Movie Review
Leatherheads
Leatherheads poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published March 31, 2008
US Release: April 4, 2008

Directed by: George Clooney
Starring: George Clooney , John Krasinski , Renée Zellweger , Stephen Root

PG-13 for brief strong language
Running Time: 114 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $31,199,215
B
Has a lot of good chuckles, and some good laugh out loud moments. Clooney, basically playing himself, is a silly and snide football player who doesn't like doing anything by the rules.
In Leatherheads, George Clooney steps behind the director's chair once again, and delivers a movie that is the opposite in tone of his debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (B), and is just as good. Whereas that film was hip in its style, Leatherhoods is goofier but still classy. Clooney's snarky sense of humor is all over this movie, and it manages to play a fine line of slapstick that doesn't go over the top. Going into this movie, I didn't know if I was going to like it because the ads made it out to be really silly, usually not my kind of thing. But immediately, I knew this was going to be a surprise.

The movie kind of reminded me of A League of their Own (B), with George Clooney essentially playing the Tom Hanks role in the world of football (if you took away the drunken, hung over Hanks and replaced him with a suave Clooney). I thought the sentimentality behind League of their Own took it down a notch from what was otherwise a really funny movie. Leatherheads has a lot of good chuckles, and some good laugh out loud moments. Clooney, basically playing himself, is a silly and snide football player who doesn't like doing anything by the rules, which includes wooing an uptight woman (played by Renee Zellweger) by pushing her buttons and annoying the hell out of her in the process. This movie could’ve been overly cutesy as I had feared, but it’s more of a light fun movie in the right hands, making it better than it probably would’ve been with anyone else. Clooney proves effective in pulling solid performances from everyone, and his classy style in the editing shows that he’s likely learned from his filmmaker friends - most definitely Soderbergh.

Judging from the audience reactions, though, it was hard to tell how Leatherheads was playing in general. A section of the crowd was usually with it, chuckling, and enjoying it, but it was difficult to tell if that was the majority reaction. And I'm not sure of the movie's box office prospects - it could win people over, or it could just be a modest hit. It's a well-acted and well-directed entertaining feel-good movie that was better than I expected it to be.
Lee's Grade: B
Lee's Overall Grading: 2942 graded movies
A0.4%
B29.6%
C61.9%
D8.1%
F0.0%
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'Leatherheads' Articles
  • Craig's review C
    April 5, 2008    As a director, Clooney brings a fun, airy tone to the movie, which almost makes up for the screenplay's near complete lack of jokes. -- Craig Younkin