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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
Clint Eastwood
Amy Adams
Justin Timberlake
John Goodman.
Directors
Robert Lorenz.
Screenwriters
Randy Brown.
Running Time
111 minutes

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Trouble With The Curve
The Last Old Boy Scout


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Plot
Gus (Eastwood) is an icon among baseball talent scouts, but his eyesight is failing him, the suits are starting to doubt him and his daughter Mickey (Adams) doesn’t even really know him. Will he let her in and survive the cut?


Review
Trouble With The Curve
It's ironic, though somehow predictable, that the trouble with Trouble With The Curve lies not with its ageing legend but rather its young pups. This is Eastwood near his most engaging and certainly his most vulnerable. His character may be that of a baseball talent scout slowly losing his faculties in the twilight of his career but he proves still perfectly tuned, in particular in a scene that has him breaking down in tears at his wife’s graveside. Dirty Harry sobbing? Not a sight you’ll easily forget.

The same, sadly, can’t be said for Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams’ flaccid romance, both irritating and startlingly spark-free. She is Eastwood’s estranged daughter. He is one of Eastwood’s old protégés. He has a dodgy shoulder, she has a dodgy brain. Both appear to be fixed by a midnight skinny-dip that has the erotic intensity of a cheese sandwich. Each, individually, are gifted performers — Adams especially, who goes toe-to-toe with Clint and nearly nicks it — but they fail to connect.

To be fair, they aren’t helped by having the weakest part of a script that otherwise has interesting things to say. An inverse Moneyball, Trouble is firmly in the camp of trusting instincts over spreadsheets and has great fun pitching Eastwood and John Goodman’s old guard against the unctuous younger generation of oily suits as represented by Matthew Lillard — always a wonderful baddie — who tries to replace their gifts of touch and feel with his equations and stats.

Is it, as some have claimed, Eastwood’s last movie before retiring from in front of the camera? Only he knows for sure, although look out for a scene in which he has a heart-to-heart with one of his players and tells him that what really matters in this crazy world is... family. And then consider that the person he’s addressing is played by Eastwood’s son, Scott.


Verdict
You’ll know exactly where it’s going, but it still has Clint doing full-on-cranky and is a fun finger-up at corporate suits the world over.


Reviewed by Mark Dinning

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