Cobb
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What does a biographer do when the truth about his subject is far less pleasant than the legend? That is the moral dilemma at the heart of Cobb, which explores the lives of both baseball's premier hitter, Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones), and the sportswriter assigned to set his story down, Al Stump (Robert Wuhl). Stump arrives at the Tahoe home of the dying Cobb to write the official life story of the first man inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He finds a drunken, misanthropic, bitter racist who abuses his biographer as well as everyone else. Stump must either candycoat his subject's… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Most biopics mistakenly try to take us from cradle to grave and end up skimming the surface. The wisdom of Cobb is that writer-director Ron Shelton knows that the close study of a single day can decode a human life."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"Ty Cobb is such a towering figure in this motion picture that it's easy to overlook Al Stump -- and Robert Wuhl's feisty, witty performance in the thankless role."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"A curiously gripping amalgam of Patton, Citizen Kane and Melvin and Howard."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Stump is well-played by affable Robert Wuhl, who has the unenviable responsibility of representing the one sane man in Ty's crazy universe."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"The movie never equals the performance, but still fascinating to watch."
‑ Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs
"Unfortunately, the movie just makes Stump look like a self-important jerk, possibly a bigger jerk than Cobb, and Wuhl's affable, weightless performance doesn't help."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"[Jones] lets it all loose here. It's the performance of a lifetime: full of menace and venom, eloquence and fire, rot and pathos, crackling rawness and realism."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"To watch Tommy Lee Jones re-create the persona of the Hall of Famer in Cobb is to encounter the greatest SOB ever to come down the pike -- in or out of the domain of sports. The trek is hardly entertaining."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Cobb's accomplishments on the ball field would make for an absorbing documentary, but it's the passions and pitfalls of his private life that dominate Ron Shelton's melodramatic film."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Massively underrated."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"Cobb cuts right through the winner-take-all ethos of American athletics. It's a raw, inspired, audaciously funny, and unexpectedly moving collaboration between the writer-director Ron Shelton and Tommy Lee Jones."
‑ Michael Sragow, New Yorker
"The result, whether Cobb is wailing about greatness or ruminating about the dark circumstances around his father's death, is a performance too operatic and out of control."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"While the story of Cobb himself is a worthy one (Shelton's treatment, believe it or not, even has its similarities to Orson Welles' Citizen Kane), Shelton shortchanges the very game that made the man famous."
‑ Dan Webster, Spokesman-Review (Washington)
"Ron Shelton, whose Bull Durham and White Men Can't Jump were jokey tales of disillusionment set in the sporting world, here redefines the life of an idol with a certain honest savagery."
‑ Tom Hutchinson, Radio Times
"Director Shelton is a master at locker room drama, and helped by a towering performance of snarling egomania and drug-fuelled bitterness from Jones, he tackles the dichotomies of [Cobb] with engaging enthusiasm."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Cobb on Rotten Tomatoes