White Men Can't Jump (1992)



Critic 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.

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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
R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Wesley Snipes
as Sidney Deane
Woody Harrelson
as Billy Hoyle
Rosie Perez
as Gloria Clemente
Tyra Ferrell
as Rhonda Deane
Cylk Cozart
as Robert
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
Reggie Leon
as Reggie
Sarah Stavrou
as Etiwanda
Irene Nettles
as Real Estate Agent
David Maxwell
as Malcolm
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
Carl A. McGee
as Gambler
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 (51) | Top Critics (14)

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

Full Review… | April 2, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | April 2, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Harrelson's performance is rich, subtle, and delicately funny. And Snipes is just amazing: everything he does seems to leap off the screen.

Full Review… | April 2, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | April 2, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Despite charismatic performances by Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes as nothing-but- net shooters who might be called the Schmo and the Bro, White Men Can't Jump throws up mostly bricks.

Full Review… | April 2, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It's a funny, frequently rousing film, with a warmly appealing acting partnership at its center-between basketball hustlers Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.

Full Review… | April 2, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for White Men Can't Jump


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


An entertaining, if repetitive and pretty predictable, story concerning a talented white basketball player (Woody Harrelson) who creatively exploits the stereotype that white men being not as good as black men at basketball in the form of hustling streetballers. After he catches the eye of a talented black baller (Wesley Snipes), the two form a partnership and attempt to hustle as much as they can together. As said, it's definitely flawed, but you can't deny how much fun it is for a large chunk of the duration. It does not give us a storybook ending by any means either, which is a nice surprise, and the characters are detailed just enough for you to care about them and root for them. Harrelson is solid and Snipes is utterly fantastic and never been better.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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 Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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