The Catcher Was a Spy

I have watched this movie once. This was on .


Former Major League Baseball player Moe Berg goes undercover in World War II Europe for the Office of Strategic Services.

The Catcher Was a Spy


This should have been a better movie. There are complex characters, especially the titular spy that I am interested in learning more about, and an intriguing story set around World War 2. However, it fails to really deliver. The movie opens and closes with blocks of text giving an introduction and conclusion to the story, which sums up the disappointment; this should be part of the movie…

The movie is filled with an amazing cast; Paul Rudd, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Tom Wilkinson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Paul Giamatti, Guy Pearce and Jeff Daniels, although only a few are used to any potential. Paul Rudd carries the movie, with his portrayal of an intelligent baseball player turned out-of-his-depth spy, but never seems phased by his task.

The screenplay tackles interesting ethical dilemmas and is a very personal character study. The undercurrent of lies and half-truths bleeds into our spy's personal life, with his sexual orientation questioned on numerous occasions.

There is a nice blend between set-up, character development and suspense, with a small but sturdy action sequence thrown in. Everyone is exquisitely dressed. The world is filled with a distinctive brown and green colour palette and is captured with a sometimes off-putting extremely shallow depth-of-field focus style.

For all the benefits, the movie seems to miss its marks. There is a lot of ground to cover and scenarios to introduce but it suffers because the runtime is only 94 minutes. Too much is either left unresolved (or just written at the end) or not given enough attention in the screenplay. Overall, the movie is fine and worth a watch, but it could've been much better.