Clint Eastwood has developed a killer changeup during his career, using his iconic status and mainstream credibility to take audiences to some thoughtfully unexpected places. (How the man behind the lyrical Letters from Iwo Jima and A Perfect World can also peel off something like the cheerfully meatheaded The Rookie is one of the most enjoyable mysteries in Hollywood.) The biggest surprise behind Trouble with the Curve, Eastwood's first time in front of the camera since Gran Torino (and his first appearance in a film he hasn't directed since 1993's In the Line of Fire), is how resolutely unsurprising it is, telling its story with an unfashionably retro simplicity. Still, even if the resolution is easily guessed, the star's trademark glower and a stellar supporting cast make it an exceedingly pleasant journey. Pulling a 180 from the methods espoused in Moneyball, Randy Brown's script follows Gus (Eastwood), a cantankerous talent scout for the Atlanta Braves whose old-school ethics are on the outs. While on what may be his last recruiting trip, Gus is reunited with his estranged daughter (Amy Adams), an upwardly mobile attorney still smarting from her father's distancing techniques. First-time director Robert Lorenz wisely places his actors front and center, with the sparkling Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, and the great John Goodman all delivering terrifically tuned performances. Ultimately, though, Trouble with the Curve rises and falls with Eastwood, who keeps the material from drifting into cornball territory by sheer force of will. Squinting balefully at even the most minor annoyance, and rasping out a succession of mildly profane wisecracks, he generates more than enough star power to keep the film on track. If he hasn't earned the right to coast occasionally, then for Pete's sake, who has? --Andrew Wright
Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) has been a top baseball scout for decades, but age has caught up with him. The Atlanta Braves' front office is questioning his judgment, especially with a hot batting phenom on deck for the draft. Enter Gus's estranged daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), an ambitious attorney on the partner track who joins him on a scouting trip, jeopardizing her own career to save his. Justin Timberlake also stars as a rival scout with his sights on an announcing career – and his eyes on Mickey. Pendant plusieurs décennies, Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) fut l'un des meilleurs dépisteurs de talent du baseball, mais il commence à accuser son âge. Son jugement est remis en doute par la direction des Braves d'Atlanta, en particulier au sujet du frappeur le plus prometteur du pays, admissible au prochain repêchage. Mickey (Amy Adams), la fi lle de Gus avec qui il n'a jamais entretenu de forts liens, est une avocate ambitieuse promise à un poste d'associée. Risquant sa propre carrière pour sauver celle de son père, elle l'accompagne dans un voyage de recrutement. Justin Timberlake tient également la vedette dans le rôle d'un dépisteur rival qui a un oeil sur une carrière de présentateur… et l'autre sur Mickey.