‘Draft Day’ Movie Review: Kevin Costner strikes out with this football bomb

Kevin Costner is now so far from Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, that associating him with a sports film, let alone a good one, seems almost impossible.

Draft Day is so uninteresting, Tin Cup looks like an Oscar candidate.

Sonny (Kevin Costner), the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, struggles to get the number one draft pick for his failing franchise…and Sonny NEEDS to turn his team around to be winners. Football fanatics may enjoy the tedious efforts at drama here: will he get the pick, will some steal it away, should he trade?

Personally, it was more fun to catch cameos by Jim Brown, Bernie Kosar or the real-life Browns CEO Joe Banner than it was to endure the “hype” and “excitement” of draft day. (NOTE: Banner is now leaving the Browns organization, BBJ The Dispatch)

Just to reiterate, this Moneyball ripoff/wannabe just can’t find any footing and the first half is boring.

If we add-in the distracting romantic subplot between Costner and Garner (yes, it seems unlikely onscreen as well)  mixed with cliche family drama, Draft Day becomes another embarassment for the Browns franchise.

Smallville star Tom Welling is sadly in just a couple of scenes, Sam Elliott gets one scene as the head coach of Wisconsin, Chadwick Boseman is fine, but does not enough screen time. This leaves only Denis Leary as a real highlight -he’s a John Gruden inspired character, so it’s hardly acting for Leary.

Opening in the Spring raises more eyebrows. Football obsessed America would seem more likely to turn out in September as the NFL kicks off another season.

Draft Day gets 1 1/2 stars out of five

Fans of the Browns and the folks who love watching the NFL Draft like a contact sport will get more out of the film, but will have to survive the first 2/3 of the film – add a star.

Draft Day arrives in theaters April 11, 2014.

Draft_Day_Kevin Costner poster

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Note: Sam Elliott was the Coach of Wisconsin, an early in the original draft, see comment from reader below – BBJ, The Dispatch


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 23 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. AnonymousAndy says:

    The Browns owner wearing tiny sunglasses the entire film, taking credit for doing nothing, standing 20 feet away putting hand out to shake a hand as if he’s so important you must come to him if you want daddy’s approval ruined the movie for me. “Defense doesn’t make a splash” is a joke in itself. A big joke. Making Seattle look like cutthroat A-Holes was atrocious, fans wanting his head was a major dramatization and absolutely false. Seattle is not Oakland… A No.1 Pick QB being a big fat baby with Puff Diggity Dizzaddy Sean Combs for an agent was pathetic as well. I can go on forever. But the icing on the cake is Sonny getting all his picks back plus a PR and all 3 guys he originally wanted all on accident was just too much. Oh and when his mom came to fulfill his dads last wishes he refused to go on the field and speak while spreading ashes because he doesn’t have the time, and a terrible inconvenience. Yet his girlfriend says lets get some air, leading them to the exact field he didn’t have time for spreading ashes prior to going on the field for some air. Only to see his entire staff walking with his mom. All he had to do was walk 150 feet, speak some Gaelic and be done. All while getting some air. Maybe I didn’t understand the back story because there wasn’t any. Other than he fired his dad at his moms behest. This movie was meh..

  2. Chris says:

    I saw it and agree it was not very exciting. The final little twist at the end was predictable from the beginning. Just one thing, Sam Elliot played the coach of the University of Wisconsin, not Nebraska. We, Badgers, don’t like to be associated with Cornhuskers…

    • Your Name... says:

      “Sam Elliot played the coach of the University of Wisconsin, not Nebraska. We, Badgers, don’t like to be associated with Cornhuskers…”


  3. John says:

    I saw the movie yesterday, and if anything I am more harsh in my review than what is written here. Lazy writing always drive me bonkers, and there are several instances; for just one, I’m giving away no spoilers if I say that a trade like the one that launches the story here makes no sense if the team isn’t 100% certain who they are about to draft, especially when the decision is only hours away.

