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The Greatest Game Ever Played

8/10
Sport . History . Family . Drama
 

A biopic of 20-year-old Francis Ouimet who defeated his golfing idol and 1900 US Open Champion, Harry Vardon.

 
Actors: Stephen Dillane , Shia LaBeouf , Josh Flitter , Peter Hurley , Armand Laroche , Tom Rack , James Paxton , Elias Koteas , Peyton List , Peter Firth
Directors: Bill Paxton
Country: USA , CANADA
Release: 2005-09-30
More Info:
  • William Arnold

    It's by far the most inspirational sports movie to come along in many a month.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    In a society where athletic competitions are too often likened to war, the recognition that everyone's equal once they're off the playing field is a welcome reminder of that little thing called perspective, not to mention sportsmanship.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • John Anderson

    Offers an inspiring story, lush visuals and accessible characters to give a black-hat-white-hat view of class struggle in America and England.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    I am not a golf fan but found The Greatest Game Ever Played absorbing all the same, partly because of the human element, partly because Paxton and his technicians have used every trick in the book to dramatize the flight and destination of the golf balls.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    LaBeouf ("Holes") has a scrubbed, ego-free innocence that is perfect for his working-class hero.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    As feel-good as any sports movie you're likely to find. It's a solid choice for family viewing, but is equally worthy of viewing by solo adults.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Sheri Linden

    Actor-turned-helmer Bill Paxton has fashioned solid family entertainment in this well-cast feature.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    The mixture of old-fashioned themes with newfangled techniques makes The Greatest Game Ever Played a canny piece of feel-good entertainment.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    The film is sugary, simplistic and riddled with cliches -- yet it still manages to absorb you in its story and even carry you with some of its emotions.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    An inconsistent and endearing sports inspirational that aims to be "Chariots of Fire" for golf.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    To help break the monotony, Frost relies on relentless digital effects; there are so many shots of giant golf balls whizzing toward the screen it looks like the film was meant to be projected in 3-D.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    What's missing here is the one thing any duffer knows you need: Focus. The Greatest Game Ever Played works so hard to convince you of the truth of its title that it never settles down to address the ball.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Matt Cheplic

    To be fair, Ouimet's story is pretty magical, one of the great sports underdog tales.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Jason Anderson

    The Greatest Game Ever Played is far too inconsistent to be great, but at least Paxton has made an honourable attempt to treat this piece of sports history with the gravity it deserves.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Simon Braund

    It can be seen for what it is: a well-crafted entertainment that boasts excellent performances (particularly from Dillane) and fully engages the mythology of sport, reminding us that in its transcendent moments, even a tossy one like golf has the power to capture the collective imagination.

    Empire Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    As Ouimet, the always-terrific Shia LeBeouf is an oasis of depth in a film that otherwise can't pass up a sports-film cliché.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Robert K. Elder

    About overcoming adversity and one's innermost fears. On this count, Paxton hits the ball squarely in capturing the psychology of his characters, but hooks it into the sand trap of effects and thematic overselling.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    Considering its superlative title (second only to George Stevens's New Testament epic, "The Greatest Story Ever Told"), I'm sorry to report that The Greatest Game Ever Played ranks somewhere in the murky middleground of sports movies.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    And how good should we feel about this match anyway? Absolutely anyone, we learn, can win the 1913 U.S. Open. Except blacks, Jews or women.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ruthe Stein

    The film will have to settle for a bogey rather than a par. Still, some hyperbole is warranted, like "Safest Movie to Take the Entire Family To."

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Never thrills on an emotional level the way the best of sports films – a "Hoosiers," say – can, but it's a satisfying entertainment nonetheless.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Tim Grierson

    The Greatest Game mostly sits there limply -- it lacks the charming swagger Paxton dependably brings to his own acting roles.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Mark Holcomb

    Ouimet versus Vardon probably was the greatest golf game ever played, and Paxton and Frost do it justice, but I wouldn't sit through another simulated hole of it for Tiger Woods's salary.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Kevin Crust

    Paxton and Frost lay the schmaltz on thickly, but the deal-breaker is the overuse of special effects, which make the game in question look more like pinball than golf.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joshua Katzman

    Sports films about underdogs overcoming long odds run the gamut from flinty intelligence (Million Dollar Baby) to mushy sentimentality (Seabiscuit). This Disney drama...falls somewhere in the middle.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Gregory Kirschling

    An inert family golf movie.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Bill Gallo

    This highly sanitized, heavily costumed, dramatically inert nonsense makes last year's dreadful golf biopic "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" look like a masterpiece.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    It's such a great story, you have to ask two questions: Why didn't they make this movie before? And why did they make it this way?

    Washington Post Full Review
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  • sport

  • champion

  • golfer

  • motivational

  • nostalgia

  • orchestral music score

  • golf tournament

  • what happened to epilogue

  • golf movie

  • subjective camera

  • barroom brawl

  • audio flashback

  • underdog

  • tournament

  • opera

  • massachusetts

  • u.s. president

  • caddy

  • golf

  • 1910s

  • based on true story

  • golf course

  • golf pro

  • heavy rain

  • mother son relationship

  • rags to riches

  • reporter

  • salesman

  • skipping school

  • snob

  • sportscaster

  • sportsmanship

  • upper class

  • working class

  • flashback

  • cgi

  • englishman abroad

  • father son relationship

  • golf ball

  • golf club

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