Elevate (2011)

Filmed over four years, from the dilapidated cement courts of Senegal to upscale American prep schools, Elevate documents the extraordinary personal journeys of four particularly tall West African Muslim teenagers. Recruited for both their… More

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Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: February 14, 2012
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Critic Score: 73% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Stephanie Merry
Washington Post

Sports movies have a tendency to pull the old heart strings, but this is an especially emotional journey.

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Andy Webster
New York Times

We see these young men struggle with assimilation - mastering English and learning to drive, meeting girls, facing a headmaster hell-bent on sending one to Princeton - and feel their joy on trips home. And we exult when they graduate.

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Will Leitch

In the way it shows how basketball can both use and abuse needy youths while still giving them the opportunity to rise up to levels they never imagined, it is a more than worthy successor to Hoop Dreams.

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Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times

It's all presented with equal parts humor and sensitivity...

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Andrew Schenker
Time Out

Never adequately addresses the problems of what's essentially a neocolonialist system designed to shape impoverished Africans into first-world profit-makers.

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Brent Simon

Surface-scratching and at times incurious, but a nonetheless engaging documentary look at Senegalese teenagers attempting to better their lives through eduction and hoops in America.

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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News

One of the many beautiful things about this affecting, informative doc is the opportunity it gives to see the American college sports world through different eyes.

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Aaron Hillis
Village Voice

An upbeat but never sugarcoated look at how cultural diversity can provide as many roadblocks as it does opportunities.

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Eric Kohn

Less comprehensive than the material calls for, which makes the cumulative effect little more than "Hoop Dreams"-lite.

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