This movie is about the true story of the first African-American baseball player to make it to the major leagues. We follow the journey and struggles of Jackie Robinson as he is recruited from the Negro League’s Kansas City Monarchs to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers’ minor league affiliate in Montreal. He endures many challenges and frequent criticism from others as he tries to make it to the major leagues, but remains tough in the face of adversity and never gives up.
What I liked
All around I thought this was a pretty great film. The movie did a great job of portraying the emotions that went through the various characters as they had to deal with this new situation. The actors were fantastic, especially Chadwick Boseman (Jackie Robinson) and Harrison Ford (Branch Rickey). I also enjoyed seeing the personal side of Jackie Robinson and not just the baseball side of him. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Robinson is being brutally harassed by the Phillies manager and walks into the hallway between the dugout and inside of the stadium and just smashes his bat and yells over and over again. You could just feel the frustration that he felt in that moment, and it was one of the more emotional scenes in the movie. There was also the occasional humor here and there to lighten up the film a bit. I also liked this film simply because, as a baseball fan, I enjoyed watching the portrayal of a historic and important moment in baseball history. I thought it was realistic and did justice to the story of Jackie Robinson.
What I didn’t like
One or two scenes in the movie were a little bit more dramatic than they needed to be. I’m also not sure quite how accurate some of the baseball part of it was. For example, there was a scene where Robinson was playing in a minor league game and he got walked on four pitches, stole second, stole third, and then the pitcher drops the ball to bring him home on a balk. I was also a little surprised how Jackie Robinson was almost taunting opposing pitchers on the base paths, that seems rather bold for a rookie who was the first black player in professional baseball. The only other thing that annoyed me was the constant use of the n-word, but I understand it was necessary in order to make the movie realistic.
This movie has a 7.6/10 on IMDB, a 76% from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 81% from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes.
Overall, I would say this a great movie. It did an excellent job of integrating the challenges of baseball as well as the personal challenges of Jackie Robinson. I give this movie a 4.5/5.
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