42 | Chicago Reader

42

Like many Hollywood sports movies, this Jackie Robinson biopic seems to be pitched at high schoolers, but writer-director Brian Helgeland still manages a pretty absorbing account of Robinson's rookie year as the first black player in major league baseball. Chadwick Boseman is appropriately anguished as Robinson, who struggles to control his rage as he absorbs a torrent of abuse from white fans, players, and officials. But ironically, the most valuable player here is Harrison Ford, giving one of the best performances of his career as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. At 70, Ford has finally grown into his curmudgeonly persona, and he digs into the role of Rickey, reconciling the deep feeling of Christian brotherhood and naked professional ambition that motivated him to give Robinson a shot. The strong supporting cast includes Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Alan Tudyk, and John C. McGinley (as sportscaster Red Barber).

Credits

Director:

  • Brian Helgeland

Cast:

  • Chadwick Boseman
  • Harrison Ford
  • Nicole Beharie
  • Christopher Meloni
  • Ryan Merriman
  • Lucas Black
  • Andre Holland
  • Alan Tudyk
  • Hamish Linklater
  • T.R. Knight
  • John C. McGinley
  • Toby Huss
  • Max Gail
  • Brad Beyer
  • James Pickens Jr.
  • Gino Anthony Pesi
  • Brett Cullen
  • Jesse Luken
  • Jamey Holliday
  • Derek Phillips

Producers:

  • Thomas Tull
  • Dick Cook
  • Jon Jashni
  • Jason Clark

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