More Than a Game (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

More Than a Game2009

More Than a Game (2009)



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.

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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 court--as James' exploding worldwide celebrity threatens to destroy everything they've set out to achieve together. "More Than a Game" combines a series of unforgettable one-on-one interviews with rare news footage, never-before-seen home videos, and personal family photographs to bring this heart-wrenching and wholly American story to life.

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Critic Reviews for More Than a Game

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (25)

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.

October 30, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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.

October 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

October 16, 2009 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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

October 16, 2009 | Rating: 4.5/5

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...

October 16, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Like a gambler with an inside bet, you can know the final score, but still enjoy every second of the game.

October 16, 2009 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for More Than a Game


If not for the likable team of the "Fab Five" this movie would fall flat on its face. And honestly... this movie tries a little hard to portray them as underdogs the entire movie but its far from believable on that front. I mean when you lose a total of what? 2 games in your entire tenure at high school at even a national division level you are not an underdog. Apart from that minor gripe this is an interesting documentary that features some great in-game footage, one on one interviews, family footage, and everything under the sun you could ever want to know about LeBron's humble beginnings. It also shows some insight into why "The Decision" ever happened and where the phrase "I will be taking my talents to..." came from.

Jason Tam
Jason Tam

Super Reviewer

"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.

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.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
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.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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