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Based on 18 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    Though the movie clocks in at just under three hours, it is -- aside from an occasional slow spot -- fascinating and exciting. show more

  • 100
    Mike Clark USA Today

    One of the rare sports films that devotes extensive screen time to heartbreaking losses is full of other surprises as well. [13 Oct 1994, p.1D] show more

  • 100
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    The most moving aspect of this indelible documentary is that it chronicles its subjects' growth from instinctively going for the goal to deciding which goals are worth shooting for. show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    A film like "Hoop Dreams" is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and make us think in new ways about the world around us. It gives us the impression of having touched life itself. show more

  • 100
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune

    Hoop Dreams has the movie equivalent of all-court vision. It picks up everything happening in the gym, in the stands and even outside. It gives us the thrill of the game, but it doesn't cheat on either the vibrant social context or the deep human story. show more

  • 100
    Jay Carr Boston Globe

    Hoop Dreams is without peer among sports-oriented documentaries to the extent that it's about people before it's about athletic feats. It respects its subjects' complexity and tenacity while nailing the problematic, double-edged influence of sports in America. In fact, no film has ever combined sports and family values as powerfully as Hoop Dreams. There's simply nothing like it. [21 Oct 1994, p.47] show more

  • 100
    Stephen Hunter Baltimore Sun

    Great American movies are, these days especially, few and far between, so let's everybody take a deep breath and mark the moment: Hoop Dreams, all three hours' worth, is a great American movie. It's got the sting of drama and the ache of truth; it's even got the sting of truth and the ache of drama. show more

  • 88
    Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

    The remarkable Hoop Dreams proves that even at its best, Hollywood can't match the drama of everyday life. This rich and insightful documentary, which traces five years in the lives of two Chicago inner-city kids, is more compelling than anything a pack of scriptwriters could ever concoct. [21 Oct 1994, p.G5] show more

  • 88
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    The rich texture of Hoop Dreams' drama is its greatest asset. show more

  • 80
    Kim Newman Empire

    A truly great documentary. show more

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