The Basketball Diaries
The Basketball Diaries (1995)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: April 21, 1995
DVD Release Date: June 30, 1998
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Critic Score: 46% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

For those few soul-freezing moments, you get a glimpse of the great actor Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

The star shines, but the movie is hard to watch.

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

What almost saves the muddled pic from fouling out is the raw dynamic performance by Leonardo DiCaprio... .

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

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.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

You leave The Basketball Diaries believing that Leonardo DiCaprio can do anything.

David Gurney
Common Sense Media

Stark tale of teen drug abuse and delinquency.

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Time Out

The angel-faced DiCaprio is a gifted actor, but he lacks the authority and physical presence to keep us with him.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

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.

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R. L. Shaffer

An uncomfortable experience, to say the least. But also quite rewarding.

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More reviews for The Basketball Diaries

Flixster Audience Score: 76% Flixster User Reviews
familiar stranger
Used to despise Caprio initially, but now he's growing on me. Probably I was not qualified to see how talented an actor is. But I guess I'm… More
Tim Salmons
Leo's drug-addled turn in this early film was proof he was destined for greater things.
Coxxie Mild Sauce
"Man, who da hell axed you to suck dat dick!?"
Steven Carrier
"The Basketball Diaries" is an effective film about drug addiction but it's practically undone by incoherent editing and pacing and Mark… More
Japes .
Leo makes this movie awesome. His acting skills are amazing in this. The film didn't really show Jim's spiral into addiction. It was kind of just… More
Dan Schultz
Extremely uneven and unrelentingly dark. DiCaprio and Wahlberg are phenomenal, and there are some compelling moments near the end, but its not enough to salvage… More

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