Reviewer Says ‘Home Run’ Deserves a Look, Gives 3 Out of 4 Stars

By Brandon Cox

Home RunToday marks the release of the movie, Home Run, the touching tale of a baseball player who has seen success on the diamond and failure in his personal life due to his difficult family experiences and his addiction to alcohol. We love the movie because of its message of hope and its open reference to Celebrate Recovery, a ministry born in the hearts of John Baker and Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. Celebrate Recovery becomes the mechanism of change in all-star player Cory Brand’s life.

Sean O’Connell, a reviewer with the secular publication, The Washington Post, gave the movie three out of four stars and challenges readers to give it a look. O’Connell observes, “What might have been a woeful by-the-numbers, come-from-behind story benefits from welcome doses of sentimentality and rustic flavor.” And further…

Before the athlete is forced to face the music for his destructive on-field actions, Brand’s savvy agent, Helene (Vivica A. Fox), comes up with a public relations solution. She enrolls her high-profile client in an off-the-beaten-path 12-step program in his home town near Tulsa, where he agrees to coach the underachieving Little League squad and possibly mend fences with his equally damaged younger brother (James Devoti)…

There are religious undertones to “Home Run” as Brand labors through his rehabilitation, but Boyd doesn’t succumb to the pressure of clubbing his audience over the head with a metaphorical Louisville Slugger. The director trusts his cast to convey the message. They rise to the occasion…

Those seeking riveting baseball sequences might leave frustrated. Boyd stocks his sports scenes with the usual roster of on-field clichés, as the down-on-their-luck Bulldogs start winning under Brand’s guidance and our hero reconnects with an old flame (Dorian Brown), who conveniently co-coaches the squad.

Instead, “Home Run” is at its most unflinching — and therefore, absorbing — when it’s off the diamond. The strongest scenes take place in dingy hotel rooms, on a deserted farm or in the rehab sessions where Brand and his fellow addicts open their hearts in search of forgiveness.

It’s during these moments that “Home Run” swings for the fences, and often connects.

Read Sean’s entire review at The Washington Post, and get your tickets to go see Home Run, which apparently hits it out of the park.

Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox has been a Pastor for fifteen years and is currently planting a church in northwest Arkansas, a Saddleback-sponsored church. He also serves as Editor of and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox, and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders. He's also the author of Rewired: Using Technology to Share God's Love.