Trouble with the Curve
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Lorenz
Written byRandy Brown
Produced by
CinematographyTom Stern
Edited by
Music byMarco Beltrami[1]
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • September 21, 2012 (2012-09-21)
Running time
111 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$60 million[3]
Box office$49 million[4]

Trouble with the Curve is a 2012 American sports drama film directed by Robert Lorenz and starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, and John Goodman. The film revolves around an aging baseball scout whose daughter joins him on a scouting trip. Filming began in March 2012, and the film was released on September 21, 2012.

This was Eastwood's first acting project since 2008's Gran Torino and his first acting role in a film he did not direct since his cameo in 1995's Casper.[5] A year after its release, the film became the subject of a plagiarism lawsuit by a producer alleging that his former partner had taken an unfinished script after a dispute and conspired with his agent and Warner Bros. to present it as the work of a relative unknown.


Aging Atlanta Braves baseball scout Gus Lobel believes his latest scouting assignment may be his last unless he can prove his value to the organization. He's viewed as unadaptable to changes within the game, especially advanced statistical analysis. His boss and friend Pete does not want to let him go, but is contending with ambitious junior executive Phillip Sanderson, vying for the general manager post, who feels Gus is an obstacle to his ambition.

Ahead of the upcoming MLB Draft, Gus is assigned to review a top prospect, hot-headed North Carolina high schooler Bo Gentry. When Pete suspects Gus is hiding health problems, he asks Gus's daughter Mickey - a workaholic lawyer pursuing partnership in her firm - to accompany her father. Although the two have a strained relationship, Mickey agrees and quickly realizes Gus's sight is failing, so she actively helps to make up for his shortcoming. Along the way, Gus reconnects with a former player he once scouted, Johnny "The Flame" Flanagan, now trialing as a scout for the Boston Red Sox, who have the top pick in the draft and are interested in selecting Gentry.

While on the road, Mickey confronts Gus about why he always left her with an aunt and uncle while he was on the road. Gus confesses that when he took her on a scouting trip she was lured away from him by a child molester, an incident Mickey has no memory of. While Gus prevented anything from happening to her, he felt that always being on the road meant he couldn't protect Mickey properly. She tells him that leaving her behind was in fact worse, blaming that decision for issues in her personal life. After initially bonding over a shared love of baseball, Mickey and Johnny become more romantically inclined to one another.

While other scouts are impressed by Gentry, Gus and Mickey spot that he is unable to hit a curveball and advise both Johnny and the Braves management to pass on him in the draft. Johnny accepts their advice but Phillip disagrees, showing his statistical analysis as proof they should draft Gentry. He doubles down by staking his career on the decision, leading Braves general manager Vince to draft Gentry as the club's first pick. This angers Johnny, who believes that Gus and Mickey only told him not to recommend Gentry to allow the Braves to draft him instead. Gus and Mickey argue at their motel and Gus leaves, taking a bus back to Atlanta.

Preparing to leave, Mickey observes a young man, Rigoberto Sanchez - not a baseball player but who instead works as a peanut vendor at games - throwing pitches with his younger brother and realizes his talent. After seeing his curveball, she persuades Pete to let him attend a tryout in Atlanta. Gus returns to Turner Field, where media are attending Gentry's first batting practice with the organization. As Vince and Phillip criticize Gus for his evaluation of Gentry, Mickey brings Rigoberto on to the field, where he is mocked by Philip and Gentry. Mickey insists they allow him to pitch, and after Gentry fails to hit any of his fastballs, Mickey has Rigoberto throw his curveball. Gentry, even though he knows what pitch is coming, cannot connect with the ball, which Gus explains why he was against signing him: his 'trouble with the curve'.

The executives realize they were wrong about both Gentry and Gus and are intent on signing Rigoberto, with Gus suggesting that Mickey represent him. Philip continues to make snide remarks about the situation and is fired by Vince, who also offers Gus a contract extension. Mickey declines an offer of a partnership in her firm and, as she and Gus leave the building, finds Johnny outside waiting for her and the two reconcile. Gus then lights his cigar and walks away, muttering, "Looks like I'll be taking the bus."




Filming began in Georgia in March 2012.[citation needed]

Locations included:


Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 51% based on 204 reviews, with a rating average of 5.60/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though predictable and somewhat dramatically underwhelming, Trouble with the Curve benefits from Clint Eastwood's grizzled charisma and his easy chemistry with a charming Amy Adams."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 58 out of 100 based on reviews from 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[11]

Box office

In its opening weekend, Trouble with the Curve ranked third in the box office, grossing $12.2 million.[4] In its first week in theaters, it ranked second with $16,195,962. It remained in the top ten over the next two weeks with $31,218,109.[4] However, the results at the box office were subsequently low. In twelve weeks, Trouble with the Curve grossed $35,763,137 in the United States, where it was distributed to 3,212 theaters.[4] At the worldwide box office, the film grossed $48,963,137[4] which is the second lowest take for a film featuring Clint Eastwood as an actor, just ahead of Blood Work ($31,794,718 in worldwide box office[12]). In January 2013, the film was nominated for Best Intergenerational Story at the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards, but lost to Silver Linings Playbook.[13]

Home media

Trouble with the Curve was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 18, 2012.

