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Trouble with the Curve
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Trouble with the Curve More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

If you are going to see "Trouble with the Curve," see it for the acting

6/10
Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States
1 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'll probably never grow tired of Clint Eastwood's presence in the movies. Whether he's standing in front of or behind the camera (or both), this 82-year-old master has produced some of the most indelibly entertaining performances and films in recent memory. So, as you can imagine, when I heard a year ago that Mr. Eastwood was coming out of acting retirement after a brisk three years to star in "Trouble of the Curve," I was ecstatic. He's not directing the film this time around, but he is taking the lead role, and we get him all his veteran-cloaked glory.

If his character had not been gunned down at the end of "Gran Torino," one would assume this were a sequel to that film. For Mr. Eastwood is essentially playing the exact same character: a gruff, widowed, profanity-spitting old man with an extreme reluctance to come to terms with his age. At one point in the movie he answers the phone saying "Who the (expletive) is calling me at this time of night?!" He's even tripping over furniture in his house, swearing up a storm later, just as he did in "Gran Torino." This time, however, he's in Georgia, and still working as a talent scout for the Major Leagues. If only glaucoma and a shorter attention span were not coercing some younger folk into pushing him out of the picture. He's got it worse than Henry Fonda did in "On Golden Pond." And just like Henry Fonda in "On Golden Pond," Mr. Eastwood has an estranged daughter who now makes a last-ditch effort to find common ground with her father.

It is a shame that "Trouble with the Curve," despite all that it has going for it, is most of the time an underwhelming movie. The cast is tremendous. Amy Adams plays the feisty daughter with a hidden love for baseball, and the supporting cast is populated by talents such as John Goodman, Ed Lauter, and Bob Gunton. So there's a number of interesting people working with this winner of a premise.

I do not want to drag the movie through the mud too much, as it is a first time directing and screen writing job by two different people. The director, Robert Lorenz, has produced some of Mr. Eastwood's films, but never handled the creative input behind the camera until now. And, according to my research, screenwriter Randy Brown has never worked in Hollywood before. This is a first-stab effort from both of these men, and their efforts are visible. Mr. Lorenz has a subtle style admittedly in need of more experience, but very promising. And Mr. Brown shows that he has imagination and can dream up some witty dialogue. Unfortunately, their lack of experience still shows through all of the gleams like rocks in a swimming pool. One of the reasons why the movie never fulfills its emotional goals is because both the director and screenwriter chop of scenes at the ankles before they can get along. The build-up is fine, but just when a sequence starts to near its pinnacle, it comes to an abrupt halt. One of the key subplots of the whole movie (it explains why Mr. Eastwood has distanced himself from Miss Adams) is explained through clumsily staged flashbacks that pop up at the most random order. And the big secret revealed near the end is not so shocking to make it seem worth the long wait.

The scenes between Mr. Eastwood and Miss Adams come the closest to working. Both give excellent performances. Mr. Eastwood repeats the grouchy-old-man motif very well, and Miss Adams convincingly bounds back with a lot of feisty, free-standing reactions. Very often, it's more her movie than Mr. Eastwood's. Unfortunately, there is also a very drippy love story that is attached. It is the least interesting element in the movie and yet is given so much attention by the screenplay. Miss Adams's love interest is played by Justin Timberlake, an actor I have very seldom been impressed by. His performance is not particularly good, as he fails to produce any sense of charisma or warmth. After all, Miss Adams's character is supposed to be a career-minded woman who has wandered away from relationships over a 35-year lifetime, so we would expect somebody exceptional to finally capture her heart. Somehow, I'm not convinced an obnoxious jibber-jabberer who can quiz her about baseball stats would really be the one to do it. So perhaps Mr. Timberlake is not due too much blame; the character is simply not interesting. Whenever manipulative piano music played while the movie-couple shared a two-shot (or went skinny dipping, go figure!) none of my heartstrings were tugged, as I did not care whether or not these two got together at the end.

And unfortunately, "Trouble with the Curve" does not know the right way to end. The movie wants to show some insight into what goes into Major League talent scouting (the computer programs, the executive decisions, the sudden try-outs, etcetera) but the way the movie chooses to wrap itself up is utter cornball; a twist that comes completely out of nowhere…or left field, if you will. Granted, the twist is hinted at a couple of times earlier in the movie, but the screenplay does not give these two or three moments enough of an impact to make the resolution effective.

If you are going to see "Trouble with the Curve," see it for the acting. As for the rest of the movie, while it did not satisfy me, it is not insufferable. It is not a remotely bad movie; it just did not mean a whole heck of a lot to me when it was over. Unfortunately, Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and the game of baseball were not enough to win me over.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

I Wish I Could Go "Skinny-Dipping" With Amy Adams

6/10
Author: Casablanca3784 from 15th Row Orchestra
8 October 2012

This picture has just about every aspect of life, yet, I found it Clint's worst except for the "Unforgiven." When I write "every aspect" I mean love, hate, child abuse, elation, disappointment and all the rest of the stuff we encounter daily. Regarding its relevance to baseball,if you follow the Braves or Red Sox, then you might salivate but I root for neither.

