The Phenom

The Phenom

Noah Buschel (2016)

15 Certificate


Our Score
For once, the psychological side of sports is examined as struggling baseball pitcher Hopper (Johnny Simmons) unravels some family issues affecting his game with the help of a sports psychologist (Paul Giamatti). Doing away with the rose-tinted view of "the athlete's journey", this is a warts-and-all view of sport. Victory on the field is not presented in the normal euphoric way, as the harder battles are taking place in the small conversations that make up each scene. At the centre of everything is the excellent Simmons, facing demons related to his upbringing rather than his chosen profession. Helping in that regard is Giamatti's calm, empathetic psychologist, while Ethan Hawke is staggering as Hopper's father, the source of the issues. The preference for feeling over flashiness may make the plot uneventful for some. However, for those looking for an antidote to the Rocky sports movie formula, this film is a home run.


A promising Major League baseball pitcher is helped by an unorthodox sports therapist who attempts to get to the root of his problems. Drama, starring Johnny Simmons, Ethan Hawke and Paul Giamatti.

Cast & Crew

Hopper Gibson Johnny Simmons
Hopper Senior Ethan Hawke
Dr Mobley Paul Giamatti
Dorothy Boyer Sophie Kennedy Clark
Susan Gibson Alison Elliott (2)
Director Noah Buschel
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColour