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Million Dollar Arm

By CURTIS WOLOSCHUK
This supposedly inspirational sports flick functions better as a sobering portrait of the grim fate that awaits filmmakers shut out from the endangered world of midbudget indies. Respected for Lars and the Real Girl and The Visitor, director Craig Gillespie and writer Tom McCarthy’s greatest accomplishment here is keeping things relatively inoffensive despite a reliance on the shamelessly broad humor that results when culture clashes on screen. (Oh, the high jinks that nearly ensue when two impoverished Indian kids visit a Hollywood mansion!) Staring down financial ruin, sports agent J.B. (Mad Men's Jon Hamm, getting off lightly with only Disney-caliber issues to deal with here) travels to India, where—with a battery of montages—he identifies two cricketers with the potential to transition to baseball…and recruit a billion new fans in the process. Returning to L.A. with his prize guinea pigs, J.B. quickly realizes he's facing a wicked learning curve of his own. Could it be that, as a father figure, he makes Don Draper look like Dad of the Year? That his tenant (Lake Bell) isn't that bad-looking if he lowers his standards? That “having fun” is all that matters? We might be more inclined to buy what this insipid film is selling if anyone on screen could manage anything more than a forced smile.

 
  • Genres: Docudrama
  • Running Time: 123 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, May 16, 2014
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG [ Mild Language, Some Suggestive Content ]
  • Critic's Score: C
  • Starring: Jon Hamm [JB Bernstein], Aasif Mandvi [Ash Vasudevan], Bill Paxton [Tom House], Suraj Sharma [Rinku], Lake Bell [Brenda], Madhur Mittal [Dinesh], Pitobash [Amit], Alan Arkin [Ray Poitevint], Bar Paly [Lisette], Allyn Rachel [Theresa], Tzi Ma [Chang], Al Sapienza [Pete]
  • Directed by: Craig Gillespie [Director], Tom McCarthy [Screenwriter], Mark Ciardi [Producer], Gordon Gray [Producer], Joe Roth [Producer], Palak Patel [Executive Producer], Kevin Halloran [Executive Producer], Bill Simmons [Executive Producer], Connor Schell [Executive Producer], Gyula Pados [Cinematographer], Barry Robison [Production Design], Tatiana Riegel [Film Editor], A.R. Rahman [Original Music], Kirston Mann [Costume Designer], Jeremy Woolsey [Art Director], Jeanette Scott [Set Decoration], Sheila Jaffe [Casting], Seher Latif [Casting]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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