White Men Can't Jump

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Released 1992

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Movie Summary

Director:
Ron Shelton
Released:
1992
Rating:
R

White Men Can't Jump (1992) takes a comedic and dramatic angle to telling the story of two friends who use the titled stereotype to hustle cash out of street basketball players. In this film, Wesley Snipes plays Sidney Dean, a young, smack-talking, black street basketball player from a rough neighborhood in Crenshaw, Los Angeles. He meets Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson), a former professional basketball player, at a street game. During that game, Billy proves the stereotype wrong by beating Sidney and by hurting his reputation as the best street ball player on the court. Noticing Billy's serious skills and the fact that he is white, Sidney recruits him in hustling fellow black street players based on the stereotype that white men can't play basketball. The plot thickens as their hustle succeeds. Mobsters are after Billy and his girlfriend (Rosie Perez) and Sydney is constantly at odds with his wife (Tyra Ferrell). Billy and Sidney's incessant bickering threatens to end their hustle and friendship.

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Metacritic Score

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Here is a comedy of great high spirits, with an undercurrent of sadness and sweetness that makes it a lot better than the plot itself could possibly suggest.

  • 88

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    A fresh and exuberant romantic comedy that is as smart about playground basketball as Bull Durham was about minor league baseball.

  • 80

    The Hollywood Reporter Duane Byrge

    Smartly spreading his story beyond the end lines of the basketball court, writer-director Shelton has knocked down a sparkling, slice-of-life Americana story. As rough and shiny as...

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Categories

Comedy, Sports

Themes

Basketball, witty remarks, for men, quirky characters, narcisists