12 belabored baseball metaphors from reviews of Trouble with the Curve

Clint Eastwood's new baseball drama has inspired a full roster of critics to step up to the plate with lame figures of speech about America's pastime

Clint Eastwood
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Audiences might think that the title of Trouble with the Curve — a double-edged reference to both a problematic baseball pitch and the "curve of life" — is more than enough wordplay for one film about America's pastime. (Watch trailer below.) But judging by the metaphor-laden reviews that have greeted today's release of the Clint Eastwood baseball drama, film critics clearly feel differently. Trouble with the Curve is earning mixed reviews, but positive or negative, they have one thing in common: They're packed with more on-the-nose references to baseball than you can swing a bat at. Here, the 12 most belabored figures of speech from reviews of Trouble with the Curve:

1. "The film — minor-league work in the field of Eastwood's good Old Age Movies like Gran Torino — can't be excused for swinging at pitches a mile away." (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

2. "Trouble with the Curve pitches softballs to power hitters. It has major league players and a bush league script." (Nell Minow, BeliefNet)

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3. "The good news is that this daddy/daughter reconciliation story connects with the ball. The not-so-good: It's a blooper." (Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer)

4. "With a leathery legend like Eastwood in the game, we don't expect or want a change-up, but when the box score includes screwy scenes like the one where his character recites "You Are My Sunshine" at his dead wife's graveside, even Eastwood's rooting section will balk." (Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

5. "If the modest and moving Trouble With the Curve won't overwhelm anybody, it’s still an engaging winner, like a junk-ball pitcher who stays in the bigs on grit and heart." (Richard Corliss, TIME)

6. "While Trouble with the Curve isn't a grand slam of baseball movies, it's a solid pop fly and double that gets the job done." (Jim Judy, ScreenIt!)

7. "Trouble With the Curve is a baseball dramedy that telegraphs its pitches, an amiable, meandering character study whose big plot points hang there like the curveballs of its title. We see them coming a long time before they cross the plate." (Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service)

8. "If Moneyball was a stand-up triple, Trouble with the Curve is a ground rule double — but predictabilities aside, it's an enjoyable and heartwarming trip round the bases in its own right." (Mike Scott, The Times-Picayune)

9. "Even if it had sports smarts, Curve would be hobbled by a plot in which every development is as obvious as a hanging breaking ball from a washed-up middle reliever." (Marc Mohan, The Oregonian)

10. "Trouble with the Curve may not be the Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, but it's a fine afternoon or evening at the ballpark." (Charlie McCollum, Mercury News)

11. "It's a softball straight down the middle." (Rafer Guzman, Newsday)

12. "Director Robert Lorenz, Eastwood's longtime assistant director, wants to deliver a crowd-pleaser, and does so — assuming the crowd wants a whiffle ball. Steeerike!" (Tom Long, The Detroit News)

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