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Bull Durham Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Though his film is like no other baseball movie, it may remind you of Paul Newman's hockey comedy Slap Shot: a knowing look at sport's underbelly - punctuated by jelly-belly laughs. [15 June 1988]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Time Richard Corliss

    Shelton has written the wittiest, busiest screenplay since Moonstruck, and his three stars do their very best screen work. [20 June 1988]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    Successfully avoids the grandiose mythmaking that has been the bane of the baseball movie from ''Pride of the Yankees'' to ''The Natural.'' Rather than a vapid national epic, it is a warm, droll, deftly cracked romantic comedy. [15 June 1988]

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A treasure of a movie because it knows so much about baseball and so little about love.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Sheila Benson

    It's just that when a movie is this close, with so much of the sports flavor (co-producer Thom Mount is co-owner of the real Durham Bulls), you like to see it perfect. [15 June 1988]

  • See all Bull Durham reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Winning but mature comedy about sex and baseball.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are many explicit discussions of sexuality in this film. Susan Sarandon's character spends a great deal of screen time outlining her philosophy on sexuality, especially about the relationship between sex and baseball. There are a few scenes of simulated sex with a little nudity. Alcohol, lots of strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and "p---y"), bar fights, and a marijuana reference are also onscreen.

  • Families can talk about where sex fits into our culture and our personal lives. What are the characters' philosophies about sex? What messages about sex have you learned from your families? How does the media portray sex?
  • Talk about beliefs. What do you believe in? What's important to you? What guides you through life and helps you make decisions?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Embrace all you meet, because there is something to be learned from each person you encounter. Also, there are multiple ways to look at every situation.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The leading male and female roles in this movie are multifaceted. Annie is smart, giving, thoughtful, and comfortable with her sexuality. She is extremely well-read and teaches her lovers about poetry and metaphysics. Crash is Annie's perfect match. He has learned from his life experiences and knows exactly what he wants. He too is smart, generous, and level-headed. Crash thoughtfully comes down from the Major Leagues to help train and teach a promising rookie maturity and professionalism.  

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: There are two fist fights between the rookie pitcher and the catcher; however, they are short and there is no bloodshed. Lots of yelling.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The movie's plot compares sex to baseball. The film is chock-full of sex, some nudity, and frank sexual discussions.

  • language false5

    Language: Very strong language.  The word "f--k" occurs over 10 times in the first 20 minutes of the movie.  Also, "son of a bitch," "p---y," "c--k," and "s--t" are frequent. 

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: The players drink Miller Light and Jim Beam. 

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The coaches chew tobacco, Annie smokes marijuana, and the players drink alcohol.