The movie is the AARP answer to "Moneyball," which opened with a roundtable of Gus-like dinosaurs being lectured and patronized by young stats-mad baseball innovators.
"Curve" turns the tables. Here, the bad guy is a feckless front office know-it-all (Matthew Lillard) who's sold on the gaudy stats of a high school prospect, and Gus is the unbeatable merger of wisdom, experience and intuition.
"Trouble With The Curve" throws a few breaking balls of its own - the movie is a little bland and relentlessly predictable. We know what's going to happen to the pompous prospect, and his backers in the organization. Gus' evolving relationship with his daughter, still smarting from childhood neglect, is also easy to chart. (Justin Timberlake has a small role as a rival scout and romantic interest for Adams.)
"Curve" turns this predictability into a virtue - giving audiences something reassuringly familiar, powered by an all-star lineup. Hall of Fame cleanup hitter Eastwood, and Adams, Hollywood's leading lovable redhead.
The only disconcerting element is the way "Curve" Photoshops old "Dirty Harry" stills into black-and-white baseball photos to illustrate Gus' scouting history.
It's the old Eastwood, the squinting, wolfish killer. You wonder if he's scouting prospects, or shooting them.
Contact movie critic Gary Thompson at 215-854-5992 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at philly.com/KeepItReel.