The Phantom of the Open (CREDIT: Sony Pictures Classics/Screenshot)

Starring: Mark Rylance, Sally Hawkins, Rhys Ifans, Jake Davies, Christian Lees, Jonah Lees

Director: Craig Roberts

Running Time: 102 Minutes

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: June 3, 2022 (Theaters)

Twice while watching The Phantom of the Open I violently kicked my leg forward as a reflexive response to some frightening golf shots. Luckily nobody was sitting in front of me, and the theater had been recently renovated so the seat had no trouble surviving the impact. On the first occasion, Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance) missed a close putt (and then three more immediately afterwards!), and in the second case, his ball hard-sliced right into a camera lens. Those are the kinds of moments you expect in a biopic about a guy who somehow managed to play in the oldest golf tournament in the world despite having basically zero previous golf experience! But you don’t necessarily expect those moments to be thrilling and so satisfying. And yet that’s what they were, as they helped to peel away the suffocation of the game’s exclusivity and assured us that it would all end up okay.

Grade: 100 Bogeys out of One Birdie (Attempt)