Depressingly, for a plot propelled by a love story, For Love of the Game sure strikes out when it comes to Billy and Jane's romance.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Filmmaking, like baseball, is a team game, and sometimes even a talented lineup produces unexceptional results.
Lawrence Van Gelder - New York Times
For Love of the Gameis designed to put a baseball-sized lump in your throat. Well before that, however, you may feel like putting a lump on Kevin Costner's head.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
The film comes across like the un-Bull Durham: Every woozy cliche that Shelton and Costner refrained from has been given pride of place here.
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
Thinking back through the movie, I cannot recall a single thing either character said that was worth hearing in its own right, apart from the requirements of the plot.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
For the first 100 minutes or so I found this hokey but serviceable; after that my watch became more meaningful than anything I could locate on-screen.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Susan Stark - Detroit News
Costner is as uneven as the storytelling itself, stone cold at moments, shimmeringly real in others.
Robert Koehler - Variety
Dean Essner - Globe and Mail
OK, Sam, maybe you believed you had to sell your soul to Hollywood. But did you have to sell it this cheap?
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
The director especially deserves credit for the verisimilitude of the baseball sequences.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
A perfect game in Yankee Stadium is no big deal these days; two have been pitched in the past 16 months. But a good baseball movie, that's hard.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Those who have even a small soft spot for baseball's soothing rhythms will be hard-pressed to resist it.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Dean Essner - Sight and Sound
Like Billy this movie is good on the field, but not so much once off it.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Memo to all involved: It's a game.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
An old-fashioned Hollywood sports story/romance.
Sarah Wenk - Common Sense Media
Costner and Preston's convincing work together go a long way in keeping the audience interested and involved.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
For Love of the Game is painless, but it's also pompous and pious about baseball in a way that doesn't mean much to a non-fan like me.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
[The] game stretches over most of the film, but any anticipated suspense is undercut by the sepia-tinted inserts charting the couple's bumpy uninvolving five-year romance from first meeting to acrimonious split(s)
Dean Essner - Time Out
Costner and company do a fine job getting you into the head of an aging sports idol at a pivotal moment in his life.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
*For Love of the Game continually pushes its luck past the breaking point.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Like Chapel, Costner believes himself to be great, even when he's slowly getting worse.
Dean Essner - Apollo Guide
At two hours-plus, it doesn't just seem long, it sometimes feels like a double rain delay.
Bob Longino - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
While For Love of the Game has much to recommend it, particularly Costner's strong, understated performance, Raimi throws too many unnecessary curves.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Jim Shelby - Palo Alto Weekly
Preston is forgettable as "this week's blonde," adding her name to a list of women wooed by this poster boy for the strong, silent type.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
[Raimi's] involvement in this grating star vehicle is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of For the Love of the Game: the Evil Dead are, presumably, turning in their grave.
Andy Richards - Sight and Sound
Costner baseball flick is great at motion, not so hot at emotion.
James Rocchi - Netflix
Instead of quitting while he's way ahead, Costner takes on For Love of the Game, a melodramatic film version of Michael Shaara's novel.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
The copious footage devoted to Billy and Jane's encounters might have been easier to sit through is there was any magic between Costner and Preston, but they're acting in two different films.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Even the most adamant purists of the game will appreciate the utter flawlessness of the choreography, which is arguably the most realistic in the history of the genre.
Francesca Dinglasan - Boxoffice Magazine
Despite a creaky moment or two, it's an entertaining star vehicle that works as both an engrossing competition movie and a poignant love story.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
This is all insidious, self-aggrandizing fantasy; an aging ballplayer's balking on a lucrative contract renewal is as likely as Sam Raimi's turning down a paycheck for a vanity production like this.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
A heart-affecting midlife drama.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Costner's third baseball film is a big sloppy wet kiss to American's favourite pastime.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Jim Chastain - Norman Transcript
The plot points are so predictable, and the love interest so impossibly off the mark that these messages may as well be scribbled on home plate and then covered with a tarp.
Dak - culturevulture.net
This is a highly complex film, with multiple flashbacks to different points in Chapel's life, but director Sam Raimi manages to hold it all together, showing us that it all comes down to just one decision.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
The perfect "compromise" movie.
