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Sugar Review

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A baseball player from the Dominican Republic goes to Iowa to try and make it in the big leagues.

★★★★★

Despite its cornball montage sequences, this is a compassionate insight into becoming a sporting professional and finding a niche in a new country as Dominican Republic baseball player (Algenis Pérez Soto) tries to make it in Iowa.

An other-worldly aura comes from Andrij Parekh’s lush photography while Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have a sure grasp of the atmosphere in places as different as a Dominican village, a Minor League baseball club, a Bible-belt backwater and a Big Apple eatery. Yet emphasis and pacing are problematic, the match action lacks grit, and failure to accentuate what Soto risks losing diminishes the enormity of his reckless decisions.

This captures many moving moments and atmospheres in the diverse settings, bu the narrative arc isn't quite as engaging as it could be.

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