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Bad News Bears

film poster
Directed by Richard Linklater
Produced by Richard Linklater
Written by Bill Lancaster
Glenn Ficarra
John Requa
Starring Billy Bob Thornton
Greg Kinnear
Marcia Gay Harden
Music by Ed Shearmur
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) July 22, 2005
Running time 111 min.
Country USA
Language English
Budget $35 million
Gross revenue $35,323,292.50

Bad News Bears is the 2005 remake of the 1976 comedy film The Bad News Bears, produced by Paramount Pictures. It is directed by Richard Linklater and stars Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, and Sammi Kane Kraft. The writing team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa were responsible for another Thornton movie, Bad Santa.



Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton) is a washed-up alcoholic minor-league baseball player who was kicked out of professional baseball for attacking an umpire. He works as an exterminator and is a crude womanizer. He coaches the Bears, a children's baseball team with poor playing skills. They play their first game and do not even make an out before he forfeits the game. Amanda Whurlitzer (Sammi Kane Kraft), a skilled pitcher, is the 12-year-old daughter of one of his ex-girlfriends. At his request, she joins the team. Kelly Leak (Jeffrey Davies), a local troublemaker, also joins the team, and the Bears start winning games. After their first victory, Buttermaker takes them to Hooters. The Bears eventually make it to the championship game. In the middle of that game, the Bears and Yankees fight. Later, Buttermaker changes the lineup, putting the benchwarmers in and taking out some of the good players. The Bears lose the game 8 to 7. After the game, Buttermaker gives them non-alcoholic beer, and they spray it all over each other. Although they did not win the championship, they have the satisfaction of trying, knowing that winning is not so important.


Critical reaction to Bad News Bears was mixed. The film holds a rating of 45% on Rotten Tomatoes[1] and a score of 65 out of 100 on Metacritic.[2]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four, praising Thornton's performance in particular, saying: "The movie is like a merger of [Thornton's] ugly drunk in Bad Santa and his football coach in Friday Night Lights, yet [he] doesn't recycle from either movie; he modulates the manic anger of the Santa and the intensity of the coach and produces a morose loser who we like better than he likes himself."[3] James Berardinelli of ReelViews also gave Bad News Bears three stars out of four, calling it "an entertaining motion picture" that "won't make fans forget the original, but it's not so feeble that it disappears into the earlier movie's shadow."[4]

Giving the film two stars out of five, Don R. Lewis of Film Threat said that it has "a few laughs" but that it "just trudges on, going through the motions of the original with no spark" and that it "suffer[s] from the unbearable, crushing weight of political correctness."[5] Paula Nechak of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the film "simply another in a long line of utterly unnecessary remakes that, having nothing new to say, clutch at crassness and dumbness,"[6] while Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said that while "the screenplay [...] makes the most of Thornton's dry, skewed humor, [...] nothing happens here that would distinguish this film from other sports movies."[7]

Differences from the first version

  • In the first film Buttermaker was a pool cleaner. He is depicted now as an exterminator and a crude womanizer, whereas that is not so clear in the 1976 original.
  • There are several new players, including Matthew Hooper, who uses a wheelchair, Prem Lahiri, and Garo Daragebrigadian.
  • The character of Ahmad Abdul-Rahim played outfield and idolized Hank Aaron in the original; in this version, his hero is Mark McGwire.
  • During the championship game in the original version the Yankees pitcher was slapped by his father after trying to hit the opposing player. After that a ball was grounded to him and he held onto it, causing an inside the park home run. In the 2005 version, he is pushed to the ground by his father, and then gives up a pitch for a home run.
  • Amanda's job in the original version was a map vendor at the side of the road. In the 2005 version, she is now a clothing vendor in a market warehouse.

Factual inaccuracies

  • Buttermaker supposedly pitched 2/3 of an inning in the Major Leagues with a lifetime earned run average (ERA) of 36.00. But, in order to pitch 2/3 of an inning with a 36.00 ERA, he would have to give up 2 and 2/3 runs, which is impossible.


  1. ^ Bad News Bears reviews, Rotten Tomatoes
  2. ^ Bad News Bears reviews, Metacritic
  3. ^ Bad News Bears review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, July 22, 2005
  4. ^ Bad News Bears review, James Berardinelli, ReelViews, 2005
  5. ^ Bad News Bears review, Don R. Lewis, Film Threat, July 24, 2005
  6. ^ Bad News Bears review, Paula Nechak, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 22, 2005
  7. ^ Bad News Bears review, Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

External links

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