White Men Can't Jump

Critics Consensus

White Men Can't Jump provides a fresh take on the sports comedy genre, with a clever script and a charismatic trio of leads.



Total Count: 54


Audience Score

User Ratings: 161,716
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White Men Can't Jump Photos

Movie Info

Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) wrote and directed the basketball-oriented seriocomedy White Men Can't Jump. Woody Harrelson plays Billy Hoyle, a white con artist who hustles basketball games with black players, lulling his victims into the misguided notion that white men can't match up with black hoopsters. One of his victims, African-American Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes), becomes Hoyle's "agent," arranging his various inner city scams. Deane doesn't feel as though he's selling out his own people; he goes along with Hoyle to provide a better life for his wife, Rhonda (Tyra Ferrell), and son. The film breezes through several zany sequences, including one liberal-baiting satirical moment set at a black/white "solidarity" basketball game arranged by an ambitious politician. Crooked gamblers intrude upon the last scenes of the film, but Hoyle is rescued by his girlfriend, Gloria (Rosie Perez), a Jeopardy freak who realizes a lifelong dream by winning big on the Alex Trebek-hosted game show. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Wesley Snipes
as Sidney Deane
Woody Harrelson
as Billy Hoyle
Rosie Perez
as Gloria Clemente
Tyra Ferrell
as Rhonda Deane
John Gilbert
as "Jeopardy!" Announcer
Nigel Miguel
as Dwight `The Flight' McGhee
Duane Martin
as Willie Lewis
Eloy Casados
as Tony Stucci
Frank Rossi
as Frank Stucci
Bill Henderson
as The Venice Beach Boys Member
Sonny Craver
as The Venice Beach Boys Member
Jon Hendricks
as The Venice Beach Boys Member
Freeman Williams
as Duck Johnson
Louis Price
as Eddie `The King' Faroo
Alex Trebek
as Himself
Sarah Stavrou
as Etiwanda
Irene Nettles
as Real Estate Agent
Dion B. Vines
as The Bank
Bill Caplan
as Tournament Announcer
Richard James Baker
as Tournament Referee
Amy Golden
as Big Guy's Girlfriend
Jeanette Srubar
as Little Guy's Girlfriend
Zandra Hill
as Sponsor
Carl E. Hodge
as Pickup Truck Driver
Gary Lazar
as Oki-Dog Businessman
Donna Howell
as Yolanda
Johnny Gilbert
as `JEOPARDY!' Announcer
Leonard A. Oakland
as Doctor Leonard Allen
Allan Malamud
as Rocket Scientist
Jeanne McCarthy
as Dressing Room Staffer
Chick Hearn
as NBA Announcer
Stu Lantz
as NBA Announcer
Ronald Beals
as Ballplayer
Joe Metcalf
as Ballplayer
Mahcoe Moore
as Ballplayer
Mark Hill
as Ballplayer
Eric Kizziee
as Ballplayer
Chalmer Maddox
as Ballplayer
Leroy Michaux
as Ballplayer
Joseph Duffy
as Ballplayer
Pete Duffy
as Ballplayer
Gary Moeller
as Ballplayer
Daniel Porto
as Ballplayer
Jake Roberts
as Ballplayer
Lester Hawkins
as Ballplayer
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Critic Reviews for White Men Can't Jump

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (16)

  • As rough and shiny as chain nets on a sweltering summer day, White Men Can't Jump is a poetic, rag-tag triumph.

    Mar 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Shelton's strength is character, streetwise wit and funky, lived-in sexuality. Snipes, one of our most versatile young actors, gets to demonstrate his wonderful comic chops, and Harrelson, whose goofiness is part of his scam, partners him beautifully.

    Feb 8, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • A fresh and exuberant romantic comedy that is as smart about playground basketball as Bull Durham was about minor league baseball.

    Apr 2, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • They're black and white instead of fat and thin, but Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson have the makings of a classic comedy team, the Laurel and Hardy of the half-court game.

    Apr 2, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Harrelson's performance is rich, subtle, and delicately funny. And Snipes is just amazing: everything he does seems to leap off the screen.

    Apr 2, 2014 | Full Review…
  • White Man Can't Jump is most effective at the beginning -- when it's bouncing along with the exuberance that Shelton brought to such other sports-minded movies as Bull Durham and The Best of Times.

    Apr 2, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for White Men Can't Jump

  • Jun 15, 2014
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2013
    The basketball scenes are great and the interplay between Snipes and Harrelson is witty and fun. Perez is an acquired taste but I found myself enjoying her performance this time more than I have in the past. I wish there was more basketball action and fewer scenes involving the female characters as this is definitely a 'guys' film. Fast and funny the dialogue reminded me a little of the type that Tarantino would shortly produce. Harrelson has gone onto greater things but this is probably one of Snipes' better films and it's not surprising that they both did more films together.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2012
    The snappy chemistry between all the characters and 'Wesley' and 'Woody' never gets old, maybe just a little irritating. I like this film, it is just fun. Even though it never seems to tackle any issues that it may hint on raising, who cares it is just plain silly enjoyment. There is a weird change from Basketball to Television game show during the final act, but the mood of the film is so tongue-in-cheek, even if it is accidental I don't take any faults serious and take it in my viewer strides.
    Hassan V Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2012
    Witty and filled with surprises and laughter. Snipes and Harrelson make a great two-man power-trip on the blacktop. With a smart story, but simplified plot, the film scores. Although not a slam-dunk, still enough to get the win. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer

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