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Hard Ball (2001)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  14 September 2001 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 19,226 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 125 user | 82 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Hard Ball (2001)

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

In a place where all bets are off, he's got nothing to lose. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hardball  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£79,864 (UK) (21 June 2002)

Gross:

£79,864 (UK) (21 June 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the league's team names are taken from tribes in Africa. See more »

Goofs

Characters often discuss going to "Sluggers" (a sports bar) and refer to it as being "on the corner of Clark and Addison". "Sluggers" is a real sports bar and several scenes from the film were shot there, however it is not on the corner of Clark and Addison - another famous sports bar, "The Cubby Bear", is the only bar on that corner. "Sluggers" (3540 N. Clark Street) is actually a full block from the intersection of Clark and Addison and is located at the intersection of Clark and Eddy. See more »

Quotes

Conor O' Neill: I love it when you call me big poppa!
See more »

Connections

References Top Gun (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not original, but it works
22 June 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I want to start by saying that this movie was actually a pleasant surprise. Knowing that this was a movie based on a true story, made with Keanu Reeves and a lot of kid-actors in it, I honestly feared the worst. But after watching it I must say that it really wasn't all that bad.

Sure, the story is as predictable as you can get them in Hollywood. With a desperate white guy who is forced into coaching a children's sporting team from a rough black neighborhood, you already know perfectly what to expect and of course he will only keep doing his job because of a beautiful lady at first (the kids school teacher), but in the end he will learn the true value of these kids' will to win and to make something of their lives, so they can get out of the neighborhood. No the movie never gets far away from the stereotypes. But somehow it didn't bother me all that much for once.

This is probably one of the best performances I've ever seen from Reeves (except for his roles in "The Matrix" and "The Gift") and despite the fact that this movie isn't a comedy, the dramatic story is relieved with some nice humorous touches. I don't know anything about baseball and normally I don't care about movies with baseball as the subject either, but for once I kept watching.

As a conclusion I would like to say that if you are looking for an original movie, you better start looking somewhere else, but if you want to see a drama that exceeds the average Disney boundaries, you might want to give it a try. As I already said, I was pleasantly surprised by it and that's why I give this movie a 7/10.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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