Movie review: “Draft Day” turns Browns frowns upside-down

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From the April 10, 2014 edition

When I asked my friend Dan if he wanted to join me for the new Kevin Costner movie about the Cleveland Browns, he declined saying, “They probably come out on top in the end, which would require me to suspend way too much disbelief.”

In fairness, “Draft Day” does revolve around a boneheaded move that makes the Browns the most plausible subject. (I love my Browns fan friends, but they know it’s true.)

Fictional Browns GM Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) is pressured by ownership to “make a splash” in the upcoming NFL draft. A Heisman-winning quarterback is the sure-thing top pick, expected to be a franchise player, but the Browns pick 7th. Sonny pulls off a huge trade to land the pick … then he has second thoughts.

“Draft Day” is a crowd-pleaser of a sports flick, working in more sports movie clichés than I can count — and generally pulling it off.

Costner, of course, is sports movie royalty (“Bull Durham,” “Field of Dreams”), and he’s playing right in his wheelhouse. Denis Leary as a hot-headed head coach also seems like obvious casting.

“Draft Day” will likely go down as the greatest sports movie from the director of “Ghostbusters” (Ivan Reitman), and it does surprisingly well at sticking the landing.

But in trying to work in 17 simultaneous subplots, too many little parts are left undeveloped for this to be a real classic. Browns (and Buckeyes) fans will get an extra kick.

Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment