USA Today - 04/06/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "The football saga LEATHERHEADS, a nimble throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930s, meets its goal."
Los Angeles Times - 04/04/2008
"[A] light, charming, well-executed pastiche of a 1930s screwball comedy that alternates between witty repartee and broad slapstick."
Rolling Stone - 04/17/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "[A] vivid picture of pro football circa 1925....Clooney keeps the pace bouncy and charm at the ready as he, Zellweger and the appealing Krasinski put a sweet spin on BULL DURHAM's erotic triangle."
Total Film - 06/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t succeeds superbly at recreating the look, feel and flap of the roaring '20s."
Ultimate DVD - 05/01/2008
"LEATHERHEADS is cleverly scripted, with well-drawn characters....Clooney strikes a perfect balance between acting and directing chores..."
Sight and Sound - 06/01/2008
"The 1920s setting is enthusiastically mined for the picturesque trappings of speakeasies and train travel...but it's the embrace of caper and horseplay that bellows old school."
Premiere - 04/03/2008
"[Clooney and Zellweger] both got the machine-gun-quick repartee thing down pat..."
From his casual charm to his cleft chin, George Clooney has frequently drawn comparisons to an actor of another age: Cary Grant. With his third directorial effort, the Oscar winner pays homage to the style of films that helped make Grant famous, such as BRINGING UP BABY and HIS GIRL FRIDAY. In 1925, when LEATHERHEADS takes place, professional football is a joke, especially when compared to its more respected college cousin. Teams across the country are folding, and player Dodge Connelly (Clooney) will do anything to keep his own team, the Duluth Bulldogs, from folding. The enterprising (read: scheming) Dodge steals Princeton star and war hero Carter Ruthford (John Krasinski, THE OFFICE) from his school, and soon the Bulldogs are winning, but it's the game of football that is the real champion as fans pack the stadiums. Meanwhile, reporter Lexie Littleton (Renée Zellweger) begins investigating Rutherford's past, thanks to a tip from one of the star's old war buddies that he may not be all he seems. The pre-regulation football is dirty, but it's far cleaner than the action when Dodge and Carter vie for Lexie's affections.
From the classic Universal logo that opens the film, Clooney firmly sets his film in the sepia-toned past. His lightning-fast dialogue is certainly reminiscent of the repartee between Grant and costars such as Katharine Hepburn and Rosalind Russell. But as much as he owes to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and '40s, he also is mining the same vein that his frequent collaborators, the Coen Brothers, did in films such as THE HUDSUCKER PROXY and INTOLERABLE CRUELTY. Clooney's previous directorial efforts--CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND and GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK--were also both stylish films set in the past, but LEATHERHEADS is a more fun, mainstream work.
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