He Got Game
He Got Game (1998)

Denzel Washington does some of his best work as a prison inmate trying to earn himself an early release by talking his estranged son into playing basketball at the governor of New York's alma mater.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: May 1, 1998
DVD Release Date: November 10, 1998
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Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee at or near the top of his late-period game, combining trenchant commentary with his signature visuals and a strong performance from Denzel Washington.

Emanuel Levy

Lacking the moral indignation and militant politics of Lee's former work, this vibrantly colorful father-son melodrama is soft at the center, but it's one of the most accessible films Lee has made and Denzel Washington is terrific.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

As usual, Lee tries many kinds of stylistic effects and uses wall-to-wall music (by Aaron Copland and Public Enemy); what's different this time is how personally driven the story feels.

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Jon Popick

A long, boring, meandering, dog of a movie.

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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

At the end of Mr. Lee's movie, all you feel is the distraction of Mr. Lee's stylistic exhibitionism, without which, I concede, he might not be regarded as a genius in some quarters.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

Most scenes play too long, with a surplus of ideas, textures, tones and characters, and after 134 minutes it's clear Lee's problem with closure hasn't gone away.

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Lee's attack on how big business is not only ruining the game he loves but also playing with people's lives is direct and brave, while his passion, insight and intelligence are evident and admirable.

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David Edelstein

[Lee] gets a charming performance from Allen, who, in his acting debut, occupies his pedestal with grace and diffidence.

Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle

Washington's Jake Shuttlesworth looks tough and hard, an odd but refreshing turn for an actor long associated with handsomely heroic roles.

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Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide

Though too long by a good half hour, Lee's latest film packs a genuine emotional punch.

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More reviews for He Got Game

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Albert Kim
Spike Lee, dare I say, is the first Hollywood spokesman of black culture, and what do you know, Denzel's involved with another one of his projects,… More
Jason Owens
I must say that Spike Lee did a great job in making this movie. Jake (Denzel Washington) plays a prisoner who is in jail for murdering his wife years ago. He is… More
Graham Jones
Great visuals and performances though it falls short in the end, still a worthwhile minor work from Spike Lee.
Tim Sigur
I love basketball and I think you all know how I feel about Denzel.
Edward Boxler
Spike Lee is one of the very few filmmakers possessing the heart and soul of an auteur, but none of the self righteousness. He Got Game is a perfect example of… More
EightThirty .
Cool Drama ^_^

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