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reviews

70
Based on 14 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Lenny Cooke is humbling, as well as a cautionary tale for young people thinking they can make the big time. show more

  • 60
    New York Daily News

    This melancholy documentary shows how championship dreams can turn into a nightmare. show more

  • 40
    John DeFore The Hollywood Reporter

    While a composited scene, in which has-been Lenny lectures his younger self about work ethic and wisdom, has an undeniable poignancy, actual tragedy remains far beyond the film's grasp -- as does any illumination beyond the unsurprising suggestion that Cooke just didn't want success as much as peers like LeBron James. show more

  • 75
    Jesse Cataldo Slant Magazine

    While it verges on exploitation of the gentle giant at its core, it's also an effective bit of human drama, competently, and sometimes movingly, telling a story that deserves to be told. show more

  • 75
    Odie Henderson RogerEbert.com

    This is quite a good sports documentary, moving and unafraid of making you work for its pleasures. show more

  • 70
    Scott Tobias The Dissolve

    While Lenny Cooke’s considerable social and emotional resonance still doesn’t measure up to Hoop Dreams’, the Safdies beautifully evoke the other side of the professional game, the many basketball casualties who don’t get movies made about them. show more

  • 60
    David Fear Time Out New York

    You walk away with far more questions than answers — a profile foul by any other name. show more

  • 91
    Eric Kohn indieWIRE

    The Safdies have stood out over the last few years for continually challenging audience expectations even while seeming to adhere to conventional storytelling traditions, and that's certainly true here: You've never seen a sports movie like this before. show more

  • 91
    Gabe Toro The Playlist

    Lenny Cooke isn't a documentary, it's an autopsy, detailing exactly why Cooke vanished off the map and why he struggled to get back into the game, a focus that goes micro where other sports docs go macro. show more

  • 90
    Alan Scherstuhl Village Voice

    Ordinary life comes to look like a humiliation in the late reels of Lenny Cooke, yet another heartbreaker of a doc in which a compelling basketball story powers a discomfiting examination of a crisis facing young American men. show more

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