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Hardball | 2001 | PG-13 | - 2.6.6

Based upon the book "Hardball: A Season in the Projects" by Daniel Coyle, it concerns a compulsive gambler (Keanu Reeves) who's forced to coach an inner-city little league baseball team as payment for a debt. The experience and the kids on the team make him take a hard look at his life and he becomes a much-improved person. Also with Diane Lane, Michael Jordan, D.B. Sweeney and John Hawkes. [1:55]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man tries to flirt with a woman and tries to get a date, and a man and woman flirt a couple of times. A man is bare-chested with a towel wrapped around his waist. A group of boys take off their shirts to change into uniforms. A group of boys dance with thrusting hips and slapping their buttocks. A woman kisses and hugs a man for luck.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A boy is shot in the chest and we see a small bloody hole in his shirt as he lies dead. A gunfight breaks out between men in a car and men in an apartment building. A man punches a car window cutting his hand (we see his hand covered with blood), and head-butts a bar window breaking the glass and cutting his head (we see blood on his forehead) and he passes out, landing hard on the ground. Two young men jump a boy, knock him down, punch and kick him and steal his backpack. Two men beat up a man with a punch in the face and a punch in the stomach. Two men barge into a man's apartment; one wields a baseball bat, and they threaten him with violence. A man swings a bat, almost hitting a man in the head, but misses and the result is a hole in the wall. A woman opens a door knocking a man in the head. A group of boys fight on a baseball field a few times (with insults and shoving), a group of boys fight pretending to do karate and two boys demonstrate their karate techniques. A man pushes people out of the way as he tries to escape some thugs who are after him. A young boy is terrified trying to get home and having to walk through a group of people who are doing drugs and seem threatening, and he passes a car in flames. A man is chased down an alley by two thugs bent on hurting him. There are discussions about how violent life is in the projects and the measures people need to take to try to stay alive (staying below their windows while in their homes to avoid bullets, not being out after dark, etc.). A man threatens a man with a bat, a man grabs a man by the shoulders and yells at him, a man yells at and insults a woman, and a woman threatens a man. A boy is shown in a hospital bed, and a boy has an asthma attack. A man is hit in the head by a baseball, a boy is hit in the stomach with a baseball, and a coach yells at his team of boys. A boy reads a story about beating up "banditos."


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LANGUAGE 6 - 1 F-word, 2 obscene hand gestures, 42 scatological terms, 4 sexual references (from boys), 24 anatomical terms, 43 mild obscenities, 16 religious exclamations, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man is shown drinking alcohol frequently, and he talks about his father being an abusive drunk.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Inner-city and urban life, bookies and gambling, disappointment, being a loser, taking risks, quitting, self-destructive behavior, obsessive behavior.

MESSAGE - The most important thing to do in life is to participate in the community. The joy of a young person can save a lost soul.

(Note: A man is an obsessive gambler.)

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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