Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12
Cast
Kevin Costner
Kelly Preston
John C Reilly
Jena Malone
Jane Aubrey.
Directors
Sam Raimi.
Screenwriters
Dana Stevens.
Running Time
137 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Blackwood
2 Star Empire Rating
What If
3 Star Empire Rating
Congress, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Purge: Anarchy, The
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

For Love Of The Game
Kevin Costner in yet another solid, but wee bit sentimental, baseball flick


submit to reddit


Plot
An aging star pitcher arrives at the crossroads of his life on the eve of a big game. Not only is he about to be traded after 20 years as the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers, but Jane (Preston), the love of his life, is leaving him.


Review
Following a string of rather embarrassingly high-profile flops, Costner returns to the well of grown-up rounders in the hope that it will once again sprinkle some magic over his ailing career. Garnering what can mercifully be described as mixed reviews in the States, For Love Of The Game isn't, unfortunately, up to the standard of either Bull Durham or Field Of Dreams. But if you can stomach the occasionally cloying sentiment, it goes a long way towards restoring his tattered reputation as a leading man. It helps that he's perfectly cast as Billy Chapel. Marooned on the pitcher's mound, retracing the steps that have brought him here, Billy achieves a kind of sporting Nirvana. Tuning out the roar of a hostile New York crowd, he realises that the fabled "perfect game" is within his grasp.

It's all pure soap, of course. But, in America at least, baseball has always been wreathed in a sacred romantic glow, and there's no denying that Costner cuts a heroic, if somewhat quixotic, figure. Staring the end of his career in the face, with no Jane to cushion the fall and his weary arm screaming in pain, you can't help but root for him as he fights his last, lonely battle. Director Sam Raimi, treading confidently over very unfamiliar ground compared to his usual bread-and-butter of blood-and-gore, musters a deal of visual pizazz, added to which is good support play from Preston and Reilly - but it's ultimately Costner's movie.


Verdict
Even if it's an uneven, often overwrought piece of work, it's nevertheless compelling evidence that given the right role, Costner can still cut it in the majors.


Reviewed by Simon Braund

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Director Matt Reeves Spills Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Secrets
What we learned from our Empire podcast spoiler special

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Kevin Feige Talks Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy And Doctor Strange
The Marvel boss updates us on the state of his cinematic universe

Keith Carradine On Keith Carradine
'Television is really the place to go if you want to do anything of substance now.'

Video: Gary Oldman And Keri Russell Talk Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Would you watch Carry On Up The Planet Of The Apes?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)