Shortly after trailers emerged for "42," the movie about Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier, the buzz started.
After another Macon-filmed baseball flick, "Trouble With the Curve," proved a little disappointing, folks in central Georgia quickly found reason to get excited about "42."
Among the first to praise the Robinson biography? First Lady Michelle Obama.
At a student workshop, she said, "I don't know about you, but we walked away from that just visibly, physically moved by the experience of the movie, of the story."
For similar reasons, local film critic, Jackie K. Cooper, told 13WMAZ's Kenny Burgamy that he was giving the movie a 9 out of 10.
The word around the web isn't universally high, but according to RottenTomatoes.com, "42" has a 71% approval rating among its registered critics.
Filling in for the late Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper singled-out the film's performances, from star Chadwick Boseman as Robinson to Alan Tudyk who, as Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman, was "bravely portraying this real-life embodiment of pure, ignorant, racist hate."
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Writing for the New York Times, A.O. Scott says director Brian Helgeland could have done better, but "has honorably sacrificed the chance to make a great movie in the interest of making one that is accessible and inspiring."
New York Daily News writer Joe Neumaier says it's "A moving, all-around terrific telling of Jackie Robinson's first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers..." and "...a sports film nonsports fans can love; it's a family film that never preaches; it's a biopic that also takes in the world and people around its subject."
Giving the movie a C+, Scott Tobias for The Onion's AV Club praised the casting choice of Bozeman as Robinson, but wrote, "It's a post-racial movie about a racist world."
Reviews of Harrison Ford's performance were generally positive but not overwhelmingly so. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine wrote Ford "hams it up with gusto as Branch Rickey..."
Somewhat ironically, Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman -- who generally liked "42" -- made a reference that others used to describe that other recent Macon-shot baseball flick: "It's like the latter-day Clint Eastwood style, applied to material that's as traditional as can be."