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Hoop Dreams

The filmmakers of this groundbreaking documentary meant for it to be a short movie, but wound up weaving a widely celebrated feature-length film spanning years filled with grace and honesty. Meet Arthur Agee and William Gates, two young boys from equally rough Chicago neighborhoods who make use of their prodigious basketball talents to aim for a life outside the ghetto. But strife and setbacks befall them at every turn. Will they succeed?
Netflix Rating: 3.9
NYT Critics' Pick
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Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
98%  
93%
 
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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It's about three hours long. But it moves like Isiah, fast and smooth, and it's over in a heartbreak.
Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine  full review
 
Hoop Dreams has shown us that the rules of the game are stacked against kids like Gates and Agee. Even better, it shows us how they fight back, with the inside moves of hope.
David Ansen, Newsweek  full review
 
A heady dose of the American dream and the American nightmare combined -- a numbing investigation of how one point on an exam or one basket or turnover in a game can make all the difference in a family's fortunes.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader  full review
 
A prodigious achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length, Hoop Dreams is a documentary slam dunk.
Todd McCarthy, Variety  full review
 
An ironic drama so beautifully sculpted it could be transposed without alteration into a fictional film.
Douglas Pratt, Hollywood Reporter
 
The film's great achievement is to reveal the relentless way in which coaches and recruiters refuse to see Arthur and William as anything other than social cliches.
Caryn James, New York Times  full review
 
Along the way it becomes a revealing and heartbreaking story about life in America.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times  full review
 
The most powerful movie about sports ever made.
Hal Hinson, Washington Post  full review
 
An extraordinarily affecting documentary.
Desson Thomson, Washington Post  full review
 
This picture has a legitimate dramatic structure that is equally as compelling as a scripted slice of fiction.
James Berardinelli, ReelViews  full review
 
A documentary that breathes new life into the subject by showing the everyday reality of that dream.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
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