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Draft Day

Draft Day

Genders: Drama, Sport

Director: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph

Actors: Chris Berman, Dave Donaldson, Patrick St. Esprit, Chi McBride

Year: 2014
Run time: 109min
IMDB score: 7
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Draft Day

Genders: Drama, Sport

Imdb Score: 7

Runtime: 109min

Released: 11 Apr 2014

Director: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph

Actors: Chris Berman, Dave Donaldson, Patrick St. Esprit, Chi McBride

Box Office: $28.8M

Company: Summit Entertainment

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer


Review

Second Round Draft Pick is no Moneyball

6/10 Kevin Costner is no stranger to sports themed movies. The Tin Cup, Bull Durham, For the Love of the Game star has stared in five separate sports films and now rounds that number to an even six with the football themed Draft Day directed by Ghostbuster's helmer Ivan Reitman.

Taking on a role more his age (Costner is a football yard short of 60), Costner plays Sonny Weaver Jr., the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. The action picks on NFL Draft Day, the day in which 200+ young budding stars get drafted by big league teams in a huge televised event taking place in New York City.

Sonny's Cleveland team was a lowly 6-10 the season before – largely due to the injury to their star quarterback. The Browns are given the 7th round draft pick on draft day, but pressures from Brown's team owner (Frank Langella) and an aggressive offer from the Seattle Seahawks to swap the number 1 pick for future options leave Sonny with only hours to think of both his legacy and what is best for the city's revered team.

The film all takes place within the 24 hours on draft day and a running clock that appears a handful of times during the film reminds us that the time is ticking and decisions need to be made. Impeding such forward thinking are the films distractions which come in the form of two female characters with ties to Sonny. Jennifer Garner plays Ali, the love interest of Sonny and the lawyer and number cruncher who is responsible for keeping the Browns under the NFL salary cap. With the film only a few minutes aged, we learn that Ali is pregnant with Sonny's baby – a subplot that was hardly necessary to keep things moving. Also complicating things is Sonny's mother played by Ellen Burstyn. Sonny's father was a former Cleveland Brown's coach (fired by Sonny Jr. the year previous) and has recently passed away. Sonny's mother for reasons that were hard to understand considering she lived a life with football at the core of the family, decides that draft day is the day in which she wants Sonny to spend some time completing his father's last wishes as identified in his will.

Both female stories go nowhere and could easily have ended up on the cutting room floor. Instead, in a weak attempt to connect with a female audience, the two characters are awarded ample screen time to emote and distract Sonny on what is arguably the most difficult and focused day of his career.

When Sonny is not tripping over the estrogen pitfalls, he is struggling with his coach (Dennis Leary) and working the phones discussing trade possibilities with Jacksonville, Buffalo and Kansas City in an attempt to save the city the embarrassment of selling the golden goose for a few magic beans.

It is when Sonny is working his draft magic that the movie is at its best. His calls to and from potential and existing players had an authentic feel and the chaos of draft day is captured with tense complexity and legacy importance.

Draft Day wants to be football's answer to baseball's Moneyball. But the Aaron Sorkin written baseball film starring Brad Pitt had rocket-fire dialogue that catapulted the film to an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. Draft Day instead is fluff, but it's good fluff. Costner consistently makes every film to which he is involved better than it should be and Reitman is smart to give appropriate cameos (Roger Goodall, Bernie Kozar, Jim Brown), he keeps the spotlight on his star heaving the film on Costner's shoulders in an attempt to score a box office touchdown.

Draft Day was a fun distraction. Browns fans will likely enjoy a fantasy film of their team making right decisions (the Browns have not made the NFL playoffs since 2002), and football fans should find valued entertainment in the behind the scenes peak into the day of a General Manager. But film fans hoping for a Moneyball or something smarter than Draft Day's trailers have revealed should look elsewhere.

one year ago

Great movie for all sports fans.

