• R, 2 hr. 17 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Spike Lee
    In Theaters:
    May 1, 1998 Wide
    On DVD:
    Nov 10, 1998
  • Buena Vista

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He Got Game Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

September 7, 2011


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.

Full Review Source: Film4

March 25, 2008
Emanuel Levy
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Variety | Original Score: B

March 25, 2008
David Edelstein
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Slate

March 25, 2007
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 25, 2007
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

Lee paints intimate characters who are about more than the game. Themes of integrity, honesty, loyalty and familial love are woven through the film resulting in a complex, thought-provoking human drama.

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B+

April 9, 2005
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Shrewdly exposes the underbelly of college recruiting and the pressures exerted on talented high school basketball stars.

Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) | Original Score: 3/4

June 28, 2004
Dragan Antulov

Flawed but powerful.

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10

June 7, 2004
John R. McEwen
Film Quips Online

It is a wonderful thing to watch two artists work so well together. I am speaking, in this case, of Spike Lee and Denzel Washington.

Full Review Source: Film Quips Online | Original Score: 4/5

February 8, 2003
Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer

As brilliant and perplexing as the filmmaker himself.

Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer | Original Score: 3/4

October 15, 2002
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Only a director as good as Spike Lee could make a coherent movie out of this messy, jejune set-up ...

Full Review | Original Score: A

July 31, 2002
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

June 18, 2002
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine

As much a technical achievement as a narrative one.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

June 5, 2002
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

You can be sitting on top of the world but if your heart is weighed down with hate, you're going to be one sorry, sad soul for a very long time.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

March 2, 2002
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

As Jesus, Ray Allen gives a better performance than one would expect from a professional athlete.

Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Original Score: 3/4

February 27, 2001
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Washington is so consistently effective an actor that it hardly needs be said that his excellent performance as the beleaguered Jake carries the film.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

February 14, 2001
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

If you can find it, this is a film worth seeing.

Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Original Score: B

January 1, 2001
Michael Dequina

Could have used a clearer focus, but what does come sharply into view registers strongly.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Ted Prigge

It's the best basketball film since White Men Can't Jump, only it's better.

Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
Wallace Baine

Spike Lee's respect -- nay, worship -- of basketball is contagious and his audacious metaphors give shape to a powerful story of a father's efforts to save his son. And we all know a thing or two about that story.

Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Original Score: A-

January 1, 2000
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