The Basketball Diaries
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The Basketball Diaries
Very loosely based on the memoir of the same name, The Basketball Diaries transposes the late '60s adolescence of writer/artist Jim Carroll to some unspecified time period at least 15 years later, further confusing the timeframe with three decades of rock music, some by Carroll himself. Jim (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Catholic school chums are on the hottest basketball team in New York, but their friend Bobby (Michael Imperioli) languishes in the hospital with leukemia. In-between typically boyish adventures, Jim scribbles in his notebook and experiments with sex and drugs. His group of… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For those few soul-freezing moments, you get a glimpse of the great actor Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"The star shines, but the movie is hard to watch."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"What almost saves the muddled pic from fouling out is the raw dynamic performance by Leonardo DiCaprio... ."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Bleak, depressing independent film making with an incredible performance by Leonardo Di Caprio, The Basketball Diaries shows that, if anything, it is the company you keep that will eventually lead to your downfall."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"Di Caprio gives a bravura turn that should've won him an Oscar"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Significantly, the movie keeps the hero's reformation offscreen as well as unexplained; it's more interested in shock effects than in candor or elucidation."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"You leave The Basketball Diaries believing that Leonardo DiCaprio can do anything."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Stark tale of teen drug abuse and delinquency."
‑ David Gurney, Common Sense Media
"It was impossible in The Basketball Diaries not to take notice of DiCaprio's seemingly undauntable talent, as he channeled the tortures of the drug-addicted damned. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Although the film, like most films that deal with drug issues, has a preachy sincerity and a focus on the woes of drug use it makes for effective, compelling viewing."
‑ , Film4
"The angel-faced DiCaprio is a gifted actor, but he lacks the authority and physical presence to keep us with him."
‑ , Time Out
"Although it masquerades as a cautionary tale about the horrors of heroin, this epic of teen-age angst is more accurately seen as a reverential wallow in the gutter of self-absorption."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"An uncomfortable experience, to say the least. But also quite rewarding."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"...an intoxicating, frightening and emotionally honest essay on the self-destructive impulses of the nascent artist."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"If the idea of watching Leonardo DiCaprio pout for 90 minutes gives you sweaty palms, by all means go."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for The Basketball Diaries on Rotten Tomatoes

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