Hardball

Rated NR

Two down, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, and for a relief pitcher they send in writer John Gatins to retire the side. Bad move. Keanu Reeves stars as a compulsive gambler deep in debt who is reluctantly hired to coach Little League baseball to a bunch of trash-talking, delinquent inner-city kids. But after an eye-opening crash course in Crime 101 and an added incentive of romance with an innocent schoolteacher (Diane Lane), the makeshift coach cares less about the money and more about being a role model for the neglected youths raised around crack houses and gang bangers. This adaptation of Daniel Coyle's novel lacks the creativity and character development needed for this drama to win the game; however, the charismatic kids and the film's inspiring intentions enable it to squeeze by with a tie.

Film Credits

Director: Brian Robbins

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane and John Hawkes

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