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
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 82% 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.

Full review…
Jordan Hoffman
New York Daily News

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

Full review…
Zach Hollwedel
Under the Radar

The film's informed voyeuristic style ... allows Cooke's actions to speak louder than any words the often soft spoken protagonist might have shed on his life.

Full review…
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times

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

Full review…
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.

Full review…
Eli Landes
FILMINK (Australia)

The Safdies have done remarkably well in resurrecting an old project, which although lacking in production value, simply needed to be seen by the world.

Full review…
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.

Full review…
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.

Full review…
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.

Full review…
More reviews for Lenny Cooke