Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time
No. 13: Hoop Dreams (82 points)
Year released: 1994.
Cast: William Gates, Arthur Agee.
What we like: The straight talk. Arthur Agee and William Gates look brave and naive at the same time. Their coaches come off at turns kind, cold, caring and calculating. Their family members run the gamut as well, frustrating us and allowing us to relate to them at the same time. The truth is messy -- and so is the world of big-time high school basketball, which is exposed here for all the world to see.
What we're willing to overlook: We know it's edgy and all, but videotape doesn't add much to the picture.
If you haven't seen "Hoop Dreams" or read "The Last Shot" by Darcy Frey, you can't consider yourself a true basketball fan. -- Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons
A better sports story has never been put on film -- or, in this case, videotape. -- Page 2 columnist Ralph Wiley
The viewer develops more of an emotional attachment to the lead characters than in any other sports movie -- because in the back of your mind, you can't help but remember that these kids are real. You feel the pain of Gates' knee injury, the elation of Agee's game-winning shot and the frustration of knowing that their dreams will, in all likelihood, never be realized. The filmmakers provide an uncensored look inside their lives for four years -- long before anyone had ever thought of reality TV. -- Page 2 editor Kevin Jackson
Everything about how the game is a powerful idea, and about how that idea both is and is not enough to sustain you, is in here. -- Page 2 columnist Eric Neel
More dramatic than any fiction. It's No. 1 on my list. -- Page 2 columnist Dan Shanoff