Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams (1994)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: May 9, 2000
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
98%
Flixster
User Score
93%

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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

It's about three hours long. But it moves like Isiah, fast and smooth, and it's over in a heartbreak.

Full review…
Todd McCarthy
Variety

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.

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Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com

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.

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David Ansen
Newsweek

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.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

Unforgettable.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

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.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

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.

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Douglas Pratt
Hollywood Reporter

An ironic drama so beautifully sculpted it could be transposed without alteration into a fictional film.

Christopher Lloyd
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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.

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More reviews for Hoop Dreams

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
Two Chicago-area teens undergo a myriad of struggles as they hope to one day play in the NBA. I remember when this film came out and Siskel and Ebert almost… More
Jay Hutchinson
This film isn't really about "Hoop Dreams." It's about two teenagers growing up in urban Chicago facing a plethora of life challenges, one… More
Dan Schultz
The best documentary ever made concerning two young boys in Chicago who dream of becoming pro basketball players some day, and how their lives intertwine and… More
Sophie Burgess
I really enjoyed the story of this and liked how it followed the boys through a number of years through good and bad times. It showed how city kids only have… More
Graham Jones
A documentary that is about much more than basketball, this is filmmaking at it's finest.
Michael S
Best documentary ever made.

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