Clint's aging as all of us are but he was better talking to an empty chair than trying to come across as Gus, the one time MLB super scout. He seems too angry and filled with spittle and venom for the role. However Amy Adams is really great "eye candy" but could have shown much more in that "skinny dipping" scene. I was disappointed because she is an absolute knockout. Justin Timberlake is a better singer than actor.

Yes the story has some very good points but overall, the film is overly long and boring. I rate it a 6 with a yawn. I like baseball. I just saw "Moneyball" which I consider a SUPERB baseball film while "Curve" leaves a lot to be desired. Clint, go talk to a chair! Furthermore I predict a box office flop and the film will be out on DVD in 6 weeks.

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15 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

eastwood has lost it

1/10
Author: obediahsilt from United Kingdom
24 September 2012

You know a movie is in trouble when they cast Justin Timberlake in a lead role. Justin "big chin" Timberlake!.

This is a bittersweet baseball movie with a good performance by Amy Adams and Matthew Lillard plus a workmanlike performance by Eastwood.

Obviously hoping to ape the success of Million Dollar Baby. Unfortunately the script is so utterly predictable and clichéd. You know how each one of the one-dimensional characters will turn out, what the complications will be and how they'll end up resolved. There are no surprises. Its a movie to have on in the background or to doze off to, so wait for it on TV.

the movie deserves more than a 1 but I'm rating it lower to counter all the fake glowing reviews. The cinema was nearly empty when I saw it but maybe all those empty chairs were audience members that only Eastwood could see

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A good drama

Author: schollcs
10 December 2015

The movie Trouble with the Curve is a story about an aging baseball talent scout Gus played by Client Eastwood. Gus has built a reputation over the years of recruiting many talented players for the Atlanta Braves. An older man who, set in his ways, Gus is unwilling to change his style to fit with the recent technological changes in how baseball players are recruited, which relies mostly on computer technology. His nemesis is a younger manager Phillip, played by Matthew Lillard, who is convinced that Gus is ready for retirement. Pete, played by John Goodman, a longtime friend of Gus' enlists the help of Gus' daughter Mickey to keep an eye on Gus on an important scouting trip. Mickey, played by Amy Adams, who has not always had a good relationship with her father, is resentful that she has to take on the task of watching out for him. Amy is a driven and focused career woman and is competing for a partnership in the law firm where she works. She also has a nemesis, another lawyer who takes advantage of her absence at work to take her promotion as a partner. While on the scouting trip in North Carolina Gus and Amy meet up with another scout, Johnny, played by Justin Timberlake, was a former Major League baseball player, who was recruited by Gus. The theme of this movie centers around the three main characters and the conflicts they are experiencing in their personal lives. Gus had to raise a young daughter on his own after the death of his wife, and Amy is having to deal with resentment toward her father because he sends her away to live with distance relatives when she is younger instead of raising her himself. She feels abandoned by her father but does not understand the true reason behind his actions. While Gus and Amy are not close, their personalities are very similar. Driven and controlling individuals, they keep others at a distance for fear of being hurt or rejected. Johnny, who ended his Major League career due to a shoulder injury, is the catalyst that eventually draws Gus and Amy into a closer relationship helping them both realize they can open up to one another, in doing so Amy realizes the sacrifices her father made for her long ago. In the end, all the characters grow through their experiences with one another. A transition is made between father and daughter, and Gus sees that the time she spent with him in her youth on recruiting trips was beneficial to her, and Amy can again be involved in something she loves with her father.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Trouble With the Screenplay.

6/10
Author: Python Hyena from Canada
16 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Trouble With the Curve (2012): Dir: Robert Lorenz / Cast: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard: Sports drama that relates baseball to that of family and relationships. Clint Eastwood plays a baseball talent scout whose vision is going. Amy Adams plays his daughter, a lawyer who is struggling to merge ahead in the company. She is convinced to accompany her father for a few days to observe his condition. Her father is reluctant to connect especially since after his wife died, he abandoned his daughter to relatives. The story behind this is explained deeper eventually. First time director Robert Lorenz has worked with Eastwood in various films. The concept is there but the payoff is formula, predictable and sometimes corny. It even features the umpteenth drunken guy in a bar who hits on the female and gets roughed up. The best aspect of the film is the chemistry between Eastwood and Adams. He is gruff and often humorous in his denial of his sight condition but he proves his talent when his hearing becomes a strong point. Adams is wonderful as a career woman struggling to connect with her distant father. Justin Timberlake as a would be announcer is buried deep in a lame romantic subplot, and John Goodman is flat as Eastwood's long time friend. Matthew Lillard plays the standard underwritten rival that will get his encounter with karma in the conclusion. This is hardly one of Eastwood's best films but it features a touching theme of reconnecting and offering forgiveness when those curve balls peel forward. Score: 6 / 10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Eastwood and Adams great

7/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
11 April 2015

Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) is the grumpy aged baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. His eyes are failing and he never touches a computer. His friend head of scouting Pete Klein (John Goodman) continues to support him but Phillip Sanderson (Matthew Lillard) is gunning for his job. GM Vince (Robert Patrick) is looking to not extend Gus' contract. Gus' daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) is a workaholic pushing to be a partner in her law firm. If she wins the next big case, she'll be partner. Pete asks Mickey to join Gus on an important make-or-break scouting trip to evaluate hitting phenomena Bo Gentry. Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake) was a pitcher scouted by Gus. He's the new scout for the Red Sox.

