Based on the life of Jim Morris, a Texas high-school science teacher and father of three who took a second shot at making it into Major League Baseball as a 35-year-old, The Rookie is a sun-dappled celebration of second chances and small-town camaraderie. Things are kept from becoming too sugary by Dennis Quaid’s Mr. Mom performance in the title role and director John Lee Hancock’s observant eye. If Quaid speaks in a slow drawl,
so does the film, as Hancock lingers over the rusted sheds and scabby patches of grass that dot the stark landscape. Together, they’ve created a G-rated movie with a bit of grit.