7.0/10
39,778
101 user 148 critic

Million Dollar Arm (2014)

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A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay) (as Thomas McCarthy)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... JB
... Amit (Deepesh Solanki)
... Rinku
... Dinesh
... Aash
... Vivek
... Brenda
... Ray
... Tom House
... Doug
... Theresa
... Chang
Rey Maualuga ... Popo
... Lisette
Jaspaul Sandhu ... Grumpy Guy
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Storyline

In 2008, J. B. Bernstein is a sports agent who finds his business being seriously outplayed by his deep-pocketed competitors. Inspired by reality shows and Indian cricket games on TV, Bernstein gets the bold idea of finding cricket players in India and training them to become pro baseball players in America. After a long search, Bernstein finds two talented, but non-cricket playing, youths, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. Together, Berthstein takes his prospects to Los Angeles where they find mastering a new sport in a foreign land a daunting challenge. As these boys struggle amid an alien culture, Bernstein must find a way to make their dream come true. In doing, Bernstein finds a deeper humanity to his work with growing friendships he never expected to have. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Taglines:

From the producers of "Invincible" and "Miracle" See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and some suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

16 May 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un golpe de talento  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,511,000, 18 May 2014, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$36,447,959, 15 August 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The CGI Disney castle has Indian music instead of "When you wish upon a star," which is the song usually featured in the openings. See more »

Goofs

The Lakers game at Staples Center is a game from the 2013-14 NBA season. Nick Young and Xavier Henry weren't on the Lakers in 2008. See more »

Quotes

JB: [referring to Brenda] She's not my type.
Aash: Why, because she's not a model?
JB: Yeah, she's not a model.
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Crazy Credits

The CGI Disney castle opening has Indian music instead of the usual "When you wish upon a star" refrain. See more »

Connections

References SportsCenter (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreamed A Dream
Written by Alain Boublil (as Alain Albert Boublil), Claude-Michel Schönberg (as Claude-Michel Schonberg), Jean-Marc Natel, Herbert Kretzmer
Performed by Susan Boyle
Courtesy of FremantleMedia
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User Reviews

 
Likable Film, Although it Does Perpetuate Stereotypes
21 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

In terms of content, it's hard not to like MILLION DOLLAR ARM. There's a winning performance from Jon Hamm as the harassed agent trying his best to re-establish himself, while discovering the importance of looking after his charges; complemented by Lake Bell as the next- door neighbor, the intern who understands more about the young Indian boys' predicament of inhabiting a completely alien culture. As the two boys, Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal are particularly good at communicating - often through nonverbal means - their sheer bewilderment once they are transplanted from their rural Indian surroundings to metropolitan Los Angeles. Although they eventually make a success of their quest to become major league baseball pitchers, they nonetheless find it difficult to adapt to alien surroundings.

And yet there is a strong sense in which Craig Gillespie's film serves to perpetuate rather than negotiate stereotypes about the Indian nation and its people, and the Americans' responses to it. Hamm's JB is predictably confused by the disorganized ways in which the Indian people do business, especially in his interactions with Vivek (Darshan Jariwala). By implication, therefore, the American (i.e. efficient) ways, are naturally superior. Meanwhile aging coach Ray (Alan Arkin) rejects the Indian way of life altogether, as he complains about the prospect of contracting the so-called "Delhi belly" (an upset stomach), and returns to America on the first available flight.

Once the Indian boys are transplanted to the United States, they are frequently used as butts for cheap jokes; there is one scene in a hotel, where they experience problems with the elevator, which is particularly orientalist in tone. The film seems not to be aware of contemporary realities; in economic terms India is no longer a backward country but gradually becoming an economic superpower in its own right.

Nonetheless the film does make an effort to recognize the strengths of Indian cultures; the emphasis on family stability and the ability to converse contrasts starkly with JB's life, in which he is so busy that he has little time either to consider marriage or even to talk to anyone at length. The Indian characters also take time for daily prayers; the contemplative life is as significant as the active life in human beings. Perhaps the western world has become too secular to understand this.

MILLION DOLLAR ARM is an ambivalent piece, at once celebratory of yet still reluctant to recognize the strength of contemporary Indian cultures. Yet it's still worth a look.


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