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Hardball (2001)

Keanu Reeves , Diane Lane , Brian Robbins  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane, John Hawkes, Bryan Hearne, Julian Griffith
  • Directors: Brian Robbins
  • Writers: Daniel Coyle, John Gatins
  • Producers: Brian Robbins, Erwin Stoff, Herb Gains, Kevin McCormick, Michael Tollin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKE4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,159 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hardball" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The making of Hardball
  • Three deleted scenes
  • Interstitials
  • Music video - "Harball" by Lil Bow Wow, Lil'Wayne, Lil'Zane & Sammie

Editorial Reviews

Keanu Reeves stars in this story that might best be described as Bad News Bears in the projects. Conor O'Neill (Reeves) is a charming ne'er-do-well with a disturbing gambling addiction. His penchant for betting on the wrong teams leaves him owing several thousand dollars to very violent people, and he ends up coaching a children's baseball team to pay off his debt. The movie skimps a bit on process: the kids start out as terrible players and become better but we don't see how; Conor starts caring but we don't see why. As by-the-numbers movies go, though, it isn't a bad one. The young actors in the cast are talented and understated. Most of the kids' characters are only barely fleshed out by the script, but this keeps the movie from being hijacked by extra-cute mugging. Parents should be cautioned--this movie has some very violent scenes that will frighten young children, and swearing is depicted as precocious and adorable. Still, like a baseball game, it isn't a bad way to spend your time. --Ali Davis

Product Description

Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane and D.B. Sweeney score in this uplifting story of triumph over adversity that "hits an emotional home run." Conor O'Neill (Reeves) is a down-on-his-luck gambler in debt to dangerous loan sharks. Desperate for cash, Conor reluctantly takes a job coaching a youth baseball team. The "team" turns out to be a ragtag group of tough-talking kids from Chicago's inner city. Secretly, Conor plans to desert the team after he wins a big bet. But the stakes are higher than Conor imagined: The kids need someone to believe in. As Conor wrestles with his past, the kids start to teach him some lessons that will forever change his future-that responsibility and trust must be earned and hope can appear in the most unlikely places.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardball February 22, 2002
The movie proved that Keanu Reeves is very capable of expressing emotions on screen, contrary to his harshest critics. He was able to convey his initial attitude change from someone who was only coaching a kid's baseball team for money he desparately needed, to someone who genuinely cared with subtle finesse. It wasn't a cartoon character performance. The child actors also performed at a professional level not expected from their age group.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I found this Chicago based baseball movie different than most involving children's teams. This bunch of disbelieving kids didn't quite need their coach as much as Coach Conor O'Neill (Keanu Reeves) needed them. Diane Lane enters the mix portraying their school teacher with a much shorter screen time. They begin a relationship that does not find itself very developed in the long run although it works well with the story: An uninspired replacement coach and the unlikely young team that turns his life around.

I liked this because the focus remained on the children's relationship with their coach. Although this leaves the door wide open for the budding couple at the ending, the movie closes in almost entirely on the strong emotional pull these boys have on Conor. They must overcome many hardships to find their place within their own selves and in their surrounding lives.

Conor gets coerced into coaching because of having to pay off his ever increasing gambling debts. The team starts out quite poorly on the field and looked to me that they would need an incredible amount of development to become cohesive as a team. When Conor starts as their reluctant coach, they immediately begin to play well rendering the point of needing each other and making a quick connection.

The real expressed character development befalls Coach Conor O'Neill, who definitely requires a lead in story and gets a fairly detailed one. This is a small story that actually roars. Reeves shows a lot of range in his emotions and personal growth with the team, with his life, his past, even vaguely with Lane. Before watching the film I wasn't too sure of the rating.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Keanu January 9, 2009
By maxmom
In general I find Keanu Reeves to be stiff, wooden and lacking in acting skills. This is one of only 4 movies I really liked and appreciated him in. (Speed, The Watcher and The Gift are the others). In Hardball which is based on a true story Reeves plays a ne-er do well gambler with a big debt to pay off and ends up coaching an inner city little league team. The kids on the team are coping with all of the ills of project living you can imagine - random shootings, death, drugs, gangs, intimidation. Baseball offers them some respite from their reality. One of the sweetest scenes of this movie is when Reeves takes the kids to see their first major league baseball game and they yell to Sammy Sosa who acknowledges them...sweet, sweet, sweet. Watching the kids and spectators start singing Big Poppa by Biggie Smalls during a game is a hoot and a half. The ending is such a tear jerker that it is almost embarrassing to feel so moved by such a small story. And realize that it's a true story.

