‘Reggie’ reviews: Baseball legend’s documentary is ‘an engrossing watch, even if you hate those Damn Yankees’

Reggie” just began streaming on Prime Video. The documentary follows one of sport’s first and most influential megastars, beloved baseball icon and 5-time World Series champion Reggie Jackson as he contemplates his legacy as a trailblazing Black athlete fighting for dignity, respect, and a seat at the table in this intimate and revealing new film exploring his life and barrier-busting career. Jackson appears on screen as do several of his family members and fellow sports legends including Hank Aaron, Derek Jeter, Bill Russell and Julius Erving

The movie from Amazon Studios was directed by Alex Stapleton and currently holds a perfect 100% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Odie Henderson of The Boston Globe says, “It’s an engrossing watch, even if you hate those Damn Yankees.” Read our full review round-up below.

SEE ‘Bill Russell: Legend’ spotlights NBA player’s achievements on and off the court: ‘Even for Lakers fans,’ the Netflix documentary is ‘a winner’

Jason Clinkscales of Decider writes, “The social justice conversations that took place in 2020 inspired him to reflect on his own life and how he chooses to use his experience to help the next generation of baseball players. He visits close confidants – Julius Erving, Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron, and Derek Jeter, among others – that are advising him on his next steps as he considers leaving a longtime advisory role with the New York Yankees. Along the way, he has unique conversations with each of them about the depths and valleys of his career.” Clinkscales adds Reggie “remains as alluring as an elder statesman as he was in his younger days. Jackson still has a frankness about him, as he’s direct and open about what’s on his mind.” In conclusion, “Jackson was the first Black superstar player on the Yankees who was unabashed about his racial identity and his talents. Contending with the larger-than-life personalities of white team owners and the ‘my way or the highway’ egotism of Martin, he became the archetype of New York’s most self-indulgent cliché: the athlete who had a hard time dealing with the bright lights of the big stage. (This writer can say that as a born and raised NYC native).”

Adam Graham of The Detroit News describes the documentary as “enlightening” before adding, “Jackson was one of the most famous, most successful and most important athletes of the 1970s, not only winning five World Series rings (three-peating with the Oakland A’s from ’72-’74 and winning back-to-back championships with the Yankees in ’77 and ’78) but setting salary records at the time, helping to open the door for the mega-contracts that would follow in his wake…’Reggie’ is about the legacy Jackson built, about what he endured so that others hopefully won’t have to, and about passing on his torch to the next generation.”

SEE Emmys spotlight: ‘The Boys’ was better than ever in Season 3 with new characters, deathly twists, naughty orgies

Vikas Yadav of Midgard Times praises the film and its subject, but dings the pacing. “’Reggie’ moves with a breathtaking pace (Billy McMillin is the editor). It keeps you high and makes you feel as ecstatic as the spectators in the stadium. The approach makes sense, as the documentary wants to be a celebration. But since you merely feel one emotion throughout the film, the experience becomes monotonous. By the time ‘Reggie’ approaches the finish line, you are completely exhausted. The documentary gets your adrenaline going but never gives you enough space to process and identify with Jackson’s struggles. Reggie comes across as a Wikipedia entry directed by Stapleton.”

Odie Henderson of Boston Globe says, “’Reggie’ reminded me why I wanted to be Jackson. Growing up, I gravitated toward Black athletes who ran their mouths without fear of offending the people who preferred they knew their place. Several clips show Jackson spouting opinions and soundbites to a New York City press eager for drama and controversy…But this isn’t just a movie about Reggie Jackson. Stapleton uses his career as a means to examine America’s checkered history regarding race and civil rights, leading up to the Black Lives Matter movement and the current battle for diversity and inclusion in sports team ownership and management. The director does not have to strain to find the parallels.” 

PREDICT the 2023 SAG Awards winners

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby