This small movie is about the
relationship between a grumpy, growling, aging baseball scout for the Atlanta
Braves, Gus (Clint Eastwood), and his lawyer-daughter Mickey (Amy Adams). When
Gus’ friend Pete (John Goodman) alerts Mickey to Gus’ eyesight problems, she
joins her dad to scout players in North
Carolina, jeopardizing her promotion to partner at
her law firm.
Father and daughter spar, but they love each other—and the game—even
though Mickey, named for Mickey Mantle, has abandonment issues. When Mickey was
6, her mother died, and Gus sent her to live with relatives for a year and then
to boarding school.
One of Gus’ protégés, Johnny (Justin Timberlake), is
retired because of injuries and is now a scout for the Boston Red Sox. He
arrives at the local ballpark because all the teams are looking at a promising
player. Johnny finds himself attracted to Mickey, who turns out to be a pretty
good scout herself.
Director Robert Lorenz has been a crew member on several of
Eastwood’s films, and first-time writer Randy Brown keeps the story
uncomplicated. The plot is predictable because some of the camera shots and
closeups signal what’s going to happen. Even so, the film hums along and never
tries to be more than it is.
A-3, PG-13 ■ Mild language, some