Bad News Bears

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For the original 1976 film, see The Bad News Bears.
Bad News Bears
Bad News Bears film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Linklater
Produced by
  • Richard Linklater
  • J. Geyer Kosinski
Screenplay by
Based on The Bad News Bears 
by Bill Lancaster
Music by Ed Shearmur
Cinematography Rogier Stoffers
Edited by Sandra Adair
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • July 22, 2005 (2005-07-22)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million[2]
Box office $34,252,847[2]

Bad News Bears is the 2005 remake of the 1976 comedy film The Bad News Bears, produced by Paramount Pictures. It is directed by Richard Linklater and stars Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, Sammi Kane Kraft, and Jeffrey Tedmori.


Morris Buttermaker is a washed-up alcoholic minor-league baseball player who was kicked out of professional baseball for attacking an umpire. He works as an exterminator and is a crude womanizer. He coaches the Bears, a children's baseball team with poor playing skills. They play their first game and do not even make an out before he forfeits the game. Amanda Whurlitzer, a skilled pitcher, is the 12-year-old daughter of one of his ex-girlfriends. At his request, she joins the team. Kelly Leak, a local troublemaker, also joins the team, and the Bears start winning games. After their first victory, Buttermaker takes them to Pizza Hut. The Bears eventually make it to the championship game. In the middle of that game, the Bears and Yankees fight. Later, Buttermaker changes the lineup, putting the benchwarmers in and taking out some of the good players. Garo runs to home plate, slides and gets tagged out. The whole game was riding on his attempt to score, however the Bears lose the game 8 to 7. After the game, Buttermaker gives them non-alcoholic beer, and they spray it all over each other. Although they did not win the championship, they have the satisfaction of trying, knowing that winning is not so important.



Bad News Bears opened on July 22, 2005 and ranked #5 at the North American domestic box office with $11,382,472.[3] The film ultimately earned $32,868,349 in North America and $1,384,498 internationally for a worldwide total of $34,252,847, becoming a box office bomb.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response was mixed. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 48% based on reviews from 158 critics.[4] Metacritic gives the film a score of 65% based on reviews from 35 critics.[5]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four, praising Thornton's performance in particular, saying: "The movie is like a merger of [Thornton's] ugly drunk in Bad Santa and his football coach in Friday Night Lights, yet [he] doesn't recycle from either movie; he modulates the manic anger of the Santa and the intensity of the coach and produces a morose loser who we like better than he likes himself."[6] James Berardinelli of ReelViews also gave Bad News Bears three stars out of four, calling it "an entertaining motion picture" that "won't make fans forget the original, but it's not so feeble that it disappears into the earlier movie's shadow."[7]

Giving the film two stars out of five, Don R. Lewis of Film Threat said that it has "a few laughs" but that it "just trudges on, going through the motions of the original with no spark" and that it "suffer[s] from the unbearable, crushing weight of political correctness."[8] Paula Nechak of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the film "simply another in a long line of utterly unnecessary remakes that, having nothing new to say, clutch at crassness and dumbness,"[9] while Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said that while "the screenplay [...] makes the most of Thornton's dry, skewed humor, [...] nothing happens here that would distinguish this film from other sports movies."[10]


In a case of life imitating art, in 2012, a Los Angeles-area little league in financial difficulty received a donation from the owner of a local strip club in order to continue operating.[11] Comparisons were immediately made to a scene in Bad News Bears in which the team received a donation from "Bo-Peeps Gentlemen's Club" and is required to put the logo of the strip club on their uniforms.[12] The real-life club didn't require similar stipulations, preferring to donate in anonymity, however local civic leaders encouraged that the club in question be made public so that they could get the proper recognition they deserved.


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