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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Billy Bob Thornton
Greg Kinnear
Sammi Kane Kraft
Marcia Gay Harden
Jeffrey Davies.
Directors
Richard Linklater.
Screenwriters
Glenn Ficarra
John Requa.
Running Time
113 minutes

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Bad News Bears


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Plot
New year, new Little League and, thanks to some polite but firm bribery, a lawyer mom (Harden) has blagged her son’s inept baseball team a supposed trophy in the form of former pro and permanent drunk Morris Buttermaker (Thornton). Can he slap his brats into shape to beat rivals The Yankees, or will the ankle-biter encounter prove too much?


Review
If Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes tried to avoid the remake tag by pompously referring to itself as a “reimagining”, what to call a movie so twinned to its source you’re left ducking the sparks of déjà vu? If you’re looking for a pat tag for Richard Linklater’s latest, “action replay” fills the gap.With its anti-PC buffoonery, the 1976 Bad News Bears provided the template for every renegade-team sports movie since, and it’s also given Bad Santa scriptwriters Glenn Ficarra and John Requa an easy life: structure, characters, even score have all been ported over. Question is, if it ain’t broke…?Luckily, Bears’ predictability works in its favour. From training montage to loser salvation, this is unapologetic comfort viewing. On a gags-to-laughs ratio, it’s certainly the comedy to beat this season, thanks mostly to Billy Bob Thornton’s twinkly, ragged Buttermaker. Still, for a movie so up on its genre smarts, it’s odd Linklater should pitch a dipper for the climax, with the final game way too laidback to truly excite. As such, you leave your seat with a microwaved glow, not the atomic high you think you’re owed.


Verdict
Despite the lack of a vital air-punch from a curiously flat finale, there's much to love and laugh at. Way too salty for pre-teens, mind...


Reviewed by Simon Crook

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Bad News Bears
Empire Star Rating

It's no School of Rock

...but it's a decent enough kid's film with a rare Goonies taste for bad language that somehow got past the focus groups. Thornton is doing the same shtick now and after half a dozen movies it's wearing very very thin. Amiable. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 16:48, 31 July 2008 | Report This Post


this uneven remake strikes out. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 19:10, 06 April 2007 | Report This Post


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