The Basketball Diaries

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Released 1995

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The Basketball Diaries

Movie Summary

Director:
Scott Kalvert
Released:
1995
Rating:
R

The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 biographical sport drama by director Scott Kalvert, based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Jim Carroll and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg. Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a street tough high school basketball player and aspiring basketball star whose life centers around basketball. But when things start to fall apart—his best friend is dying of leukemia, Coach Swifty (Bruno Kirby) treats members of the team improperly, his teenage sexual angst crops up—Jim's chances of attaining his dream grow slimmer and slimmer. He becomes addicted to heroin and both steals and prostitutes himself in order to feed his expensive addiction. His life is spiraling out of control and his only hope is an older neighborhood friend, Reggie (Ernie Hudson). The Basketball Diaries is rated R for graphic depiction of drug addiction with related strong violence, sexuality, and language.

Metacritic Score

  • 50

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    The star shines, but the movie is hard to watch.

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The Basketball Diaries is a weak-tea rendition of Jim Carroll's much-admired cult tome about his teenage drug addiction. Leonardo DiCaprio's committed lead performance deserves a b...

  • 20

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    The Basketball Diaries is a lose-lose proposition. Although it masquerades as a cautionary tale about the horrors of heroin, this epic of teen-age * Angst is more accurately seen a...

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Drama, Sports

Themes

Basketball, Biography, Independent, city living, drug addiction