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Hard Ball (2001)

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3:00 | Trailer
An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling, and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.

Director:

Brian Robbins

Writers:

Daniel Coyle (book), John Gatins (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,608 ( 785)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keanu Reeves ... Conor O'Neill
Diane Lane ... Elizabeth Wilkes
John Hawkes ... Ticky Tobin
Bryan Hearne Bryan Hearne ... Andre Ray Peetes (as Bryan C. Hearne)
Julian Griffith Julian Griffith ... Jefferson Albert Tibbs
Michael B. Jordan ... Jamal (as Michael Jordan)
A. Delon Ellis Jr. A. Delon Ellis Jr. ... Miles Pennfield II
Kris D. Lofton ... Clarence (as Kristopher Lofton)
Michael Perkins Michael Perkins ... Kofi Evans
Brian M. Reed Brian M. Reed ... Raymond 'Ray Ray' Bennet
DeWayne Warren ... Jarius 'G-Baby' Evans
Carol Hall Carol Hall ... Pearla Evans (as Carol E. Hall)
Jacqueline Williams Jacqueline Williams ... Lenora Tibbs
Freeman Coffey Freeman Coffey ... Darryl Mackey
D.B. Sweeney ... Matt Hyland
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Storyline

Bright, educated, handsome Conor O'Neill's promising future was wrecked by his gambling addiction, which dragged him into heavy drinking and petty crime, but worst of all, the stifling grip of loan-shark bookies. Desperate for a loan, he agrees to stand in for lawyer friend Jimmy Fleming as coach of a Chicago ghetto Little League baseball team. His sense of pride, becoming the boys' sole idol, and competition, plus their attractive teacher, motivate Conor. But the crushing loan problem rather requires leaving town. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a place where all bets are off, he's got nothing to lose. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Paramount

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

14 September 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hardball See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,386,342, 16 September 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$40,219,708, 20 January 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a true story. See more »

Goofs

When Conor and Ticky are watching the game through the window at Sluggers and talking, next shot Conor blows smoke from a half-smoked cigarette.. he wasn't smoking at the start of the scene See more »

Quotes

Raymond 'Ray Ray' Bennet 's mother: Miss Wilkes said she had a good feeling about you.
Conor O'Neill: Miss Wilkes said that?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The mayor of Chicago, school chiefs and coaches were angry about the kids in the movie using extreme language. After protests and saying it was "overly negative", the distributors decided to edit/dub all of the lines with the word "f*ck" to get a PG-13 rating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in HBO First Look: Constantine: Heaven, Hell and Beyond (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Just Heard The News
Written by: Scott Nickoley and Jamie Dunlap
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not original, but it works
22 June 2005 | by philip_vandervekenSee all my reviews

I want to start by saying that this movie was actually a pleasant surprise. Knowing that this was a movie based on a true story, made with Keanu Reeves and a lot of kid-actors in it, I honestly feared the worst. But after watching it I must say that it really wasn't all that bad.

Sure, the story is as predictable as you can get them in Hollywood. With a desperate white guy who is forced into coaching a children's sporting team from a rough black neighborhood, you already know perfectly what to expect and of course he will only keep doing his job because of a beautiful lady at first (the kids school teacher), but in the end he will learn the true value of these kids' will to win and to make something of their lives, so they can get out of the neighborhood. No the movie never gets far away from the stereotypes. But somehow it didn't bother me all that much for once.

This is probably one of the best performances I've ever seen from Reeves (except for his roles in "The Matrix" and "The Gift") and despite the fact that this movie isn't a comedy, the dramatic story is relieved with some nice humorous touches. I don't know anything about baseball and normally I don't care about movies with baseball as the subject either, but for once I kept watching.

As a conclusion I would like to say that if you are looking for an original movie, you better start looking somewhere else, but if you want to see a drama that exceeds the average Disney boundaries, you might want to give it a try. As I already said, I was pleasantly surprised by it and that's why I give this movie a 7/10.


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