Every evening, Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) is out practicing pitching. His minor league career ended with a shoulder injury 12 years ago. Now, Jim coaches a struggling high school team. When he tries to motivate them, they challenge him--if they reach the play offs, he must try out for the majors. The team starts to win, and makes the play offs. Not realizing how strong his arm has become, Jim is apprehensive as he sets off for the try outs with his son and baby daughter. The coaches recognize him, but think he has brought a young prospect. Late in the day, as he's changing a diaper, Jim is called. When he throws his first pitch, he surprises the coaches--and himself.
Director John Lee Hancock, director of photography John Schwartzman, and composer Carter Burwell have made a glowing movie based on the true story of Jim Morris, investing it with a touch of myth. Dennis Quaid is convincing as the pitcher. His scenes with Brian Cox, playing his father, bristle with unresolved anger. The great Australian actress Rachel Griffiths shows her extraordinary chameleon-like ability--as Jim's tough-minded wife, she captures perfectly a woman who has to deal with life's practicalities and with her husband's dreams.
Mark Johnson - Producer, "Donnie Brasco"
Gordon Gray - Producer, THE ROOKIE (2001)
Mike Rich - screenwriter, FINDING FORRESTER
Beth Grant - Star, HARD SCRAMBLED (2006)
Carter Burwell - American composer, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Mark Ciardi - Producer, THE ROOKIE (2001)
John Schwartzman - Director of Photography, PEARL HARBOR (2001)
Dennis Quaid - American actor, FREQUENCY (2000)
Jay Hernandez - Actor, CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL
Rachel Griffiths - Australian actress, SIX FEET UNDER, MURIEL'S WEDDING
John Lee Hancock
Brian Cox - British Actor, L.I.E. (2000)
Theatrical release: March 29, 2002
"...Unabashedly lyrical and beautifully photographed....Its stately pace and appreciation of the austere grandeur of the Texas landscape and the eerie beauty of night baseball contribute to its aura of modern American folk tale..." - 03/29/2002 New York Times, p.E15
"...The movie keeps its eye on the ball....[The filmmakers] touch the heart without being sticky..." - 03/29/2002 USA Today, p.1E
"...A sweet, engaging, truth-based celebration of America's favorite pastime....THE ROOKIE will feel like a home run..." - 04/01/2002 Premiere, p.24-6
"...John Lee Hancock's heartfelt movie scores a solid hit..." - 05/09/2002 Rolling Stone, p.80
"...[The filmmakers have] given THE ROOKIE a lovely, relaxed feeling that makes us happy to be in this film's company..." - 03/29/2002 Los Angeles Times, p.C1
"...Smoothly directed....Schwartzman's attractive color lensing is splendid....Quaid's effortlessly compelling and engagingly earnest performance keeps the pic grounded in down-to-earth reality..." - 03/25/2002 Variety, p.35-42
"...[Quaid] brings an appealing humility to his role..." - 10/01/2002 Sight and Sound, p.49-50
"...This gently played story of an ordinary second chance is actually quite a treat..." - 11/01/2002 Total Film, p.103