Hoop Dreams
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This documentary about the aspirations of high-school basketball players from inner city Chicago won awards from the Sundance film festival, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Academy Award (Oscar) for best editing. Two young men are followed during their entire high-school career, beginning with their participation in playground games and ending with their being recruited by colleges. The obstacles these young men face include parental drug addiction, family poverty, and inner-city violence, as well as the usual obstacles that arise in competition, including physical injuries. While… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's about three hours long. But it moves like Isiah, fast and smooth, and it's over in a heartbreak."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"A prodigious achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length, Hoop Dreams is a documentary slam dunk."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"Steve James's remarkable example of cinéma vérité tells the problematic journey of high school basketball stars William Gates and Arthur Agee, two African-American teenagers growing up in Chicago ghettos."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Stunning documentary, great for older kids."
‑ Hollis Griffin, Common Sense Media
"It's the closest movie equivalent to the great American novel I've seen in years."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"Hoop Dreams has shown us that the rules of the game are stacked against kids like Gates and Agee. Even better, it shows us how they fight back, with the inside moves of hope."
‑ David Ansen, Newsweek
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"It slam-dunks documentaries that are so close-up to their subjects they cannot note the irony of adult commercialism and hard-sell hoopla overwhelming barely literate kids."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"The result not only follows the lives of the boys as they mature into men, suffering success and disaster along the way, but also provides a picture of tough inner-city life shorn of glamour or unnecessary melodrama."
‑ , Film4
"This is the best type of documentary, giving an intensely personal story you can't help but become involved in, and also raises fundamental issues about America in the 90s."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"A heady dose of the American dream and the American nightmare combined -- a numbing investigation of how one point on an exam or one basket or turnover in a game can make all the difference in a family's fortunes."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"An ironic drama so beautifully sculpted it could be transposed without alteration into a fictional film."
‑ Douglas Pratt, Hollywood Reporter
"Epic is a word that suits Hoop Dreams well: The film seems to encompass not just a few individuals' stories, but draw archetypes out of them to personify the larger world around."
‑ Christopher Lloyd, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"Ao acompanharem seis anos das vidas de sua dupla de protagonistas, James e sua equipe criaram um filme revelador, complexo e, acima de tudo, profundamente tocante."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Boasting an epic scale, and a running time to match, this seminal docu, an absorbing anatomy of the American Dream in Chicago's inner-city, has more passion, compassion and suspense than most Hollywood fictional stories."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for Hoop Dreams on Rotten Tomatoes

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