The Babe
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John Goodman is cast as the Sultan of Swat, whose excesses -- especially drinking -- and private demons can (in this context) be excused in view of his genuine love of baseball. The facts never get in the way of a good story for screenwriter John Fusco; we're even offered the umpteenth rehash of "Little Johnny", the largely fanciful tale of the invalid boy who promises to get well if Babe hits him a homer (as in Pride of the Yankees, the cured Johnny makes return a appearance as grownup). The most amusing fabrication is the casting of narrow James Cromwell as the Babe's… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's not a bad movie. But its sentiments are faster than its reflexes. By the time it tries to uncoil a home-run swing, the ball has already vanished."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times
"An honestly unheroic view of a hero, with a grand-slam performance by John Goodman."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Ninth-inning attempts to probe the darker side of Ruth's life and his shabby treatment at the hands of baseball during his declining years are no more compelling than the rest of this by-the-numbers bio."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"John Goodman perfectly captures the hero's commitment, enthusiasm, insecurity and weaknesses, and helps distract from the fact that the film is episodic, not cinematic."
‑ John Marriott, Radio Times
"Goodman inhabits the large role with much vigour and a stupid hairdo, choffing down the food, spoiling the kids in his audience and coming on to the ladies with the gusto of a slob."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Goodman should have been perfect for the title role: like Ruth, he's a regular Joe of hugely irregular proportions in appetite and accomplishment. Too bad Hiller and Fusco cut him down to size."
‑ Michael Sragow, New Yorker
"What could have been the Raging Bull of baseball movies becomes the nibble of a mouse on the legend of a giant."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"While Goodman renders a portrait of Babe Ruth that in some ways is bigger than the Bambino himself, the film fails to arouse the imagination of its audience the way the ballplayer thrilled his more than 60 years ago."
‑ Gordon Edes, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Goodman was born to play this role, but John Fusco was not born to write this screenplay, and Arthur Hiller was not born to direct this movie."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"John Goodman's performance deserves to be seen. I just wish I could say that for the rest of the movie."
‑ Austin Kennedy, Film Geek Central
"It doesn`t matter that these things really happened, because the thin staging and sentimental exaggeration make them seem extremely phony in any case."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"Thanks to Goodman and the great Ruth mystique, The Babe does maintain a median level of entertainment. But somehow you want a movie about a fellow this big-natured and mythic to hit a home run. What we have here is more of a solid base hit."
‑ Misha Berson, Seattle Times
"It's a movie with a heart as big as the Babe's and a story line as untidy as his eating binges."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"Hiller and Wexler compliment Goodman's performance by visually conveying the underside of the baseball milieu, depicting the behind-the-scenes machinations with the dark-toned glow of the Inferno."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The Babe is an entertaining and plausible depiction of one of America's greatest legends."
‑ Mike Barkacs, Bullz-Eye.com
More reviews for The Babe on Rotten Tomatoes