7.3/10
86,028
152 user 38 critic

The Basketball Diaries (1995)

A teenager finds his dreams of becoming a basketball star threatened after he free falls into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,608 ( 238)

On Disc

at Amazon

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After his father's death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother, which is suddenly challenged when love walks into his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis
The Beach I (2000)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York, Patcharawan Patarakijjanon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story about the relationship between a rebellious 50s teenager and his abusive step-father, based on the memoirs of writer and literature professor Tobias Wolff.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Barkin
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich
Marvin's Room (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A leukemia patient attempts to end a 20-year feud with her sister to get her bone marrow.

Director: Jerry Zaks
Stars: Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton
The Aviator (2004)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Blood Diamond (2006)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald
Total Eclipse (1995)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Young, wild poet Arthur Rimbaud and his mentor Paul Verlaine engage in a fierce, forbidden romance while feeling the effects of a hellish artistic lifestyle.

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, David Thewlis, Romane Bohringer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Marilyn Sokol ...
...
...
...
Roy Cooper ...
...
Construction Worker (as Vinnie Pastore)
...
Jimmy Papiris ...
Nick Gaetani ...
...
Bobo (as Alexander Gaberman)
Ben Monk ...
Tommy (as Ben Jorgensen)
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll's epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction. As a member of a seemingly unbeatable high school basketball squad, Jim's life centers around the basketball court and the court becomes a metaphor for the world in his mind. A best friend who is dying of leukemia, a coach ("Swifty") who takes unacceptable liberties with the boys on his team, teenage sexual angst, and an unhealthy appetite for heroin -- all of these begin to encroach on young Jim's dream of becoming a basketball star. Soon, the dark streets of New York become a refuge from his mother's mounting concern for her son. He can't go home and his only escape from the reality of the streets is heroin for which he steals, robs and prostitutes himself. Only with the help of Reggie, an older neighborhood friend with whom Jim "picked up a game" now and then, is he able to begin the long journey back to sanity. Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of the death of innocence and the birth of an artist See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic depiction of drug addiction with related strong violence,sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basketball Diaries  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,424,439 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A drug consultant was hired for authenticity and was present on set. DiCaprio outlined how to talk like a Junkie to the Los Angeles Times. "The voice: you go down an octave," DiCaprio explained. "Even when you raise your voice it's like you got this frog in your throat. It's not necessarily being tired and it's not necessarily like being drunk. It's sort of like your body becomes jelly and all your bones and everything become completely relaxed. You just feel at peace. Supposedly. I don't know. I've never done it. Right?" See more »

Goofs

Supposedly set in winter, yet deciduous trees with green leaves are visible. See more »

Quotes

Jim Carroll: I saw this girl next to me who wasn't beautiful until she smiled.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Entourage: The Scene (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Watusi Latin Boogaloo
Written by Joseph L. Altruda (as Joe Altruda)
Performed by The Joey Altruda Latin Explosion
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
St. Vitus' Dance
26 June 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

There is a type of disease associated with St. Vitus and this film qualifies in the comparison because it's quirky, fast, and it never stops moving. Director Scott Kalvert gives the movie a 'look' that makes the Manhattan of the period when it supposedly takes place, believable.

Leonardo DiCaprio was at his best in the film. His performance is very nuanced and in your face, at the same time. Mr. DiCaprio makes you feel the pain Jim is going through; he is a lost soul. Not being a fan of Mark Wahlberg, I must confess that in this film, be it because of the direction, or whatever, he shines, as Mickey.

As Jim's mother, Lorraine Bracco has never been better in anything she has been in recent memory. Bruno Kirby is perfectly creepy as the coach of St. Vitus High School.

As far as the connection with the Columbine School massacre, since the sequence where Jim is involved is a dream, it's easy to understand how the twisted minds of the ones responsible for the killings would have taken this scene as a model for their terrible crime.


26 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page