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Like Mike (2002)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family, Fantasy  |  3 July 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 14,228 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 72 user | 39 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A 14-year-old orphan becomes an NBA superstar after trying on a pair of sneakers with the faded initials "M.J." inside.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Calvin (as Lil Bow Wow)
Julius Ritter ...
Marlon (as Julius Charles Ritter)
Roger W. Morrissey ...
Marvin Joad (as Roger Morrissey)
Henderson (as Timon Kyle)
Alex Krilov ...
David Brown ...


Calvin and his friends, who all live an in orphanage, find old shoes with the faded letters MJ connected to a powerline. One stormy night, they go to get the shoes when Calvin and the shoes are struck by lightning. Calvin now has unbelievable basketball powers and has the chance to play for the NBA. Written by Jerry Smith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Only real ballers watch this movie. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 July 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Calvin - Voll am Ball  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,179,420 (USA) (5 July 2002)


£1,242,842 (UK) (17 January 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The exterior is that of the Staples Center but the interior of the Knights' home arena is that of the Great Western Forum, the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers. See more »


During Calvin's initial game with the Spurs, the scoreboard reveals that Calvin has only 12 points heading into the final possession. Therefore, the game-winning three pointer would increase his total to 15, yet the following day the news anchor says that Calvin had 27 points. See more »


Dirk Nowitzki: Can you sign this? It's for my niece.
Calvin Cambridge: Sure. What's her name?
Dirk Nowitzki: Uhhh... Dirk.
See more »


Features SportsCenter (1979) See more »


Feel the Beat
Written by Jaakko Salovaara and Darude (as Ville Virtanen)
Performed by Darude
Courtesy of Strictly Rhythm Records LLC, Neo Records Ltd. and Stargate Music Oy/16 Inch Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hollywood's take on a childhood fantasy
26 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Like Mike will most likely be a charmer for kids between the ages of five and ten, to which this movie is naturally targeted towards. As someone speaking well outside of that demographic, it's a tiresome hour and a half. Considering all the refreshing films aimed at this sort of demographic, both live action and animated, to have children suspend reality and pause the real world for Like Mike is an unnecessary move.

Is the film harmful? Not in the slightest. To its respect, it is genial and kind, throughout most of its runtime (Despite the total 180 the film takes in a scene where a goon threatens to burn a young kid's only picture of his biological family if he doesn't confess to where Calvin's sneakers are at). But is it particularly ideal for a growing child? I don't believe so. The film treats the real world as if clichés are part of life and how quickly a wholesome story gets opted for one of almost no realism beyond the character's names. If that's what you're looking for, pay no mind to me.

The story centers around Calvin Coolidge (Lil' Bow Wow), a young orphan who comes in contact with a magical pair of Nike sneakers with the ambiguous initials "MJ" on them. Well, the only "MJ" Calvin knows is Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls all-star, so that's who it must be. We never do get a straight answer, but I guess a clever assumption is good enough.

Calvin realizes that whenever he puts on the shoes, he becomes amazing at basketball. In a very contrived scene where Calvin's ticket number is called when he is lucky enough to go to a basketball game, he winds up beating the own player at his game by scoring three shots on the man.

So, he becomes contracted to the Minnesota Timberwolves and starts to befriend their player, Tracy Reynolds (Morris Chestnut), who clearly doesn't want to be befriended. He is an introverted soul, who loves random hookups and hates the thought of seeing any member of his family again, let alone starting his own. When Calvin, Tracy, and the rest of the Timberwolves are not on the court, Calvin tries to get direct access to Tracy's heart.

The idea of a young orphan becoming a sports star just because of a pair of sneakers is a little more than far-fetched. I suppose it's an ode to those Nike ads from back in the day that if unsuspecting young-ins bought clothing endorsed by this sports star they would be able to play like that specific star. Speaking of ads, don't even get me started on the shameless way this film is acting as a vehicle for the NBA.

We end on a schmaltzy cookie-cutter note and learn next to nothing throughout this whole experience. Like Mike is a child's fantasy come to life, from what I can assume. Personally, I' d rather see my child act out his own unique fantasies than pay money to see Hollywood's take on them. Seems a lot healthier for the both of us.

Starring: Lil' Bow Wow, Jonathan Lipnicki, Morris Chestnut, Robert Forster, Crispin Glover, and Eugene Levy. Directed by: John Schultz.

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How could Mike not be in the movie? chipper1661
Why aint jordan or any1 good in this.... Hockeynut1149
Ruined Bow Wow's career? cookiedough253
Does ne1 know the song? DyMeCeSs
Rasheed Wallace wootawoota
there's nuttin wrong wit crispin glover bein in here gracielou89
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