(1994)

Critic Reviews

98

Metascore

Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
USA Today
One of the rare sports films that devotes extensive screen time to heartbreaking losses is full of other surprises as well. [13 Oct 1994, p.1D]
100
Boston Globe
Hoop Dreams is without peer among sports-oriented documentaries to the extent that it's about people before it's about athletic feats. It respects its subjects' complexity and tenacity while nailing the problematic, double-edged influence of sports in America. In fact, no film has ever combined sports and family values as powerfully as Hoop Dreams. There's simply nothing like it. [21 Oct 1994, p.47]
100
Great American movies are, these days especially, few and far between, so let's everybody take a deep breath and mark the moment: Hoop Dreams, all three hours' worth, is a great American movie. It's got the sting of drama and the ache of truth; it's even got the sting of truth and the ache of drama.
100
A film like "Hoop Dreams" is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and make us think in new ways about the world around us. It gives us the impression of having touched life itself.
100
Hoop Dreams has the movie equivalent of all-court vision. It picks up everything happening in the gym, in the stands and even outside. It gives us the thrill of the game, but it doesn't cheat on either the vibrant social context or the deep human story.
100
The most moving aspect of this indelible documentary is that it chronicles its subjects' growth from instinctively going for the goal to deciding which goals are worth shooting for.
88
Miami Herald
The remarkable Hoop Dreams proves that even at its best, Hollywood can't match the drama of everyday life. This rich and insightful documentary, which traces five years in the lives of two Chicago inner-city kids, is more compelling than anything a pack of scriptwriters could ever concoct. [21 Oct 1994, p.G5]
88
The rich texture of Hoop Dreams' drama is its greatest asset.
80
A truly great documentary.
75
Though the movie clocks in at just under three hours, it is -- aside from an occasional slow spot -- fascinating and exciting.

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