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The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) What have the makers of The Greatest Game Ever Played done with Shia LaBeouf, that loose, off-kilter kid from Holes and Constantine ? As Francis… 2005-09-30 PG PT120M Drama Shia LaBeouf Michael Weaver Buena Vista Pictures
Movie Review

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

MPAA Rating: PG

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Shia LaBeouf, The Greatest Game Ever Played | FORE-PLAYING THROUGH Sadly, it doesn't come close to the greatest movie ever made
Image credit: The Greatest Game Ever Played: Jonathan Wenk
FORE-PLAYING THROUGH Sadly, it doesn't come close to the greatest movie ever made
EW's GRADE
C-

Details Release Date: Sep 30, 2005; Rated: PG; Length: 120 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Shia LaBeouf and Michael Weaver; Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

What have the makers of The Greatest Game Ever Played done with Shia LaBeouf, that loose, off-kilter kid from Holes and Constantine? As Francis Ouimet, the true-life 20-year-old ''peasant'' caddy who swatted against the blue bloods at the 1913 U.S. Open, LaBeouf trods too solemnly through this puttering Disney sand trap, frowning down at an awful lot of golf balls but rarely cracking a smile for us folks in the gallery. At the same time, the movie is so hungry for love that the orchestra shrieks, caps fly into the air, and the slo-mo oozes in when the lad merely forces a final play-off...and there's still 20 minutes to go! (At the end-end, grown men cry into their giant mustaches, a soft piano reprises the orchestral thunder, and a peculiar last shot pays homage to that sports classic Casablanca.) Disney evokes Miracle and The Rookie in its marketing, but this is Nine-Iron Will, and the big postgame question is why director Bill Paxton decided to follow up his helming debut, the 2002 ax-murder drama Frailty, with an inert family golf movie.

Originally posted Sep 28, 2005 Published in issue #843 Oct 07, 2005 Order article reprints