Director: Brian Robbins
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane, John Hawkes

The kid actors in Hardball, a baseball movie aimed at families but connecting with barely anyone, deserve our deepest sympathy. Unbeknownst to them, their desires to break into acting led them to sign on to a brutally formulaic and, even worse, totally boring misfire directed by a king of cinematic blanks, Brian Robbins, the hack behind some of Eddie Murphy’s most painful comedic offerings (Norbit, for instance). But even worse, the upstart actors were saddled with carrying Hardball’s dramatic weight in the presence of a miscast Keanu Reeves. The only things his white ass can save are speeding buses and critics’ efforts in writing freshly worded compliments.

Typically wooden, Reeves plays a gambler who turns to coaching an inner-city Little League team as a means to paying off a debt. In every scene, his young co-stars out-act their older “esteemed” cast mate; the kids all look like they’re having a blast, but Reeves, with his signature robot-in-human-form charisma, drifts through Hardball like a lobotomized surfer lost in the projects.