Billy Bob Thornton plays washed-up former professional baseball pitcher Morris Buttermaker, who briefly played in the major leagues. He is hired by a concerned parent to coach a little-league team filled with misfits and kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to play on any team in the league. Buttermaker initially takes the job just for a paycheck.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Thornton's character has an estranged step daughter whom he taps to pitch for his all-boys team. She's a sort of ringer who other players dismiss because she's a girl, much to their own peril. She at first refuses to play but then recants and her and Thornton's relationship is of primary importance; it is critical to Buttermaker's redemption as a person who's never 'finished anything in his life.' Greg Kinnear plays Thornton's chief rival, the coach of another team in the league, who the Bears face in the in the championship game, the movie's climax. Kinnear is the movie's chief antagonist, a hypercompetitive, mean man who makes Thornton's life miserable.
The movie's primary appeal is in the chemistry between Thornton and the children and there are some pretty good laughs that occur between the children (who are antagonistic, undisciplined kids when Thornton first starts coaching them) and between Thornton and the children. Buttermaker is more likeable on a human level.
The review of this Movie prepared by Robert Cox