10/10 I really enjoyed Draft Day. Yes I am female and yes I love sports especially football but this is a movie anyone can enjoy. It made me think of the movie Moneyball starring Brad Pitt. A very interesting look at the madness, pressure and inner turmoil that one man has to endure in performing his duty of putting a team together. Kevin Costner gives an outstanding performance as Sonny, Jennifer Garner gives a top performance as well. This movie keeps you engaged the whole time, not for a moment did I feel it dragged or got boring. Some of the backdrop scenes of various cities and stadiums just takes your breath away, very much suited for the big screen, a must see in the theater.

one year ago

Me and my movie theatre-working friend enjoyed this depiction of an NFL Draft Day on film

7/10 Just watched this with my movie theatre-working friend. We both enjoyed this story of a general manager of the Cleveland Browns who is played by Kevin Costner in trying to pick the right trades on the day of the NFL draft picks while also dealing with a pregnant associate (Jennifer Garner) he's in a relationship with, a coach who doesn't always agree with his choices (Dennis Leary), and a late father who was the previous coach that he had to fire beforehand due to age. I'll stop there and say I found much that was pretty funny and occasionally touching stuff about some of the players being considered. And director Ivan Reitman was pretty creative with some of the wipes involved in many scene transitions. So on that note, Draft Day is worth a look.

one year ago

Like NFL Draft Day itself, it starts slow but the payoff works

7/10 Sports films typically have a love/hate relationship with viewers - most never finding that honest middle ground that satisfies everyone's wants and desires. On one hand, you have the preposterous comedies that cap seriousness, sacrificing dramatic acting in exchange for a series of cheap laughs and feel-good moments, like Rookie of the Year, The Waterboy, and Caddyshack. Then, there's the beloved and devote dramas that live on in film infamy, which includes but is not limited to Rocky, The Natural, and Raging Bull. Finally, you have Kevin Costner's greatest hits, like Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and For the Love of the Game. And, even though Kevin Costner has left the baseball diamond and thrown his last fastball, he clearly has found a memorable position as the GM of an NFL franchise in Draft Day.

The only real complaint about this film is that it doesn't incorporate actual NFL players - at least not in the manner that Moneyball involved them. Players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are still stars in the Draft Day universe, however, the Cleveland Browns are a team compiled of fictional players - which probably isn't the worst thing since the Browns severely lack star-power now that the former face of their franchise, Trent Richardson, is no longer on the team. However, this is a miniscule problem in the long run, and the plot progression of the fictional players is allotted the proper time to plant their seeds of worth.

Overall, Draft Day takes full advantage of telling an engaging behind-the-scenes tale using the world's most popular league as a vehicle. From the film's trailers, the film might appear to be one giant commercial for the NFL, but thankfully it turns out to be a well-scripted, charming experience. Draft Day is a fun-loving popcorn flick through and through, but it's also exactly the kind of perfectly balanced story that draws people to the movies, incorporating just enough drama, subtly placing humor in stressful situations, and fulfilling its promise to reveal a compelling mystery that will keep everyone on their toes. For anyone that loves football or is interested in the power-play politics that that place behind the proverbial curtain, you'll have an absolute amazing time watching this feature.

one year ago

Costner's sports movie magic is back & this movie did the impossible. It made you root for a sports executive. I loved it!

8/10 "No one can stop a ticking clock, the great ones always find a way to slow it down." Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) is the GM of the Cleveland Browns and is getting ready for today's NFL draft. He isn't in good graces with the Brown's fans but that all changes when he makes a trade for the #1 pick. With pressure from the owner, his new head coach and his mother, Sonny isn't sure if what he wants is the same as what everyone else wants. His choices not only affect his job but everyone around him as well. I am a sucker for sports movies and I really like Kevin Costner so I was really looking forward to seeing this. Almost right away I was sucked in and enjoyed myself the entire time. This is very much like Moneyball so if you liked that movie you will like this as well. Costner is a perfect choice and there is just something about him and sports movies that is perfect. The movie is about the decisions people make when adding a player to their team, it may not seem like it but its exciting and keeps you guessing and wondering the entire time. You really root for Costner the entire time and want him to succeed. Again, it may be because I am a huge sports fan but I loved this movie and I highly recommend this. Overall, if you liked Moneyball you will love this one. I give this an A.

one year ago