Million Dollar Arm - A Review

I realize that any movie review is completely subjective to the reviewers taste. My view on this, however, is that if you've been reading my blog long enough, you know the type of person I am and so you'll get a better perspective of where I'm coming from when I talk about the movies I have seen.

Today I'm going to tell you about Disney Pictures' Million Dollar Arm, starring Jon Hamm. 

I could just start with, "OMG! You guys! You have to see this film! You. Will. Love!" Which is what I say to every single person I talk to about it, but that's not important right now.

I'll try to put on my unbiased opinion-giver hat...

It's based on the true story of sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) who, in a last ditch effort to save his business, concocts a scheme to find baseball's next great pitching India.

He finds a couple of Indian boys who can throw a fastball, but who have no idea about playing baseball. He hopes to have them trained and ready for a major league tryout in less than a year. The odds are obviously against them from the start. 

The fish-out-of-water angle is shown from both sides: JB in India and the boys when they come to America.

Jon Hamm as JB Bernstein

The movie tells this story perfectly. You feel JB's desperation. You empathize with him - his frustration, his emotion - while still being a little mad at him for being such a jerk. You want JB to succeed, because you get caught up in the story right away. 

You fall in love with the Indian boys, Rinku and Dinesh (played by Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal). You experience their wide-eyed fascination with life in the states. You take turns feeling like the outsider in the opposite cultures. Again, beautifully done.

This film takes us not just to the sights and sounds of India, but it's also full of emotion, comedy, and sympathy. 


I'll tell you right now that every character plays their supporting role beautifully. The story pulls you in immediately and has you rooting for the boys and for JB. 

Lake Bell as JB's neighbor, Brenda is funny, independent, and wise. Characteristics that JB doesn't necessarily find attractive at first. She's a strong, smart, funny, sexy female lead in a family film and she does it effortlessly.

My very favorite character is Amit, JB's right hand über eager, die-hard baseball fan translator. Played by Indian actor, Pitobash with just the right amount of earnestness and humility. He is the comedy relief and manages to steal every scene he's in. He also manages to give the film some of its most poignant moments.

So now that I've given you some of the high points, let me just say that it's a wonderful, must-see, family-friendly movie. It doesn't matter whether you're a baseball fan or not. The themes of the film are about connecting, working hard, and seeing your dreams come true. 

Full disclosure: I've seen this film 3 times now. I love it that much. You'll understand as soon as you see it - which you MUST! 

Also, "OMG! You guys! You have to see this film! You. Will. Love!"


Million Dollar Arm opens in theaters everywhere Today, May 16, 2014.