Plagiarism lawsuit

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (December 2018)

A year after the film's release, another producer, Ryan Brooks, filed a lawsuit in federal district court against Warner, the producers, two talent agencies, screenwriter Brown and Don Handfield, an actor and former partner of Brooks. He alleged copyright infringement and conspiracy, claiming the produced screenplay of the film bore striking similarities to Omaha, an unproduced screenplay he had commissioned from Handfield that had as its main character an older college baseball coach working through a difficult relationship with his grown daughter, as well as other plot elements.[14]

Brooks, a former minor league baseball player himself, claimed that Handfield took the unfinished Omaha script with him after the two had a falling out over a rewrite. Handfield then, Brooks claims, conspired with Charles Ferraro, his agent at United Talent, to present it—with minor alterations such as changing the setting from college baseball to the major leagues—as the work of Brown, a fellow client of Ferraro with only two minor credits to his name who had primarily worked as a musician. Brooks' suit claimed that Brown's interviews to promote the film seemed rehearsed and frustrating to interviewers trying to understand how he created the film, and questioned how an unknown writer in his fifties managed to land the well-connected Ferraro as an agent.[14]

All the named defendants who spoke to the media about the claims, including Brown, denied and derided them. Warner responded with a letter to Brooks' lawyer threatening serious legal actions in response if he did not withdraw the "reckless and false" complaint within a week. Attached to it was a draft of the Trouble with the Curve script, credited to Brown, that had purportedly been optioned by another production company in 1998. Brooks' lawyer questioned its authenticity to The New York Times suggesting that it bore signs of fabrication, such as the anachronistic use of wireless laptops,[15] and that there was no record of it having been registered with the Writers Guild of America, a common practice for screenwriters establishing authorship of their work before getting a production company interested.[16]

Lawyers for the studio responded with a motion for summary judgment in their favor and presented evidence that they claimed proved Brown had written the first drafts of the script as early as 1996, including an affidavit from a computer forensics expert authenticating the timestamps on a floppy disk containing those early drafts.[17] Brooks' lawyers called all of the evidence of earlier creation forged or tampered with, in addition to calling attention to anachronistic passages in those purported earlier drafts.[18] In February 2014 Dale S. Fischer, the judge hearing the case, granted the motion, saying that Brooks had overstated the similarities between the two scripts and that, even if he hadn't, "the idea of a father-daughter baseball story is not protectable as a matter of copyright law."[19]

Two months later Fischer dismissed the remaining claims under federal law, but said claims under state law could still be filed in state court. Brooks appealed his decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in October refiled the case in Los Angeles County Superior Court. This time he alleged only breach of contract and did not name either Warner or Eastwood as defendants, as he had in the original claim. He demanded $5 million in damages.[20] Brooks voluntarily dismissed the case in August 2016.[21]

See also


  1. ^ "'Trouble with the Curve' to Feature Music by Marco Beltrami". Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "Title « British Board of Film Classification". 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  3. ^ "Trouble with the Curve (2012) – Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Trouble with the Curve". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  5. ^ "Clint Eastwood Acting Again in 'Trouble With the Curve'". The Hollywood Reporter. 5 October 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  6. ^ "Stars seen throughout Atlanta while filming". CBS Atlanta.
  7. ^ "Filming 3/13/12 affecting Los Angeles and N. Highland". 8 March 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  8. ^ "Athens sees itself in "Trouble with the Curve"". Online Athens. 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  9. ^ "Trouble with the Curve (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  10. ^ "Trouble with the Curve". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Ray Subers (September 23, 2012). "Weekend Report: 'End of Watch' Narrowly Beats 'House,' 'Curve'". Box Office Mojo. The movie received a "B+" CinemaScore, which suggests neutral word-of-mouth that won't help or hurt in the long run.
  12. ^ Blood Work (2002). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2013-07-13.
  13. ^ "2013 Movies for Grownups Awards".
  14. ^ a b Gardner, Eriq (October 1, 2013). "Producer Claims 'Trouble With the Curve' Came About Through Conspiracy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  15. ^ Johnson, Ted (October 10, 2013). "Warner Bros. Calls 'Trouble With the Curve' Lawsuit 'Reckless'". Variety. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  16. ^ Cieply, Michael (October 11, 2013). "Suit Filed Against Warner Bros. in Screenplay Theft". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  17. ^ Gardner, Eriq (December 5, 2013). "Warner Bros. Asks Judge to Reject 'Trouble With the Curve' Lawsuit". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  18. ^ Patten, Dominic (December 6, 2013). "Plaintiffs Take Another Turn At Bat As 'Trouble With The Curve' Copyright Lawsuit Heats Up". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  19. ^ Horn, John (February 25, 2014). "'Trouble With the Curve' script theft lawsuit dismissed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  20. ^ Block, Alex Ben (October 20, 2014). "'Trouble With the Curve' Lawsuit Refiled in L.A. Superior Court". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  21. ^ "Gold Glove Productions LLC et al. v. Don Handfield et al., Case No. BC561178". Online Service Case Access. Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. Retrieved 22 January 2024.