MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3 1/2

Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones), the most hated man in baseball, loved to be "booed." A contemporary of Babe Ruth, Cobb was one of the best ever players. In 1960, the eccentric Cobb hires sportswriter Al "Stumpy" Stump (Robert Wuhl) to write his biography. The chance of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare for Stumpy. Cobb claims he is a misunderstood genius; Stumpy thinks he is crazy. Sensing that he is dying, Cobb wants to attend a reunion at Cooperstown, and Stumpy must help him make it there. Friendship grows as Stumpy becomes Cobb's nurse-maid and the sole heir to the dark side of his life. But Cobb's trust is threatened when Stumpy writes a secret manuscript detailing the ball player's unhappy childhood, violent marriages and estranged children. Although Jones deserves an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the brooding Cobb, it is not enough to salvage this intense, depressing film.

Cobb admiringly describes his father as a Baptist deacon, local politician and professor. But it is all downhill from there. To be hated, a bigot and a murderer is of no consequence to Cobb because he believes his baptism at age 8 made him indestructible. Cobb's graphic retelling of how his father spied on his wife and her lover reveals in flashback the two lovers nude, she from the waist up. Cobb's father is murdered, shot twice at point blank range. Cobb's lack of respect for women is obvious as he consorts with prostitutes and frequents burlesque clubs. He holds a woman at gun point, forcing her to strip, and then attempts to have sex with her. Although he feels remorse for hitting his wife and abandoning his children, this twisted, cruel man beats a heckling fan to death on screen. Cobb drinks hard liquor almost continuously, mixing drugs with alcohol. The dialogue becomes basically meaningless with its constant obscenities and profanities. What could have been truly an intriguing story about America's need for heroes gets lost in a sea of man's depravity.

Preview Reviewer: Krista Kay Bontrager
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (88) times - Mild 42, Moderate 46

Obscene Language: Many (67) times (f-word 36, s-word 30, other 1)

Profanity: Many (56) times - Regular 53 (G-d, G, C, J, JC), Exclamatory 3

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (random gunshots to intimidate; deer shot; gun threat; two gunshot killings; baseball game fight; obscured flashbacks of man hitting his wife; graphic coughing up blood; player slides into baseman feet first with sharpened spikes; man beaten to death)

Sex: None, but attempted once

Nudity: Several times (full female breast nudity 4 times; full frontal male nudity once; near nudity (scantily clothed waitress and prostitutes)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Ogling women in burlesque clubs; mingling with prostitutes at social gatherings; crude references to women's and men's anatomy

Drugs: Much alcohol drinking and prescription drug abuse; drunk driving; self-injection of painkillers; drunk waitress

Other: Derogatory remarks against ethnic groups (not condoned); gambling party; ends Lord's Prayer with obscenity.

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults, especially baseball fans

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