Picks and Pans Review: Bad News Bears

updated 08/01/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/01/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeffrey Davies

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If an umpire were watching this baseball comedy, he'd call it foul—as in foul-mouthed. With Thornton grouchily playing a dissolute ex-pro pitcher who reluctantly begins coaching a team of young misfits, the movie becomes a teen-targeted Bad Santa Goes to the Ballpark. The S-word, along with raunchy references to booze, babes and butts, pops up more frequently and crudely here than in the original Bad News Bears (1976). Thornton is pretty much the whole show, as the kid characters remain underdeveloped and Harden is stuck playing the harridan mother of a player. Thornton is sleazy fun, but he has batted with this shtick before. (PG-13)

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