(1988)

Critic Reviews

71

Metascore

Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
For Mr. Sayles, whose idealism has never been more affecting or apparent than it is in this story of boyish enthusiasm gone bad in an all too grown-up world, Eight Men Out represents a home run.
90
As he spins his mesmerizing story of the fixing of the 1919 World Series, John Sayles moves to a new level of dexterity as a writer-director.
80
Empire
For anyone who appreciates artistic integrity and is interested in genuinely independent films, the prolific and highly personal work of John Sayles is essential viewing.
80
Detailed and memorable, with attention given to the many personalities and agendas involved, but while it finds sympathy for the men who feel pushed to cheat for money, it offers just as much sympathy for the fans who love the sport, and can’t figure out why their beloved players would betray them.
80
Perhaps the saddest chapter in the annals of professional American sports is recounted in absorbing fashion in Eight Men Out.
80
The film is sympathetic to the underpaid players, but doesn’t shirk away from their crime. Cusack is particularly good as the player whose faith in his friends and baseball was destroyed while his life was torn asunder by circumstance.
70
Time Out London
Given the inevitably knotty plotting, the message is oddly unrevealing, although the film features more than enough intelligently, wittily scripted moments to remain a fascinating insight into a crucial episode in the souring of that old American Dream.
60
Writer-director Sayles has fashioned a convincing account of the scandal, underlaid with an unconventional (by Hollywood standards) workers-vs.-owners critique.
50
Eight Men Out is an oddly unfocused movie made of earth tones, sidelong glances and eliptic conversations. It tells the story of how the stars of the 1919 Chicago White Sox team took payoffs from gamblers to throw the World Series, but if you are not already familiar with that story you’re unlikely to understand it after seeing this film.
50
Baseball fans might find this marginally absorbing; for anyone else it's as conscientious and stylistically pedestrian as director John Sayles's other films, and a mite overlong to boot.

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