Okay - I admit it. I bought this solely because Cusack was in it. I have compiled his back catalogue which has lead me to watching a number of films I would not have even considered normally - but luckily even his early Brat-Pack-esque offerings are surprisingly watchable (I'm choosing to gloss over 'One Crazy Summer' because Demi Moore's presence in many films of that genre is an unfortunate fact of life)and so I came to watch 'Eight Men Out'. This is not a film that will change your life, but it does do what any film should which is ENTERTAIN. It does so intelligently, basing the plot on an account of the 1919 Chicago White Sox scandal (baseballers were fixing matches long before cricket cottoned on to the idea, it seems)- but you do not have to care much about turn of the century Chicago or (American) obsession with baseball to enjoy this film. The characters are diverse, well-rounded and believable, and the fact that they conform to the movie writing-by-numbers scheme of having the savvy jock, the meathead, the family man, the loner, the quiet conscientious but hinting at still-waters-running-very deep one as well as that hardy perennial the grasping avaricious inhuman boss, does NOT detract from a fine ensemble piece with the actors convincingly conveying their various characters' motives and moral considerations in participating in what was a watershed moment in American sporting history.
Still unconvinced? It's a baseball film NOT starring Kevin Costner. Can there be a more ringing endorsement than that?