Review: ‘No No: A Dockumentary’ an engaging portrait of Dock Ellis
You might figure that any baseball player who pitched a no-hitter in a major league game while reportedly on LSD is probably worth a movie, and based on the engaging “No No: A Dockumentary,” that assessment pretty much stands.
Twenty years after Jackie Robinson’s barrier-busting milestone for racial equality in baseball, Los Angeles native Dock Ellis brought outspokenness, black advocacy and a take-it-or-leave-it personality to the sport, whether raising eyebrows by wearing curlers to Pittsburgh Pirates practice, using the media to pressure the league into starting its two best pitchers — both black, one of them himself — in the 1971 All-Star game (the Pirates won the World Series that year) or befriending a poet laureate who would write his biography.
A casualty of the era’s rampant drug use among players, Ellis bottomed out after a decade. After cleaning up, he became an addiction counselor, a position he held for the rest of his life.
Director Jeffrey Radice talks with plenty of Ellis’ teammates, family members and charmed-then-beleaguered wives, and he makes good use of archival interviews and footage in constructing his engaging portrait of a complicated but vivid sports figure. The story gets a nice pulse from Adam Horovitz’s ‘70s-funk-inspired score.
“No No: A Dockumentary.”
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle’s Noho 7, North Hollywood.
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.