Will Ferrell dons the tightie-tight shorts to play well-coiffed ABA trailblazer Jackie Moon in this silly hardwood comedy.
SPACE JAM (1996)
One of the greatest courtside showdowns in history took place in 1996. Led by Michael Jordan, the Toon Squad takes on the Monstars, battling for ultimate basketball bragging rights.
LOVE & BASKETBALL (2000)
Two next-door neighbors — a boy and a girl who share a burning passion for basketball — grow up, fall in love, and pursue their dreams of becoming professional athletes. Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan make an attractive couple, all the more so when they go one-on-one.
GLORY ROAD (2006)
In 1966, Don Haskins, the basketball coach of Texas Western College made history by starting an all-black lineup against an all-white Kentucky team in the NCAA championship game. Josh Lucas stars in this relentlessly rousing drama, based on Haskins’ bestselling autobiography.
FAST BREAK (1979)
Brooklynite David (Gabe Kaplan) chases his basketball dreams, recruiting a motley crew as he builds his own team in a small town.
Age only improves this rousingly old-fashioned tale of a small-town high-school basketball team and the no-nonsense coach (Gene Hackman) who takes them further than any of them dared imagine. (There’s no flash or pretense in the filmmaking or the performances; as on any well-trained team, everyone properly executes the fundamentals.) And we like what it says: Forget the obvious David-and-Goliath theme, this movie is really about redemption and second chances.
THE BASKETBALL DIARIES (1995)
Bringing Jim Carroll’s story to the big screen, The Basketball Diaries follows Jim (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he eyes a bright future in basketball but is quickly derailed by tribulations and addiction.
HOOP DREAMS (1994)
A group of young documentary filmmakers spent five years capturing the day-to-day struggles of a pair of teenage phenoms who leave their inner-city Chicago homes to play for a suburban (and predominately white) high-school-basketball powerhouse. Pulsing beneath the many important issues — race, class, and the commodification of sports — raised in this bracingly powerful film is the story of two young men dealing with life in all its heartbreakingly human dimensions.
BLUE CHIPS (1994)
Real basketball greats from Shaquille O’Neal to Kevin Garnett to Larry Bird bring their star power to Blue Chips, following a college basketball team as the coach attempts to rebuild.
THE HEART OF THE GAME (2005)
Take the aching high-school-life dramas of Friday Night Lights, transpose them to the world of girl’s basketball, and you’ll have something like Ward Serril’s gripping documentary. We all could learn a thing or two from the young heroines of the Roosevelt High Roughriders. Comparisons to Hoop Dreams are inevitable, and entirely justified.
HE GOT GAME (1998)
While serving time for the accidental killing of his wife, Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) is given a furlough by the governor of New York. The catch? Jake must persuade his talented high-school basketball-player son (Ray Allen) to play for the governor’s alma mater. Washington plays the part of the conflicted father with a brooding intensity that gives substance to Spike Lee’s dark and complex film.
Hubert Davis’ deeply personal documentary explores the lives that were forever altered when his father, Harlem Globetrotter Mel Davis, left his mother and him for a white woman and her son.
TEEN WOLF (1985)
High school student Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) goes from riding the bench to leading the team to victory when he learns one hairy family secret.
COACH CARTER (2005)
A high-school basketball coach (Samuel L. Jackson) dispenses a big can of tough love when he takes over a failing program and a dispirited team. Think Lean on Me meets Hoosiers — with even more shouting.
WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP (1992)
Who knew Woody Harrelson had real street-ball skills? Who knew Wesley Snipes could make with the funny? Who knew that there were such things as basketball hustlers? Harrelson and Snipes show some real chemistry in Ron Shelton’s brisk comedy.
ABOVE THE RIM (1994)
A high-school hoops star (played by Duane Martin) confronts two possible career paths on the eve of his graduation. An otherwise conventional sports drama remembered mostly for its believable on-court action and a memorable performance by the late Tupac Shakur.
PISTOL: BIRTH OF A LEGEND (1991)
If the nickname ”Pistol” doesn’t immediately call to mind one of the most remarkable athletes to ever lace up a pair of high tops, you probably aren’t a hoops fan. This is a modest (and, perhaps, too big-hearted) biopic that follows the early years of future NBA Hall-of-Famer ”Pistol” Pete Maravich.
REBOUND: THE LEGEND OF EARL 'THE GOAT' MANIGAULT (1996)
Don Cheadle and Forest Whitaker star in this engaging based-on-real-events HBO movie about Earl Manigault, a basketball phenom who achieved a mythic reputation on the courts of Harlem. (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once called him the greatest player he had ever seen.) Manigault’s life story is as remarkable as it is inspirational.
THE FISH THAT SAVED PITTSBURGH (1979)
A killer concept: Astrologer advises struggling pro basketball team to hire only players born under the sign of Pisces. A killer setting: disco-era Pittsburgh. And the gravity-defying artistry (and comedy stylings) of Julius ”Dr. J” Erving. What’s not to love?