Lenny Cooke
Lenny Cooke (2013)

In 2001, Lenny Cooke was the most hyped high school basketball player in the country, ranked above future greats LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. A decade later, Lenny has never played a minute in the NBA. In this… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 6, 2013
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
81%
Flixster
User Score
70%


Critic Score: 81% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Leba Hertz
San Francisco Chronicle

Filmmakers Benny and Josh Safdie use real-time footage to follow this hopeful, affable young man as he becomes a bitter has-been over the course of a decade.

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Jordan Hoffman
New York Daily News

It's a small film, but as a cautionary tale? Swish!

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Frank Ombres
Film Comment Magazine

That the first half of the film is largely older footage (previously shot for an earlier project by Adam Shopkorn) endows it with wistfulness. No matter how merry the events, they're obviously distant fragments of a broken dream.

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Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times

A compellingly unconventional, elliptical sports documentary that explores the mysterious realm of might-have-been.

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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader

It's a spirited experiment in documentary form, with the directors showing great imagination in their fusion of new and archival footage, and their portrait of Cooke, assembled largely from offhand moments, conveying a sharp dramatic sensibility.

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Cynthia Fuchs
PopMatters

It's clear enough that even if his turns into a cautionary tale, his is also the story shared by many more kids than LeBron's.

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Nicolas Rapold
New York Times

Like a dismaying coming-of-age movie in which little is learned beyond the fickle chemistry between dreams and business.

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Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
AV Club

The question of why Cooke's career never materialized hangs over the movie, but is never answered. What emerges instead is a portrait of a talented teenager being readied ... for a future that doesn't arrive.

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Brent Simon
Shared Darkness

Lazy, fly-on-the-wall filmmaking. The Safdie brothers have the benefit of some rare extant footage, but absolutely no idea how to shape it into an interesting narrative.

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