The Basketball Diaries Poster

Release Date: April 21st, 1995

DVD Release Date: June 30th, 1998

R|1 hr 42 min

Plot Summary
Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio) is consumed by his life as a high school basketball star. Pressured by a wicked coach (Bruno Kirby) and a concerned mother (Lorraine Bracco), Jim develops an appetite for heroin. Soon, the mean streets of New York City have replaced the basketball court as his main destination. Jim and his friends scrounge, steal and prostitute themselves to score drugs. Jim's only chance to escape addiction may be Reggie (Ernie Hudson), a neighborhood friend and hoops companion.

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruno Kirby, Lorraine Bracco, Ernie Hudson, Patrick McGaw, James Madio, Mark Wahlberg, Barton Heyman

Director: Scott Kalvert

Genres: Drama

Production Co: New Line Cinema

Keywords: Dark, Gritty, Growing up, New York City, 1990s, Fall

Ratings & Reviews

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  • Jim Carroll's dreamy, pseudo-poetic memoir of a misspent New York boyhood - standard equipment for alienated adolescents of the 90s - is predictably re-tooled as an anti-drug message vehicle. show more

  • [Kalvert] best serves the movie by simply focusing on DiCaprio, who communicates the spirit and blunt truth of the diaries even when the movie keeps trying to soften the blow. show more

  • The tale related here isn't all that original, but the honest presentation lends impact to a wrenching scenario. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com