A rookie pitcher undergoes psychotherapy to overcome the yips.


Noah Buschel


Noah Buschel





Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Simmons ... Hopper Gibson
Ethan Hawke ... Hopper Senior
Paul Giamatti ... Dr. Mobley
Sophie Kennedy Clark ... Dorothy Boyer
Alison Elliott ... Susan Gibson
Yul Vazquez ... Coach Eddie Soler
Paul Adelstein ... Scott Borwitz
Marin Ireland ... Rachel Cullum
Louisa Krause ... Candace Cassidy
Frank Wood ... Richard Boyer
Meg Gibson ... Jill Boyer
Elizabeth Marvel ... Teresa Epland
Emily Fleischer ... Betsy Schmidt
Journey Smith Journey Smith ... Lloyd Moseby
Niesha Butler ... Tuesday Davis


A Major League rookie pitcher loses control over his pitching and is sent down to the minor leagues, where he begins sessions with an unorthodox sports psychologist. In the process, hidden conflicts with his overbearing father are brought to light.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hopper Gibson throws one hundred miles per hour. Now he needs to stop thinking.


Drama | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The recurring musical motif is by Mozart. Noah Buschel described Mozart as "the original phenom." See more »


The band aid on Hop's face, by an inch or two, does not match the point where his father cut and bled him with a beer can. See more »


Hopper Gibson: [in speaking of a baseball player who committed suicide] Is there a name for what he had?
Dr. Mobley: Yeah, plenty of names, but, uh, I don't subscribe to any of those.
Hopper Gibson: Why not?
Dr. Mobley: Don't want to legitimatize it. This' a passing thing for you; and, you give it a name, it might wanna stick around.
See more »


References Ninotchka (1939) See more »


The Road Back Home
Written and performed by F.J. McMahon
See more »

User Reviews

Squandered potential
25 May 2019 | by maccas-56367See all my reviews

I probably wouldn't have lasted through this - had one of my favourite AFL players not recently retired at just age 23, citing mental health issues. There are definitely some parallels here.

Beyond that, "The Phenom" is a frustrating film to watch.

Ethan Hawke successfully portrays one of the most unlikeable guys I've seen on film in ages.

Paul Giamatti also puts in a great performance as a sports psychologist. The back and forward emotional banter between Giamatti and Simmons is in a very similar vein to that of Damon and Williams in "Good Will Hunting" - just without the Oscar-worthiness.

Johnny Simmons is convincing as the somewhat of an asshole but emotionally vulnerable sports star.

None of it seemed to tie together though and the film just went nowhere. It never succeeded as anything more than being a fly-on-the-wall look at a young talented sportsman with emotional difficulties. I also agree with many other viewers, that found the ending abrupt and poorly written.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

24 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Phenom See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Elephant Eye Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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