Hoop Dreams - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hoop Dreams Reviews

Page 1 of 44
November 22, 2016
I'm not sure what everybody else watched, but the Hoop Dreams I saw was terrible. The only thing I can figure out is that time has certainly not been kind to it. It now seems poorly made. (First and only viewing - 11/22/2016)
October 16, 2016
Proud to say that I attended St. Joseph High School, where some of this documentary was filmed. It was an amazing & beautifully well-told & well-filmed story!
September 22, 2016
A long but in depth documentary focusing on two African-American boys growing up in the slums of Chicago that are bent on making the NBA.

It focuses not on their home life but the pressure in high school & university basketball & the pressure put on them to perform.

This film captures the spontaneity of the boys & their heart & passion to play basketball. Rather stirring & inspiring but could have been a good 30-40 mins shorter.
June 26, 2016
Forget reality television, this is a reality movie. So taking it back to the 80's, this is a documentary showcasing two promising high school basketball players, Arthur Agee and William Gates. They both come from impoverished backgrounds where there is struggle a plenty off the court. Can they rise up, overcome and take their games to the next level? This is another film that is featured on the 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list, but the thing that really caught my eye about this is that Roger Ebert has been quoted as saying that this is his favorite film released in the 1990's, which is certainly high praise, given the thousands of movies the man watched throughout his illustrious career. And the movie is really solid, too, but I wasn't expecting anything different from a movie that got paid such a hefty compliment. One thing you may not know about me is that I'm actually a huge fan of the NBA and of basketball in general. I have always had a love for the sport, and can always watch a game and get really into it, regardless if it is high school, college, or professional. If you are going to watch this, the one thing that you have to keep in mind about the NBA is that while it glamorous, there is only about 450 open spots in the league, averaging about 14 - 15 spots per roster per 30 teams. This means that when you watch Hoop Dreams, you are getting what is undoubtedly an inspiring underdog story, but if you have a foot in the realm of realism, you know that the likelihood that these two get to go pro is astronomical, even given how talented they both are. This is a raw and emotional documentary that is easy to get into. You get invested in it, and you want to see nothing but good things for these kids, especially given their backgrounds. It's almost 3 hours long, but it moves as fast as can be, showing years of their lives in a very abbreviated form (they apparently shot over 250 hours of footage over 5 years). Even if you tether the expectations of their dreams, simply getting into college would be a triumph, so you always have something to root for. Hoop Dreams is a wonderful documentary, is accessible at every moment, and is absolutely something that you should take the time to view.
June 24, 2016
Well made (at this point it could be called classic) documentary about two high school basketball players struggling to balance school, the sport, and all the struggles that face them in inner city Chicago in the early 90s. Both kids have dreams of basketball getting them into college and even hope to maybe make the NBA...but it isn't really so much about the game, as much as it is a real look at what life can be like for these kids who grow up poor and face all the strife that comes with that...and we've designed a society for them in which one of the few viable ways out...is a game. Really a great documentary, a great slice of a piece of America that is still fairly present in this day and age.
May 29, 2016
Hoop Dreams is able to give a deep look in the American Dream of showing two people destined at basketball, but trouble happening along the way. It is emotional and heartwarming about close relationships with family and dealing through life itself
May 23, 2016
one of the first docs that really got me n2 docs, this and 'grey gardens'
April 26, 2016
Extraordinary documentary following the lives of two NBA hopefuls and the colleges who want to recruit them.
April 20, 2016
Hoop Dreams (1994) ????
One of the greatest documentaries of all-time, a mesmerizing odyssey of the lives of two Chicago boys who dream of professional basketball. So rich in emotion it actually starts to become drama, even though it's real. Also, it cannot be predicted since no writer could devise the stunning events that happen. A fascinating, heartbreaking study, whether you're interested in sports or not. Long but extremely worthwhile; the highest recommendation given. Evidently, this was not nominated the Oscar for Best Documentary but was instead nominated for Editing, even though the Academy complained about the length! In any event, a triumph.
April 16, 2016
Might seem average now but for the time it was an amazing look at another side of life. Sure they make these things all the time now, but not in 1991. Powerful, well worth the three hours.
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2016
Hampered by being too long and not focused enough.
March 5, 2016
Proud to say that I attended St. Joseph High School, where some of this documentary was filmed. It was an amazing & beautifully well-told & well-filmed story!
½ March 3, 2016
I had such high expectations for this documentary given the critic ratings. Nothing could have been more of a disappointment. Again, I was left thinking more about the pervasive "groupthink" of critics, professional and amateur alike, versus independent thinking. Just because this film is about a couple of ghetto youngsters, does not automatically earn it a masterpiece rating.

The film simply follows two Chicago boys following a common pursuit of making the pros. This could have been done for a couple of Canadian kids following their NHL dreams, Brazilian kids following their soccer heroes or kids in Nebraska dreaming to play baseball in the Majors. There is very little narration and guidance leaving the viewer to watch the story unfold over the years. Neither kid makes it. So what? I did not feel empathy towards either boy, because the producers did nothing to build that in the story. Yes, I feel bad about poverty, but I've seen much better documentaries about that subject that really hit home...and no, they are not from Michael Moore.

i would never recommend this documentary to anyone.
January 19, 2016
Perhaps one of the greatest movies ever made about sports, if not one of the best movies made about people.
½ January 12, 2016
Hoop Dreams is a long but super intriguing documentary about two boys from the inner city, and their lives through basketball and other tough life avenues.
It is fascinating and really interesting to see what both boys go through.
How each of them are different but somewhat connected.
At each turn you are interested to see what happens with the boys next, and you find yourself rooting hard for them. That's hard to do with a 3 hour documentary but it is accomplished nicely.

I asked myself why I cared about these boys so much...maybe it was due to the fact they were great kids from bad areas. You desperately wanted them to make it and to be with them for their journey was very awesome.
½ January 4, 2016
There is no hollywood glamorization here. A realistic look at what the steps are for you to be noticed, to one day have a shot at an NBA career. 3hrs was a bit much for me when watching this film.
January 3, 2016
A documentary that absolutely sucks you in.
½ September 18, 2015
A very comprehensive documentary, covering four years of William & Arthur's lives. As well as watching them follow their dreams, we also get to see what it's like for some people to live below the poverty line, and how professional even high school basketball is - it's an extremely tough path to get all the way to the NBA. Gives equal amounts of time to each person and to their on-court off-court lives. Long, but enjoyable.
September 13, 2015
One of my favourite documentaries.
August 17, 2015
An intense, epic documentary that will have you cheering at the character's achievements, and weeping at their failures.
Page 1 of 44