- Rated: PG-13
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 54 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: September 1, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Sony Pictures
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.78
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English, Spanish
- Dubbed, Subtitles - Portuguese
- Subtitles - English, French, Spanish
- Additional Release Material:
- Deleted Scenes
- Casting Sugar: Interview with Algenis Perez Soto
- Pedro Martinez, Baseball Player; David Ortiz, Baseball Player
- Making Sugar: Run the Bases
- Play Béisbol! The Dominican Dream
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Box Office - 02/16/2009
4 stars out of 5 -- "The sustained delicacy of SUGAR's tone and its layered explorations of a unique milieu make this a moving and memorable effort from one of indie cinema's most promising young filmmaking teams."
New York Times - 04/03/2009
"[A] wise and lovely new film....Infused with a deep affection for baseball, the rhythms of which are nimbly captured by a narrative pace and editing style that quicken and relax as necessary."
Los Angeles Times - 04/03/2009
"It's a beautifully made film about a young man's journey of self-discovery....SUGAR is as good as it is because of the care and skill writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck bring to it..."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/10/2009
"[T]his is a sports drama of total originality, as well as the most authentic inside view of the immigrant experience the movies have given us in quite a while." -- Grade: B+
Wall Street Journal - 04/03/2009
"[A] quietly surprising drama....Though SUGAR demands patience, it deserves attention."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/15/2009
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Algenis Perez Soto, a young baseball player in his acting debut, embodies Sugar with a natural sincerity....Baseball is only the backdrop, not the subject. This is a wonderful film."
A.V. Club - 04/12/2009
"Fleck and Boden's compelling character study conveys with understated humor and keen insight how bizarrely foreign the American experience must feel to outsiders. SUGAR is characterized less by grand sweeping arcs than wonderfully realized little moments..." -- Grade: B+
USA Today - 04/19/2009
4 stars out of 4 -- "SUGAR is that sweetest of films: A sensitive and memorable story that surprises at every turn....Authentic and poignant..."
Washington Post - 05/01/2009
"[A] film of rare intelligence, beauty and compassion....Boden and Fleck have an easy, unhurried style, which suits this story well, especially in capturing the lilting rhythms of a minor-league baseball game on a balmy summer night."
Rolling Stone - 04/16/2009
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] groundbreaking film about race, class, money, sex, isolation, the immigrant experience, lost ideals and -- oh, yeah -- baseball."
Total Film - 05/26/2009
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] tough, tender drama that swerves formula and ducks sentiment, its meticulous human observations and measured movie technique confirming Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck as consummate filmmakers."
USA Today - 12/31/2009
Ranked #5 in USA Today's "Top Ten Films Of 2009."
With SUGAR, filmmaking partners Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck prove that their Oscar-nominated HALF NELSON was no fluke. In following one aspiring young athlete from an academy in the Dominican Republic to minor-league ballparks in the United States, Boden and Fleck haven't just made one of the best and most honest baseball movies ever--they have also produced an intelligent, humane, and universal portrait of the immigrant experience. Non-actor Algenis Perez Soto plays Miguel "Sugar" Santos, a 19-year-old pitcher who dreams of becoming a major-league baseball star. When Sugar's newly acquired knuckle curveball begins to find its groove, he is called up to America. But the path to success isn't easy: Sugar must work his way up from the minor leagues before he is welcomed into the majors. Unfortunately, before that happens, Sugar begins to sense that he doesn't have what it takes to make it. Rather than let the powers-that-be cut him from the team, he cuts himself and heads to New York City to embark on a new life.
Boden and Fleck pull off something quite miraculous with SUGAR. They have made a movie that retains the spirit of a more classical type of movie while at the same time single-handedly reinventing the sports genre. Unlike most Hollywood efforts, Boden and Fleck aren't interested in telling the story of a megastar. Their whole point is to focus on an infinitely more common type of athlete: the one who doesn't rise all the way to the top. Boden's editing, Andrij Parekh's cinematography, Michael Brook's music, and Perez Soto's performance are all extraordinary. Like its title, SUGAR is very, very sweet.
A gifted pitcher travels from his home in the Dominican Republic to play minor league baseball in the U.S., where he struggles with the new culture and the pressure of knowing that only his success can rescue his family.