    I’m all for willing suspension of disbelief but you have to reel me in with some unsuspended reality to ground it first. I’d almost rather watch Hunger Games; almost, I said.

  4. Get a clue. says:

    Bill, you’re a complete moron!

  5. Robert says:

    I saw it at an advanced screening. Thoroughly enjoyed it as did the rest of the audience. Lots of laughs. Costner was Believable as a GM who knows if he screws this up, he is gone. Does he follow his convictions or go with public sentiment? The NFL Draft used to be in April but got bumped back to May this year. Still, there is plenty of draft buzz daily. Saying this is poor timing to release this movie is like saying Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer shouldn’t be released in December.

  6. Don't have to give it says:

    Actually considering the draft is in may and the movie comes out mid April it’s the perfect time to release this movie. Also have someone read over your work man the grammar is sad

  7. I like commenting anonymously says:

    Ha the comments like “it’s the perfect time to launch the movie when theres no nfl to watch” are why i can’t stand stuff like this. I can’t believe people think REAL LIFE football doesn’t get enough coverage so there needs to be FICTIONAL football in the offseason, ESPN already devotes 2 hours to coverage of NFL everyday (NFL Live and NFL Insiders) not including the coverage of nothing stories on sportcenter and what not, who cares. Honestly the product is not worth the amount of bull***t and hype that goes into it, its freaking disgusting.

  8. Joey says:

    I actually saw this tonight and really enjoyed it. I think it’s only really for NFL fans but you can tell the movie gets what the draw is with the NFL. All the little Hollywood twists aren’t terrible but they are a bit silly. At least in the end you do feel something, even if only as a fan.

    One of the best football movies I’ve ever seen, even though they didn’t play football. I would watch a movie with these characters as a Browns team during the regular season. Like Major League but a bit more serious or something.

    • Bill says:

      I Saw it, I;m a real football fan, and it SUCKED. One of the worst films I’ve ever seen. The review above is right on.

  9. Matt says:

    The movie’s going to be great. The people at the global dispatch wish they could have as much talent as Costner, Reitman, Garner and everyone else in this movie

  10. Grace says:

    Totally agree with you Dan Morgan that it’s the perfect time to launch the movie, Draft. Despite the critique, I plan to see it anyway. Kevin Costner was on NFL Network last night, and he said he likes how Johnny Manziel plays.

  11. kevin says:

    I actually really liked it and didn’t find it boring at all. It’s funny, the entire theater where I watched burst out into applause at the end, so I don’t think most people agree with you! It should do well at the box office.

  12. Dan Morgan says:

    The author must have no idea the nfl draft is coming up. This is the perfect time to be releasing this movie.

  13. Alan Bresson says:

    Born 40 miles from Cleveland in the 40’s..My dad coached against Paul Brown at Massilon OH High School when he was at Wooster High. Long time Browns fan and total Buckeye. Will See the movie…

  14. Keenan says:

    Joe Banner is no longer the CEO of the Browns. I thought maybe this was published before his firing, nope! Please do your homework if you want to be taken seriously. The question is, do they edit his cameo out? There is no doubt in my mind that this film is going to be panned by critics, but it’s not often Cleveland makes it to the big screen these days (excluding its cameo appearance in the Marvel Avengers movie as Stuttgart, Germany) so I’ll be seeing it if only to celebrate my city. Costner needs to stop making movies if he wants to have any semblance of a legacy.

  15. Jefferey says:

    I’ve seen the movie in an early screening and i completely disagree with you. You don’t state what you dislike about the movie but blab about it being boring.

    • Bill says:

      the acting sucked, the writing and directing were atrocious, the story was lame, disjointed and ridiculous. What else do you want from a bomb, THIS WAS HORRIBLE!

  16. nick says:

    Fitting review, since the abundant typos and grammatical errors make it virtually unreadable.

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