All in all this is a terrific little movie. Reeves and the children are truly a joy to watch. The story jerks your emotions all over the place but it never feels cloying or fake - just a bit manipulated. It's a shame this movie had very little support and was only in theaters for a few minutes. Consequently I often give this as a gift to people so they'll have the opportunity to see such a lovely moving film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real entertainment with the kids being excellent actors November 14, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
It is entertaining and the characters weren't flat. The situation in the projects was the same as when I grew up there (only on the West Coast). He and the teacher fought and actually had differences and didn't jump into bed with each other after one night. All and all it was real and heartwarming and sad and very special.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not our favorite Keanu Reeves movie October 30, 2013
By HD S.
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Not our favorite but Like Keanu Reeves even tho it didn't have great reviews. Harsh and self destructive but a good ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok September 15, 2013
By SoozyQ
Format:Amazon Instant Video
It was ok nothing great as expected from any of Keanu reeves movie. Good heart warming relationship between a man & kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Movie loosely made about Bob Muzikowski September 8, 2013
By Luis
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Maybe one of the best acting on Keanu and the plot not too bad. The essentials are there about 1 man's effort to start a culture of chance in the "inner city" of chicago West side and Cabrini Greene.
if you want to know the real story read: "safe at home" by Bob or simply visit -Chicago Hope Academy- which is a mammoth step forward towards the right direction in making an impact in Chicago.

I gave it a bad review not because of the content or acting but because how the it did injustice to the real story. If not it would of been much higher rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardball Review September 11, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Since this movie has been out for a while, it was hard for me to purchase it at my local stores.
It is such a great movie && one of my favorites. I bought it used, but it worked at if it was BRAND NEW.

Thanks Amazon!! ((:
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
Family friendly with accompanied adult. Sad but real message. Inspirational way to turn a negative in to a positive. The cast especially the children always keep you smiling.
Published 22 hours ago by Iness
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New here
Pretty derivative film in which a man who has wasted his life gets a last chance by helping the black equivalent of the Bad News Bears.
Published 3 days ago by Rixter
4.0 out of 5 stars Lot of language, but good story
There is a lot of language, and some very serious ghetto true to life drama, but it's a good story
Published 4 days ago by D & S
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardball
Familiar theme but the kids were great. Familiar ending but the road was sad with the drive by shooting. Good baseball flick
Published 7 days ago by mark ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good KR movie
Feel Good movie with Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane. That's why I gave it a four stars but not great so I didn't give it five stars.
Published 12 days ago by Roland Leong
4.0 out of 5 stars Good family movie with jh son
Great message, used to live in Chicago so familiar with area. Keanu seemed a little uncomfortable in the role which is why it is 4 stars instead of 5
Published 14 days ago by Terry Gourley
4.0 out of 5 stars good feel movie, address' lots of todays problems
good movie, should have spent more time on the kids & their plights, versus the drinking & mob stuff acting was good
Published 16 days ago by Ron Porter
2.0 out of 5 stars Two stars says it all.
Two stars says it all. The story is not very good. Keanu Reeves' performance is, well, worthy of two stars.
Published 17 days ago by terrafirmay
4.0 out of 5 stars Feelgood movie
I think if we had more movies like this the world might just be a little bit nicer. We still have too many children in the United States that live in fear and scarcity and we need... Read more
Published 18 days ago by mink
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspitational!
I love movies (or books) that leave you happy and with no feeling of having wasted your time while relaxing to them! Read more
Published 18 days ago by Grandma Pavao
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