Million Dollar Arm
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Jon Hamm, Alan Arkin, Lake Bell, Bill Paxton. Sports drama. Written by Thomas McCarthy. Directed by Craig Gillespie.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Jon Hamm stars in this true story about a self-consumed sports agent traveling to India to find major league pitchers. Though this will radically change the lives of the contestants, in the process he is the one who experiences the radical transformation and learning to invest into others.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s a sports drama, so we’ve got those clichés. It’s a Disney heart-tugger, so we’ve got those clichés. And the life lessons already taught by Disney’s Miracle and Invincible, as well as every other sports drama since Bad News Bears, will be retaught here. Therefore, one should expect the humor and the pathos to be interrupted by predicable dialogue and simple life lessons. If you are of a generation that never saw Miracle or Bad News Bears, or better yet, if you’ve never seen a film before, then you’ll find this fresh and fun. Now, here’s the surprise: even if you have seen all the other life affirming sports movie allegories, you just may enjoy this one as well!

We critics can get a bit caustic or cynical concerning in-your-face movie messages and smile at the realization that indeed everything old is new again. So when we attend movies of this genre, we simply hope that the filmmakers execute the proceedings with a genuine appreciation for the art form and those viewing it. I think I can safely say that has been accomplished with Million Dollar Arm. There’s nothing new. It’s not even all that fresh. But it is fun.

I suspect some reviewer will repeat the quote “Disney hits a home run!” I won’t go quite that far. But some funny lines, a tender moment or two, and a nice performance from Mad Men’s Jon Hamm help make this a worthwhile time spent at the movies.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Disney

Summary
Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual references.
Obscene Language: A couple of minor expletives, but I caught no harsh language.
Profanity: Other than the expression “Oh my God” I caught no misuse of God’s name.
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: An excessive use of alcohol leads to graphic shot of vomiting.
Running Time: 124 minutes
Intended Audience: Older kids on up

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