There are lots of interesting things going into this movie. Eastwood and Adams have a good chemistry and a good father daughter relationship to tell. This is also the anti-Moneyball movie. That is probably enough for the movie to concentrate on. The two veteran actors are really good here but the movie adds some more extra. Justin Timberlake is a functional actor but I keep thinking that there are better actors around. The villains are a bit too broad. Lillard is going overboard a little especially at the end. Basically he needs to shut up after he gets beat. The movie sets up a few things way too neatly. While I understand why Bo is made out to be a villain, some of it seems unnecessary. Then there is Peanut Boy. The whole thing is too perfect. Eastwood and Adams are great. The rest are not all up to that standard.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Clint continues the good kind of typecasting

6/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
5 July 2014

In 2012 Clint Eastwood became a punchline due to his conversation with a chair at the Republican National Convention. Even so, "Trouble with the Curve" is still worth seeing. He plays an aging talent scout for the Atlanta Braves. Likely to get soon get forced out of his job, he has a strained relationship with his daughter (Amy Adams). He realizes that he has to go out and find the team a new player.

Eastwood has played a lot of crotchety old men in the past few years and was starting to get typecast in that role. He had said after "Gran Torino" that he wasn't going to act anymore, but it was obviously possible to convince him to do this one last role. A bit like what happens with some of the characters that he's played. The movie isn't a masterpiece but is worth seeing. Who would've ever guessed that the guy on the old western TV series would still be playing these fine roles into his 80s?

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An enjoyable Clint Eastwood film

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
6 June 2014

This film tells the story of a baseball scout nearing retirement age, who goes on a trip to recruit new players despite his ailing health condition.

"Trouble with the Curve" reminds me of "Moneyball", but it turns out to be entirely different because it focuses on human instincts, skills and relationships. The plot is very engaging, because there's always something dramatic going on. Gus and his daughter have an ambivalent relationship, and I'm so glad to see closure towards the end. The ending is very satisfying because of closure on several subplots. It delivers emotional elements and engages me a lot, especially the relationship between Gus and his daughter, the health of Gus and whether Gus can keep his job. I enjoyed watching "Trouble with the Curve", it's just that people have very high expectations on it as it's a Clint Eastwood film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Innovative Genius!? Nah.

6/10
Author: kevinathome from Canada
13 April 2014

You will know that Squint Eastwood plays a cranky old baseball scout. His friend, played by John Goodman, knows that evil (computer loving!) schemers on the team are trying to get rid of Squint, so persuades Squint's successful lawyer daughter to go help, despite her bad relationship with Dad. They encounter a charming young man that Squint had scouted. Oh, and it turns out there is a mysterious past incident in the father-daughter relationship.

So manipulative! So predictable! Still, the young woman was attractive and the young man was charming. John Goodman was now only fat and ugly, not grotesquely obese, but still charming and warm. Squint, surprisingly, was the weak link. He seemed to be doing a lot of ACTING as a cranky old man. But he already is a cranky old man, so it put him over the top.

Luckily, we were watching at home, and since it was so obvious, and not very serious to us, though ever-so-serious to the characters, it became sort of participatory, where we would boo and mock and cheer. So we got some fun out of it.

Now here's the thing. The movie revolved around the love of baseball that united all of our heroes. So, maybe Squint wasn't making a bad tear–jerker, far below his usual subtlety and skill, maybe he was using a movie to create a baseball-watching-like experience!? That would be pretty awesome. It would heighten and reflect the fictional themes past the fourth wall!

Nah.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not very good

7/10
Author: jusfeel from China
27 February 2014

Under 7 scores would be a bit too low. But it really has some diversions which is not advancing the core plot which is very emotional and interesting to watch about relationship of the daughter and the father.

Full credits must be given to the old actor - West, even he looks a bit scary with this extremely old figure. But man is still man. Without him, this movie would be plain.

Given these uninteresting moments, for those heart-felt moments with West and his daughter who is very attractive and sweet actress, it is worth watching.

Baseball, father and daughter are the highlights in the movie. I feel sorry that the writer tried too hard to bring up too many story-line which I simply fast-forward. Loving baseball, Loving father is enough evidence for people to know the loving part of a human being. Another story line simply just doesn't have enough time to enrich its quality and its natural branch-out in the movie.

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