
  17. 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.
  18. The embodiment of the very message it so modestly conveys -- it's the accomplished little guy we fervently root for.
  19. The Rookie is "Rudy" in a baseball uniform.
  20. 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.
  21. Reviewed by: Tanya L. Edwards
    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. 63
    Carries an undeniable follow-your-field-of-dreams appeal.
  25. Commits the sin of a hundred sports biographies in overselling its inherent drama.
  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
    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.
  28. 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.
  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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    Hey! It's the feel good movie of theHey! It's the feel good movie of the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........................................... Full Review »