This reviewer (not a big pro sports fan) is an unabashed admirer of Kevin Costner sports films (especially Field of Dreams, which, many would argue, is not a sports film). Draft Day, his latest, is right up there when it comes to enjoyablity.
Costner plays the manager of the Cleveland Browns football team on the day when the best prospects from university ball are drafted by National Football League teams. It’s a pressure-filled day when he must decide which player to draft first; a prospective star quarterback or a needed linebacker. His coach (Denis Leary) and his staff, even his mother (Ellen Burstyn) are not agreeing with his choices, not to mention the team’s owner (Frank Langella). A further complication is his girlfriend (Jennifer Garner), also on his staff, is pregnant.
Lots of tension and drama here, although it sometimes overhyped, as Costner wheels and deals with his counterparts on other NFL teams, and the ending is maybe too good to be true.
But it’s fun to watch Costner, in his element, pull it off. The negotiations are tough and sometimes even mean, but they feel real.
You could also see this movie as a blatant public relations exercise for the Cleveland Browns, the NFL and even pro football. But sports fans will enjoy the behind the scenes stuff and the appearance of real pro football personalities and players. If you’re not a football fan, you can enjoy the human drama because there’s very little actual football to watch. It’s right up there with Moneyball.
Rating: four deer out of five
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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.