Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG Length: 124 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 10+. The film doesn’t really have much cursing and has no violence, but characters do drink alcohol, there is mention of an American baseball player calling an Indian player a mean or racist name (it’s never uttered); a surprising amount of bathroom humor and a few different vomiting scenes; and some kissing and implied sexual activity, specifically one-night stands. For the most part, though, the most objectionable part of the film is its marginalization and disrespect toward Indian culture.
‘Million Dollar Arm’ is shocking in its reaffirmation of cultural stereotypes, and is not only largely racist but also quite boring. It’s a film about baseball that never sells viewers on loving the game, and its alternately scoffing and undermining attitude toward India and its people gets old quick.
By Roxana Hadadi
Disney may have taken over pop culture with last year’s animated monster hit “Frozen” (seriously, will we ever stop hearing “Let It Go”?), but its live-action drama, “Saving Mr. Banks,” didn’t do much toward the end of 2013. And Disney delivers another disappointment with “Million Dollar Arm,” a frustratingly reductive “crowd-pleaser” that allegedly focuses on baseball without ever showing us the appeal of the game, and is supposed to warm our hearts with a friendship between a wealthy white man and two poor Indian teenagers, but they barely spend any time together until the weight of the former’s privilege is balanced by the latter pair’s gratitude toward him. It’s an aggressively frustrating film, and an especially poor use of its solid ensemble cast.