• Network: PBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 28, 2010
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 100
    For two nights and four fabulous hours, this sequel to 1994's Baseball, still PBS' most-watched program, reminds us why baseball retains its hold on our imagination, and why Burns and Novick remain TV's pre-eminent popular historians.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    90
    There's always a surprise in baseball," says one of the game's biggest fans, Boston scribe Mike Barnicle. His lifelong emotional roller-coaster as a Red Sox loyalist--years of disappointment turned to rapture by the team's 2004 World Series victory--is one of the most enjoyable narrative threads in the glorious four hours of Baseball: The Tenth Inning.
  3. The game has always been better and more joyous than many of the people who played it. "The Tenth Inning," like its predecessor, makes that point as cleanly as a line-drive single to left-center.
  4. It is impossible to watch the gravity-defying catches, the Olympian throws, and the hits soaring into the stands and not be moved. Watching professional athletes in the moments of their glory is a wonderful thing; knowing what was at stake makes it even more moving.
  5. 80
    The film is made skillfully enough that it could conceivably captivate both the most obsessive baseball fan and somebody who doesn't give a hoot but has a healthy curiosity--and the gratuitous extra minutes aren't by any means intolerable.
  6. 80
    Burns and Novick know that what happens on the field makes baseball interesting--and what happens in the hearts and minds of its followers is what makes it great. That mingling of action and ardor (technical expertise, too) is what makes The Tenth Inning such fine viewing.
  7. 75
    On the surface, Burns and Novick strive for impartiality, but there's an undercurrent of cynicism throughout. And that's a good thing.
  8. An argument could be made that so much attention to the history-making World Series runs of both of their favorite teams - which happened after the original documentary aired - is excessive, particularly with the Yankees. But that's a minor quibble in an otherwise superb, informative account.
  9. Burns puts forth a dazzling spread of vintage clips and still photographs, and his love for baseball is palpable throughout. Fellow fans will appreciate how the film celebrates the resilience and enduring appeal of the game.
  10. Because it's such recent history, there are few revelations in a frequently flat assemblage of interviews and highlights, with Wednesday's installment, featuring some of the greatest postseason flops and comebacks of all time, the more appealing of the two.
  11. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    67
    The Tenth Inning is dutiful, sober and thoughtful. No spitballs are thrown. No banned substances have been added to bloat it up to obscene, grotesque proportions. What is missing in at least tonight's installment is surprise, or the pleasant shock of learning something brand new or unexpected.
  12. 60
    By turns treacly and rapturous, pedestrian and insightful, the documentary submits that, as Howard Bryant observes, "Most people have found a way to make their peace with the sport they love." Still, the history rankles. And here, too much of it is noted only briefly.
  13. 60
    These highlight reels can be enjoyed for their own sakes. Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick try to construct a larger story around the career of Barry Bonds, who set the single-season and career home run records while becoming embroiled in the steroid scandals, but it never really coheres into something that can give shape to the entire four-hour documentary.

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