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Costner and baseball: perfect together.
David N. Butterworth - rec.arts.movies.reviews
In spite of some obvious flaws in a very important area, namely character development, the emotion of the story plays pretty well. The sentimentality isn't for everybody, but if you're interested in seeing it, go for it.
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
More of an infield grounder than a home run.
Bruce Feld - Film Journal International
What is it about Kevin Costner in a baseball uniform?
Carlo Cavagna - AboutFilm.com
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
This Game is just so compelling, it's hard not to put those flaws aside and just let yourself be washed over by this movie.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Dean Essner - Reel.com
Costner should take a step back and just be happy that, thanks to For Love of the Game, his career will go into extra innings.
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
Dean Essner - Irish Times
It's really Costner's show, and he really shines. He and Preston, who appears to be channeling Meg Ryan at her froopiest, make a very appealing on-screen couple.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Feel-good tampering is rampant throughout.
Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine
Piles on the cheese and corn and honey-sap so thickly that the film, at times, seems to be in danger of being smothered to death, which would have been fine with me.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
If you love baseball--and I mean love and adore baseball--then this is your perfect date movie. If you just like baseball, like me, then spare yourself the agony.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Though uneven and occasionally sluggish, For Love of the Game is a surprisingly satisfying hybrid of an old-fashioned sports film and a contemporary date movie.
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
Watchable enough but ultimately forgettable.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Lovingly filmed by John Bailey with the twinkling glow of New York at night and with the warm colors of a baseball game, the movie is invitingly sentimental and nostalgic.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
It is a romance about a man and a woman, and it is a romance about baseball itself.
Bob Graham - San Francisco Chronicle
I'm not a baseball fan -- but I was on the edge of my seat, ready to cheer out loud during the final inning.
Susan Granger - rec.arts.movies.reviews
This is still a fly-ball, not a home run.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
The baseball story was self-contained and involving for those who do not understand or appreciate the game, and Costner's range of emotions was genuinely gripping.
Cornell & Petricelli - CinemaSense.Com
Chapel is pitching a gem, but the movie doesn't spend nearly enough time on baseball -- you find yourself glancing at your watch while Costner steps off the mound or walks in slow circles or takes his time throwing to the plate.
Edvins Beitiks - San Francisco Examiner
At over two hours in length, For Love of the Game lasts one more inning than it should. The film is an enjoyable pastime, but not a game for the ages.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
Watching Raimi's visual style and narrative verve flatten out into this pale reiteration of a middle-aged-male weepie is an exercise in modern horror.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
gradually pulls you from that slouched near-sleep position to the edge of the bleachers
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
The story is wildly uneven.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
For Love of the Game is quite a bad movie.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Cue the violins -- Kevin Costner has made another romance film.
Guy MacPherson - Apollo Guide
The outcome of the game is fairly predictable, but still quite thrilling, as all good sports movies are, and the casting of real-life announcer Vin Scully as the play-by-play man was pure genius.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Reflective, syrupy and effective adult, romantic drama which deals eloquently with a man torn between his affection towards the game of baseball (i.e. his career) and his ability to open up to a woman for whom he cares deeply (i.e. his love life).
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Even if it's an uneven, often overwrought piece of work, it's nevertheless compelling evidence that given the right role, Costner can still cut it in the majors.
Simon Braund - Empire Magazine
Costner brinda una de sus mejores actuaciones desde Mundo Perfecto
Jorge Avila Andrade - Moviola
It's a fun movie -- I recommend it for that -- but little more.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
It's hard not to admire Kevin Costner for his stanch dedication to making old-fashioned movies that defy our acidic modern world.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
A soapish weeper filled with cliches.
Bob Bloom - rec.arts.movies.reviews
I only wish Billy Chapel had been more of a complete character, and less one of those baseball icons Costner has exploited so successfully in other films. The game continues to be bery, bery good to him. It just could have been better.
Scott Renshaw - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Matt Easterbrook - Matt's Movie Reviews
For Love of the Game is an odd and ultimately unsatisfying mix of sport myth and romantic melodrama, like a desperate attempt to make a baseball films that girls can enjoy.
Sean Axmaker - Nitrate Online