Denzel Washington and writer-director Spike Lee team for the third time with this contemporary basketball drama focusing on a promising athlete, the son of a convict-father. Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) has been in prison for six years when tough prison-warden Wyatt (Ned Beatty) tells him that he's getting a temporary parole with the promise of a commuted sentence. However, there's a trade-off -- Jake must talk his son, Jesus Shuttlesworth (NBA star Ray Allen of the Milwaukee Bucks), the top-ranked high-school basketball player in the country, into signing with the governor's alma mater, Big State. A flashback makes it clear that Jesus' mother (Lonette McKee was accidentally killed by Jake during a violent family fight. After Jake went to prison, the resentful Jesus was left alone to raise his sister Mary (Zelda Harris). Now several colleges are offering Jesus scholarships, and montages satirize the manner in which young athletes are wooed by educators and coaches across the country. However, Jake will soon be back behind bars if he can't get Jesus to sign with Big State within the week. Meanwhile, the greed of other family members begins to surface. John Turturro is seen in a cameo as Coach Billy Sunday, and several real-life coaches can also be spotted in this movie. Music by Aaron Copland (1900-1990) with songs by Public Enemy.
- MPAA Rating: R
- Genre(s): Drama
- Run Time: 134min.
- Theatrical Release Date: 05/01/1998
- DVD Release Date: 11/10/1998
- Distributor(s): Buena Vista
- Themes: Inner City Blues,Basketball Players,Fathers and Sons
- Tone: Bittersweet,Forceful,Gritty,Passionate,Reflective,Stylized
basketball, college, convict, father, parent/child-relationship, prostitute/prostitution, son
- Language: English