7.2/10
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34 user 100 critic

Sugar (2008)

Trailer
2:06 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Dominican baseball star Miguel "Sugar" Santos is recruited to play in the U.S. minor-leagues.

Directors:

Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jose Rijo Jose Rijo ... Alvarez
Walki Cuevas Walki Cuevas ... Alfonso
Algenis Perez Soto ... Miguel
Santo Silvestre Santo Silvestre ... Umpire #1
Emmanuel Nanita Carvajal Emmanuel Nanita Carvajal ... Reyes
Cesar Emilio Minaya C. Cesar Emilio Minaya C. ... Pedro
Joendy Pena Brown Joendy Pena Brown ... Marcos
Kelvin Leonardo Garcia Kelvin Leonardo Garcia ... Salvador
Marcos Rosa Marcos Rosa ... Sanchez
Karl Bury ... Rudy
Zaida Alexandra Hernandez Zaida Alexandra Hernandez ... Erica
Lilin Soto Gonzales Lilin Soto Gonzales ... Abuela
Dioni Feliciano Dioni Feliciano ... Luis
Teodosia Sanchez Reyes Teodosia Sanchez Reyes ... Carmen
Walky Alvarez Walky Alvarez ... Sofia
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Storyline

By 2008, more than 25 percent of major league baseball players were born in Latin America. At 19, Miguel "Sugar" Santos, a serious kid from the Dominican Republic, signs with Kansas City. He flies to Phoenix for tryouts and is sent to the Class A team "The Swing" in the fictional town of Bridgetown, Iowa, where he lives with a farm family. Thus begins his odyssey: leaving his mom and girlfriend; living in an alien culture; learning English; overcoming jitters; working hard; achieving early success; navigating friendships, occasional racism, and a woman's mixed signals; dealing with an injury; trying performance-enhancing drugs; and, searching for his place in the world. Will he make it to the Majors; will he play in New York? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Dominican Republic

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Dominican Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Burlington, Iowa, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,140, 5 April 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,081,922, 9 August 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After this film was shot, the name of the team in Iowa was changed from the Swing of the Quad Cities to its former team name of the Quad Cities River Bandits. See more »

Goofs

While Sugar is riding the bus in Iowa for Spring training, the corn in the fields has tasseled at a time when the soil and weather would prevent it from being planted. See more »

Quotes

Earl Higgins: No drinking. No cervezas in the casa. No chicas in the bedroom.
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Connections

References American Idol (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Tryptophaned
Written and Performed by Michael Brook
Courtesy of Canadian Rational LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This truly *is* a baseball movie
16 January 2010 | by bandwSee all my reviews

If you have no knowledge of, or appreciation for, the sport of baseball, then I think you will likely not enjoy this film as much as those who do. It is more of a baseball movie than many such movies, such as "The Natural," since it plays almost like a documentary rather than the usual script of "talent, obstacles, ultimate fantastic success." I can imagine that the box office receipts for this in the United Kingdom would be about what they would be in the U.S. for a movie about cricket. In "Sugar" we follow Miguel "Sugar" Santos from a U.S. major league baseball training academy in the Dominican Republic to his move to a small city in Iowa to play minor league ball. We get to know Miguel's family and humble living conditions in the Dominican Republic and then the formidable difficulties he faces in being inserted into a foreign culture where he does not speak the language.

I will never look at foreign-born baseball players the same way after having seen the discipline, arduous training, perseverance, and sacrifices they make to get where they are. And the pressure is ever-present--if you fail there are many others who can and will take your place.

Casting the native Dominican non-actor Algenis Perez Soto as Miguel is a small stroke of genius. He had played some ball (as shortstop) but had to be taught how to pitch for this movie. Perez is such a natural both on and off the field that it's impossible not to be taken by him. He has a great ability to capture emotion with facial expressions. A lot of effort must have gone into the casting, since every role rings true.

Sure, this film makes incisive comments about the immigrant experience in the United States, but, even if you are a baseball fan I think you will learn details you did not know about how the sport recruits many of its players and what they go through. Many are called, but few are chosen, and it's not necessarily clear sailing for the chosen.


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