6.4/10
23,561
130 user 86 critic

Hardball (2001)

Hard Ball (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Sport | 14 September 2001 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,943 ( 116)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During a pro football strike, the owners hire substitute players.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton
The Watcher I (2000)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

David Allen Griffin is a cool killer- time and time again, he chooses a female victim, studies her for weeks till he knows her routine to the smallest detail, makes meticulous preparations ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Charbanic
Stars: James Spader, Keanu Reeves, Marisa Tomei
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Two researchers in a green alternative energy project are put on the run when they are framed for murder and treason.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman, Rachel Weisz
Street Kings (2008)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An undercover cop, disillusioned by the recent murder of his wife, is implicated in the murder of an officer and must struggle to clear himself.

Director: David Ayer
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An ex-convict and his bumbling crook brother fight for the same woman.

Director: Steven Baigelman
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Vincent D'Onofrio, Cameron Diaz
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence.... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Kay
Stars: Thomas Jane, Keanu Reeves, Adrien Brody
Edit

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
Edit

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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hardball  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a true story. See more »

Goofs

When G baby speaks to O'Neil about re-negotiating Kofi's position on the team, a member of the opposing team misses a catch which hits his chest. See more »

Quotes

Conor O'Neill: [after Kofi has been taunting his teammates for missing grounders and fly balls, Conor hits a sharp liner that causes Kofi to duck] C'mon Kofi! That one was right to you! What's the matter Kofi? You scared of the ball?
[Other players laugh]
Conor O'Neill: New rule: Nobody can say anything bad to anyone else on the field.
See more »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rough head white guy coaches little black kids in Chicago baseball. Very effectively made with some tough bits that are well above average. 4 Flys Out Of Five
19 June 2002 | by (Cairns Australia) – See all my reviews

In spite of its rather predictable set up Hardball is remarkably effective. It's a terrific example of a mainstream film that squeezes itself sufficiently out of the comfort zone to be both thought provoking and moving without too often lapsing into the triteness we see so often.

Hardball is yet another genre movie about a desperate white guy (Keanu Reeves) forced into coaching a children's sporting team from a rough black neighbourhood. Does he coach a mob of losers to victory? Does he mature while he does the job? Do the children gain valuable insights from their new friend? Does a love interest hover for our desperado coach?

The first third of Hardball shows us Conor O'Neill (Keanu Reeves) in the throws of digging an even deeper hole for himself with bad bets. He's literally on the run from his creditors and is frantic to get one big win to get the ghouls off his back.

We've seen that thousands of times before on T.V. and film but Hardball worked the trick beautifully. A baseball bat smashing a hole in a wall, where a head was a few moments before, can be extraordinarily effective cinema if done right. I was sold. O'Neill's gambling mate Ticky, played by character actor John Hawkes, has a bit of Steve Buscemi look about him and that has to be a recommendation.

Then we meet the children. The film is set in the notorious Cabrini-Green area of Chicago, a high rise low income housing area which is being progressively torn down. Cabrini-Green is now under redevolopment in what's a bold mixed income experiment, incorporating low/no-income citizens into what an area that was always surrounded by prime real estate.

The children are tough talking 13 year olds, but we're soon shown that they're very frightened. Hardball shows their world as being one where they are rightfully scared to be out after dark. One where people sit on the floor in their high rise for fear of bullets coming in through the windows. Again it was very effective film making.

The baseball is little league stuff in every sense of the word. The coach doesn't seem to know much about baseball and his charges, strangely, instantly improve their game on his arrival. There's the designated tear jerking triumphs and I'm sufficiently chump enough to have been sold on that too!

The token woman is provided by Diane Lane and she's O.K. but that whole plot line could and probably should have been left out. But Hardball was strong cinematic fare and well worth a look.

4 Sporting Flys Out Of Five


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?