(US - 2014)
Directed by Ivan Reitman. Written by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman. Cast: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Chadwick Boseman, Ellen Burstyn, Sam Elliott, Tom Welling, Sean Combs, Terry Crews, Arian Foster, Josh Pence, Timothy Simons, David Ramsey, Wade Williams, Chi McBride, Patrick St. Esprit, Rosanna Arquette, Brad William Henke, Kevin Dunn, Griffin Newman, W. Earl Brown, Pat Healy. (PG-13, 108 mins)
It's only April and DRAFT DAY is already the third major release this year to star the busy Kevin Costner, after taking the aging mentor role in JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT and trying a Liam Neeson-styled Luc Besson actioner with 3 DAYS TO KILL. DRAFT DAY is more in line with vintage Costner, a sort-of "give the fans what they want" move that finds him back in the realm of the sports dramedy, where he's had some of his biggest successes. DRAFT DAY's beleaguered Cleveland Browns GM Sonny Weaver Jr. is cut from the same cloth as BULL DURHAM's Crash Davis, TIN CUP's Ray McAvoy, and FOR LOVE OF THE GAME's unsubtly-named Billy Chapel: the no-bullshit straight-shooter who got where he is by going against the grain, following his gut, being his own man, and doing what's right. Sonny also has something to prove: it's 2014 draft day, he's in his third year with the team and he's still in rebuilding mode. He's also living in the shadow of his legendary father Sonny Sr., a former Browns coach who just died a week earlier, just a year after retiring from football--a retirement that he got after he was fired by his own son. He's got an irate new head coach in Penn (Denis Leary), who got a Super Bowl ring coaching the Cowboys and wants more say in the direction of the team. He's got a flashy billionaire owner in Anthony Molina (Frank Langella) who doesn't care about the team's strategic needs and just wants a superstar draft pick and the media circus guaranteed to follow. He'd rather make linebacker Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman) their top draft pick but he already had to make a deal with the Seahawks to trade draft picks so he can please Molina and secure Heisman Trophy winning QB Bo Callahan (Josh Pence), even though he senses some red flags and they already have a top-notch QB in Brian Drew (Tom Welling). And finally, he's got a secret relationship with Browns front-office financial exec Ali (Jennifer Garner) and she just told him she's pregnant.