The Basketball Diaries - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Basketball Diaries Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
July 1, 2011
What almost saves the muddled pic from fouling out is the raw dynamic performance by Leonardo DiCaprio... .
Full Review | Original Score: C+
David Gurney
Common Sense Media
January 1, 2011
Stark tale of teen drug abuse and delinquency.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
R. L. Shaffer
October 16, 2010
An uncomfortable experience, to say the least. But also quite rewarding.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews
July 7, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
May 31, 2010
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]
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 1, 2010 intoxicating, frightening and emotionally honest essay on the self-destructive impulses of the nascent artist.
Full Review | Original Score: 87/100
Clint Morris
July 23, 2008
Di Caprio gives a bravura turn that should've won him an Oscar
| Original Score: 4/5

March 24, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 24, 2008
For those few soul-freezing moments, you get a glimpse of the great actor Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be.
Full Review | Original Score: B-

TV Guide
March 24, 2008
If the idea of watching Leonardo DiCaprio pout for 90 minutes gives you sweaty palms, by all means go.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 24, 2008
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.
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
The angel-faced DiCaprio is a gifted actor, but he lacks the authority and physical presence to keep us with him.
Emanuel Levy
June 15, 2005
You never understand what really motivated this intelligent adolescent, a gifted basketball player and sensitive writer, to descend into the hellish life of a drug addict and hustler on the mean streets of New York.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
August 30, 2004
The star shines, but the movie is hard to watch.
| Original Score: 2/5
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks
April 20, 2004
Crushingly over-emoted and internally inconsistent; for Leo die-hards only, and how many of those are around anymore?
| Original Score: 0/5
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum
April 1, 2003
Okay film that unjustly caused its fair share of controversy.
| Original Score: 2/5
Dragan Antulov
October 1, 2001
Full Review| Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
You leave The Basketball Diaries believing that Leonardo DiCaprio can do anything.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 13, 2001
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
January 1, 2000
Facile escapes are rejected, and the resolution is acceptable because we can believe it. In fact, that's the reason this film works as well as it does: credibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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