There is something undeniably noble and beautiful about the love of sports: the appreciation of grace and excellence for their own sakes, the pleasure of competition, the discipline of training. But the practice of big-time sports is often cruel and corrupt, a business built on the exploitation of young people and the peddling of impossible dreams. This basic contradiction will be in vivid evidence this weekend, during the national college basketball championships.
It is also, at least implicitly, a central concern in “SUGAR,” a wise and lovely new film by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. “Sugar,” which follows a young pitcher from a training camp in the Dominican Republic to a minor-league club in Iowa (and beyond), is infused with a deep affection for baseball, the rhythms of which are nimbly captured by a narrative pace and editing style that quicken and relax as necessary. — A. O. Scott, The New York Times, April 3, 2009