More Than a Game (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Though the film may not delve as deep as some would prefer, More Than a Game is an inspiring documentary featuring likable youngsters, a positive message, and some exciting in-game footage.


Movie Info

Five talented young basketball players from Akron, Ohio star in this remarkable true-life coming of age story about friendship and loyalty in the face of great adversity. Coached by a charismatic but inexperienced player's father, and led by future NBA superstar LeBron James, the "Fab Five's" improbable seven-year journey leads them from a decrepit inner-city gym to the doorstep of a national high school championship. Along the way, the close-knit team is repeatedly tested--both on and off the … More

Rating: PG (for brief mild language and incidental smoking)
Genre: Documentary, Sports & Fitness
Directed By:
Written By: Kristopher Belman, Brad Hogan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 2, 2010
Box Office: $0.9M
Runtime:
Lionsgate Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for More Than a Game

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (24)

Really, it's just an extension of the LeBron James brand, released to coincide with a book on the same subject and designed to explore the star's humble roots even while further buffing his galactic glitter.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

It drags in places, becomes repetitive and could use a more rigid hand in editing, but it also has a kind of pleasing earnestness that would be lost in a more sophisticated effort.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Expertly orchestrated and unavoidably moving, More Than a Game is nevertheless your standard inspirational sports story about spunky kids who defy the odds to become champions.

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

More Than a Game is more than a feature-length profile of LeBron James, and that's good news.

October 16, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The filmmakers go a little too far with the superlatives, at times trying to portray these gifted and often immature players as bigger underdogs than they appear to be in real life. But the movie is comprehensive and interesting...

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's a resonant story about four boyhood friends, determination, sacrifice, overcoming obstacles and the mentor who guides them from rough beginnings to the national basketball championship. It's about victorious lives, not games.

Full Review… | October 15, 2009
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for More Than a Game

"The incredible true story of LeBron James and the Akron Fab Five"

This documentary follows NBA superstar LeBron James and four of his talented teammates through the trials and tribulations of high school basketball in Ohio and James' journey to fame.

REVIEW
Remembering Michael Jordan is a feeling no player in basketball history could ever approach his skill and charisma. The smooth documentary More Than a Game offers the possibility that Le Bron James is everything Jordan was and maybe more. Yet it succeeds in deflecting James' glory by showing how his "Fab Five," as they called themselves at Akron's St. Vincent, St. Mary's in Ohio, overcame difficulties to become national champions.

Although the documentary follows the usual arc of win, lose, win for sports stories, similar to Hoop Dreams, I had satisfaction that I witnessed a phenomenon of history?a team that survived briefly without James(who later won a court decision to be reinstated), qualified for the nationals, lost the national championship only to come back the next year victorious. Clichéd as that might be, it's interesting history. The impact of media coverage, especially the growing awareness of James's transcendent talent, is never fully explored in favor of spreading the story amongst the five star players and coach.

Because James is a producer of this film, it's easy to see how it slides over the controversies such as his mother's financing a Hummer for him. There may be other more egregious acts, yet it's hard not to like the self-effacing star, even harder to discount the emotional challenges facing a coach who must coach his own son. Indeed the story of Coach Dru Joyce is every bit as interesting as that of the players, neophyte as he was to coaching basketball and with his son in the starting lineup. This is where director Kristopher Belman is at his best as he carefully reveals the difficulties such a situation brings.

The sly comment about James at the end of the obligatory "what happened to whom" may be the best indicator that as manipulative as this doc may be, it has a sense of humor about a serious sports story.

LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Amazing Film! Great Story of Lebron James team in Highschool and how they overcome so many obstacles to win the National Highschool championship!

This documentary follows NBA superstar LeBron James and four of his talented teammates through the trials and tribulations of high school basketball in Ohio and James' journey to fame.

MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

½

Surprisingly a pretty good doc, props to Lebron for not having a big head about da game, or at lease for this doc. Taking jews back to skoo.

Chiefilms
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

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