Through the Fire
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A promising athlete learns firsthand about the realities of the business of professional sports in this documentary. In 2004, Sebastian Telfair was the point guard on his high-school basketball team at Lincoln High in Coney Island, NY, but from the start he was no ordinary player -- he'd been groomed as a potential champion since grade school, and by the time he was a senior at Lincoln he was being courted by professional sports agents as well as major college recruiters. Telfair's play on the court was strong enough to attract the attention of noted basketball fans Spike Lee and… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An entertaining and compelling account of that year, even though most basketball fans will already know the ending."
‑ Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
"[Through the Fire] seems willing to beg off the tough questions in exchange for access."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Valuable not because of sebastian Telfair's ultimate triumph, but because of how effectively it contrasts his achievement with the plight of so many other aspiring athletes for whom the fantasy of a pro career ultimately fails to materialize."
‑ Kam Williams, Upstage Magazine
"You know a filmmaker has done his job when his movie appeals even to people who couldn't care less about the subject."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"Not just a story of a person but a story of a neighborhood, a city and a plan to escape."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"It doesn't have the pathos of the best sports documentaries, but Through the Fire does what ESPN wanted it to do."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"A highly satisfying documentary."
‑ Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter
"As exciting and involving as any well-made fiction film."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"a side of basketball that often goes unrevealed"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Stylistically, it plays like an ESPN profile more than a serious documentary, but the issues and drama is all real enough -- and so is the big-league money."
‑ Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine
"Even if the outcome is already known by those who follow basketball, Through the Fire makes for a suspenseful movie with an emotional climax that exceeds any fictional screen treatment of sports heroism."
‑ Susan Walker, Toronto Star
"With a real-life athlete as talented and charismatic as Coney Island hoop prodigy Sebastian Telfair, almost any outcome would probably have made for good drama, but Hock lucked out when life provided a happy ending."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"Sebastian has the nice-guy charisma of Derek Luke and he's easy to root for"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"Hock's most illustrative footage is of the dazzling, sophisticated action found on today's high-school courts; the most obscene shows the execution of 18-year-old Telfair's $12 million endorsement deal with Adidas."
‑ Lindy T. Shepherd, Orlando Weekly
"It's a pleasure to see the articulate, disciplined Telfair succeed where so many other young men have failed, but ultimately his path to success is so smoothly upbeat that there isn't much urgency to it."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Through the Fire on Rotten Tomatoes