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Hardball (2001)

Hard Ball (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Sport | 14 September 2001 (USA)
3:00 | Trailer

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An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.



(book), (screenplay)
3,449 ( 825)
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryan Hearne ...
Andre Ray Peetes (as Bryan C. Hearne)
Julian Griffith ...
Jamal (as Michael Jordan)
A. Delon Ellis Jr. ...
Kristopher Lofton ...
Michael Perkins ...
Brian M. Reed ...
Carol Hall ...
Pearla Evans (as Carol E. Hall)
Jacqueline Williams ...
Lenora Tibbs
Freeman Coffey ...
Darryl Mackey
Matt Hyland


Bright, well-educated, handsome Conor O'Neill's promising future was wrecked by his gambling addiction, which dragged him into heavy drinking and petty crime, but worst of all, the stifling grip of loan-shark bookies. Desperate for a loan, he accepts to stand in for lawyer friend Jimmy Fleming as coach of a Chicago black 'projects' ghetto Little League baseball team. His sense of pride, becoming the boys' sole idol, and competition, plus their attractive teacher, motivate Conor. But the crushing loan problem rather requires leaving town. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most important thing in life is showing up See more »


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

14 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hardball  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,386,342 (USA) (14 September 2001)


$40,219,708 (USA) (18 January 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The basketball game between Chicago and Miami being watched from outside the bar is actually the 2000 Continental Basketball Association Finals between the Yakima (WA) Sun Kings and the La Crosse (WI) Bobcats held at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Yakima won the game, 109-93, to win their second CBA title. See more »


Duffy comes out of his bar with a towel on his shoulder, which he throws at Conor before punching him... when Connor falls to the floor, no towel is in sight. See more »


Conor O'Neill: I want you guys to take a good look at yourselves and feel proud. We made it here. We're here. What I've learned from you is that really one of the most important things in life is showing up. I'm blown away by your ability to show up through everything that's gone on. The league never wanted you to play this game, but you showed up. But, uh, we only have eight players so, we can't play.
See more »


Referenced in HBO First Look: Constantine: Heaven, Hell and Beyond (2005) See more »


Just Heard The News
Written by: Scott Nickoley and Jamie Dunlap
See more »

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User Reviews

Hope is always the better choice
17 September 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a stressful movie, with the gambling addiction and the gambling machine on one hand, and street gangs on the other. I really like the kids and think Keanu Reeves plays it straight with them. New York Times and local reviewers aside--way aside, this movie is definitely worth a look. I spent eight years on Chicago's South Side, and i'm grateful a cinema team is willing to show some emotion about some of the stuff that is part of grim daily life. The plot formula is good: i don't like cold voyeuristic slice-of-life with this material. I like that the material is used with an up-beat ending. Let us enjoy the entertainment of it, and find some hope in it. Goethe said that hope is always the better choice. And i will say it here: Keanu Reeves can act.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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