Million Dollar Arm is a Disney production based on a true story that i was 100% unaware of. It’s probably because I’m not super into baseball, but I was nonetheless surprised I was not more familiar with this story. Without giving anything away I can say that this movie is about an agent who goes to India trying to find some big league talent he can sign. I found the premise interesting enough that we checked it out after perusing scores to make sure it wasn’t awful.

Jon Hamm Lake Bell

“I’m worried that Sports Guy will have my legs broken if this movie he helped produce doesn’t do well.”

The Good

If this movie seems a bit formulaic, that because it is. There is a long (and successful) history of semi-inspiring, family friendly, sports movies based on true stories. This movie is cut from that cloth with formulaic precision. For critics and academy voters that cookie-cutter-ness is a bad thing. For me, I don’t care as long as the movie is good and enjoyable.

I liked Million Dollar Arm. I was entertained. I thought the story was interesting. I liked the actors and thought their performances were good. I could identify with the characters.  India looked really cool. It featured sports. It had some humor and some heart. It had that “feel good” factor. Lots to like.

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“This is your big chance! Pitch well or I’m going to have you beaten by that large man over there.”

The Bad

Million Dollar Arm seemed to be a bit of an underachiever. Although it was generally  liked by people who saw (based on RT and CinemaScore) it  had very mediocre box office numbers ($36M domestic). Why is that? I’m sure that’s the question Disney is still asking themselves. I suspect it was because because this movie was a bit of a tweener. What I mean is that it wasn’t clearly defined as to it’s place in the movie world. It was a cool sports story, but not one people were already familiar with. It didn’t stand out as to wheteher this was a “bring the whole family” movie or a ‘bring a date movie”.  Plus this movie didn’t have big star power. Jon Hamm is a highly regarded TV actor, but not a big screen draw yet. Lake Bell was great, but is a relative unknown. I think all those factors added up led to it’s pedestrian numbers.

The Comps

Lots of comps here in the “based on a true story, pretty good, and semi-inspiring” category”. If you like this genre (think The Rookie, Remember the Titans, and Miracle), you’ll probably enjoy this.

The Conclusion

This isn’t a movie that you’ll watch over and over or list as one of your top 10 favorite movies of all time. But, I think it is an entertaining movie that you will enjoy.

 

Final Verdict: “Really Good”– Worth seeing

DVD: Worth paying to rent at Redbox (here) or stream.

RT Audience Score: 73

CinemaScore: A-

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IMDB Rating: [imdblive:rating]