‘Draft Day’: The Reviews Are In

Kevin Costner returns to the sports movie genre with mostly positive results.

One of the super specific genres of the 80′s and 90′s, the Kevin Costner Sports Movie, is back with “Draft Day.”

While reviews of the real-life NFL drama are mostly positive, many critics note that “Draft Day,” directed by Ivan Reitman, falls short of other recent behind-the-scenes sports procedurals, like “Moneyball.”

Read what else the critics are saying about “Draft Day” below.

The Story
“Kevin Costner takes a break from baseball pictures to make a football film playing Sonny Weaver Jr., the desperate general manager of the failing Cleveland Browns.
In Ivan Reitman’s intelligent but sometimes exhausting new comedy-drama, ‘Draft Day,’ the Ohio team is demoralized by a losing streak when Sonny gambles by announcing a trade early in the morning of draft day.” — John Hartl, Seattle Times

Kevin Costner’s Performance
It’s a moderately engaging wish-fulfillment fantasy, a long way from the surprising ins and outs and stealthy dramatic impact of “Moneyball” (the front-office sports movie to beat) but not bad for what it is. Costner’s range as an actor remains an open question, more open than his range, certainly. But he carries the movie easily and well. — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Ivan Reitman’s Direction
Much of the film’s dialogue, especially in the early-going, consists of urgent cellphone conversations across the nation as the countdown to the opening bell of the draft runs in digital numbers onscreen. Director Ivan Reitman and editors Sheldon Kahn and Dana E. Glauberman find a way out of dully repetitive cross-cutting between speakers on both ends by employing a smoothly sliding split-screen technique in which images of talkers push their way part, half or sometimes all the way into the widescreen frame and even sometimes stride across the entire screen from one image to the next. It’s not something you’d want to see used all the time, but it’s reasonably clever and, at the least, a novelty that freshens up an otherwise ordinary film stylistically. — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

The Final Word
“While ‘Draft Day’ is a very agreeable and predictable movie, it is also very timely. Consider our newest craze: the age of Normcore. It’s the most Normcore movie that ever lived. It’s by and for normal people with normal interests. You can take a fifteen minute pee break and not miss anything. More surprisingly, it’s actually not bad.” — Jordan Hoffman, Film.com

“Draft Day” opens in theaters on April 10.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.
@KPSull