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He Got Game (1998)

R | | Drama, Sport | 1 May 1998 (USA)
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A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Jake Shuttlesworth
Ray Allen ... Jesus Shuttlesworth
Milla Jovovich ... Dakota Burns
Rosario Dawson ... Lala Bonilla
Hill Harper ... Coleman 'Booger' Sykes
Zelda Harris ... Mary Shuttlesworth
Ned Beatty ... Warden Wyatt
Jim Brown ... Spivey
Joseph Lyle Taylor ... Crudup
Bill Nunn ... Uncle Bubba
Michele Shay Michele Shay ... Aunt Sally
Thomas Jefferson Byrd ... Sweetness
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Big Time Willie
John Turturro ... Coach Billy Sunday
Lonette McKee ... Martha Shuttlesworth
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Storyline

Tells the story of Jesus Shuttlesworth, the most sought after high school basketball prospect in the nation. Jesus and his dream to make it to the big ranks in professional basketball are overshadowed by his father, Jake, who is spending his life in prison for killing Jesus' mother. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A father's freedom depends on his son's choice. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexuality, some drug content and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tudo em Jogo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,610,663, 3 May 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$21,554,585, 26 July 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ray Allen and Spike Lee have had conversations about having a de facto sequel to this film, with Allen saying he would envision Jesus Shuttlesworth nearing the end of a successful pro career (much like Allen himself). As part of his expression of interest in such a project, when Miami Heat players were allowed to wear special jerseys with nicknames or initials as part of an NBA promotion, Allen's jersey said "J. Shuttlesworth" on the back--an image Spike Lee immediately and happily posted to Instagram. See more »

Goofs

At first while D'Andre is touching Lala's neck, he's not wearing any ring - next scene he's wearing a silver ring on his ring finger. See more »

Quotes

Sip: We're the rail splitters and no body's fucking with us.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Eric Andre Show: Tichina Arnold; Steve Schirripa (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Resurrection
Written by Chuck D (as Chuck D), Masta Killa, Darryl Pittman (as D.R. Period), Hank Shocklee and Princess Tye
Performed by Public Enemy featuring Masta Killa from Wu-Tang
Produced by Hank Shocklee & Keith Shocklee
Masta Killa appears courtesy of Geffen Records
Public Enemy appears courtesy of Def Jam Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Who's wiser, the player or the father?
13 December 2004 | by nforgione08See all my reviews

He got game is an exceptional story about a basketball player who quarrels with family issues and strives towards his dream. Directed by Spike Lee, this movie takes an in depth look at exactly how many variables are involved when being the MVP, and how a man can grow up and assess these circumstances.

Ray Allen plays a character who's name is Jesus Shuttlesworth. At a young age, his father pressed him dramatically to be the best he could be. However by mistake kills Jesus's mother and is sent to prison. The troubled child eventually grows up to become one for the best players in the nation. Now the drama builds up. When the decision to go pro or join a college team is just around the corner, Jesus's father (played by Denzel Washington) is let out of jail to convert his son to a specific school or else the father is returned to jail, it leaves Jesus with a daunting task. The reconcile between the father and son is what eventually allows Jesus to become a real man and face his problems.

The idea that a boy cannot live without his father plays a defined role in this movie. Jesus grows up with the responsibilities of taking care of his sister, who is several years younger than he is. While it appears that Jesus has all of the support in the world, Spike Lee does a terrific job of accentuating how they are really leeches. All the people want are money, fame, and fortune; which is all possible through Jesus. The reason the father plays such a key role is because although he needs Jesus's help, he isn't interested in that. He really loves his son.

Although Spike Lee did some amazing work with this movie especially with the inner city sequences, as well as the use of colors and poetry to his advantage for getting his ideas across to the audience, several scenes were unneeded which seemed overly explicit. Although these are truly issues that can ruin a famous person, they seemed almost too graphic to be seen by a general audience. What Spike does so well is keeping the real connections with the street, and enabling the audience to see exactly what the character is going through by using several techniques.

Colors in the movie such as red, green, and black symbolize power, pain, and respect between different characters. While Jesus hates his name, his father named him that through a basketball player that was how he put it, "the truth." This movie proves that in real life, you can benefit more by forgiving, and not forgetting.

Overall I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to see a unique, intellectual film that will make you think about your present situation, as well as allowing you to know the difficulties that come with fame.


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