The Basketball Diaries (1995)
Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 21
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 9
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 54,781
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
Apr 21, 1995 Wide
Jun 30, 1998
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Erik "Panther" Betts
Drug Dealer #1
Joyce R. Korbin
Billy the Bartender
John C. Vennema
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For those few soul-freezing moments, you get a glimpse of the great actor Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be.
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.
The angel-faced DiCaprio is a gifted actor, but he lacks the authority and physical presence to keep us with him.
You leave The Basketball Diaries believing that Leonardo DiCaprio can do anything.
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.
What almost saves the muddled pic from fouling out is the raw dynamic performance by Leonardo DiCaprio... .
An uncomfortable experience, to say the least. But also quite rewarding.
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.
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]
...an intoxicating, frightening and emotionally honest essay on the self-destructive impulses of the nascent artist.
Di Caprio gives a bravura turn that should've won him an Oscar
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.
Crushingly over-emoted and internally inconsistent; for Leo die-hards only, and how many of those are around anymore?
Okay film that unjustly caused its fair share of controversy.
Audience Reviews for The Basketball Diaries
Movies Like The Basketball Diaries
- Jim Carroll: Don't let your mouth get you into something that your ass can't handle.
- Jim Carroll: And it's good that there is rain. It clears the month of your sorry rainbow expressions, and it clears the streets of the silent armies... so we can dance.
- Pedro: Holy shit, look at this place.
- Mickey: Wow! I tell you what, if our school was this nice I'd go more than once a week.
- Jim Carroll: You gotta have presence on the court. Presence like a cheetah rather than a chimp. Sure, they both got it, but Chimpy gotta jump his nuts around to get it. The shy cheetah moves with total nonchalance, stickin' it to them in his sexy, slow strut. Me? I play like a cheetah.
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