6.3/10
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29 user 51 critic

High Flying Bird (2019)

TV-MA | | Drama, Sport | 8 February 2019 (USA)
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2:04 | Trailer
A sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during a lockout.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh
Reviews
Popularity
49 ( 81)

Steven Soderbergh Scores With 'High Flying Bird'

Find out why people are talking about High Flying Bird, the Oscar-winning director's new Netflix film about race and power in the NBA, shot entirely on an iPhone.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
André Holland ... Ray Burke
Melvin Gregg ... Erick Scott
Eddie Tavares ... Waiter
Farah Bala ... Manager Sal
Skip Bayless ... Himself
Shannon Sharpe Shannon Sharpe ... Himself
Joy Taylor Joy Taylor ... Herself
Zazie Beetz ... Sam
Bill Duke ... Spence
Zachary Quinto ... David Starr
Caleb McLaughlin ... Darius
Bobbi A Bordley ... Freddy (as Bobbi Bordley)
Sonja Sohn ... Myra
Kyle MacLachlan ... David Seton
Jeryl Prescott ... Emera Umber
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Storyline

A sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during a lockout.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Play the Game on top of the Game

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Flying Bird See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second film Steven Soderbergh shot on an iPhone, following Unsane (2018). See more »

Quotes

Sam: I know you're old school. I sent you a fax.
See more »

Soundtracks

Minus40
Written by Bryan M. Dych
Performed by Two Headed Hound
Courtesy of Pen Music Group, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Is Not A Basketball Movie, It's Much More
9 February 2019 | by bennyantlangSee all my reviews

There is very little basketball to be seen here - in fact I think there's only one scene where any characters actually play ball. But that lack of on-court action is the very point & purpose of the movie; the plot is driven by an NBA lockout wherein the players are being denied the opportunity to play the sport they love (and get paid for it), all because the "Powers That Be" feel they aren't making enough money from it themselves. This is a very real issue in modern sport, and this film seeks to confront many aspects of it; from the rich insular Establishment of western societies in general, to the very concept of human endeavour becoming a commodity for profit. And as the majority of NBA players are black and the owners white, the movie doesn't shy away from the issue of race either. Comparisons with slavery may seem heavy-handed, but the reality is that these black athletes' livelihoods are completely at the mercy of rich white men; their blood & sweat turned into dollars to fill their owners' pockets. These are big, political issues atypical of your standard sports movie - anyone expecting a "gutsy underdog" story or a heartwarming tale of redemption through hard work & team spirit, will be sorely disappointed. This film is all about social commentary and witty dialogue, and the intentionally-underwhelming ending is clever yet pragmatic. There's no Rudy or Coach Carter to be found here; the central character has lofty ideals, but realistic expectations - he knows he's always playing someone else's game, and the rules are rigged against him. High Flying Bird feels real, modern and urgent, in stark contrast to the feel-good dreamy nostalgia of most sports movies. Soderbergh makes his point well, and always delivers technical excellence in his filmmaking, so your appreciation of this film will depend entirely upon how interested you are in the issues it presents. But it feels like something of a landmark moment in the sports movie genre.


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