The film was universally acclaimed by critics. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the film "Two Very Enthusiastic Thumbs Up" on their show, with both critics naming Hoop Dreams the best film of 1994. Ebert in his initial television review proclaimed "This is one of the best films about American life that I have ever seen", and later called it the best film of the decade and "one of the great moviegoing experiences of my lifetime." In 2004, The New York Times placed the film on its Best 1000 Movies Ever list. The film has a 98% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes, based on 60 reviews with an average rating of 8.8/10. The website's critical consensus states, "One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America."
this latest installation was eventually a successful adventure, following some initial difficulties avoiding detection in previous days. upon waking up in the morning, miami beach-goers were surprised and perplexed by a full-scale basketball hoop unnaturally situated in middle of the ocean.
His knee still aches a little every day. His hoop dreams are long over. But when he watches his son, wearing his No. 22 for the Buffaloes and catching air on a dunk, he admits he still wonders sometimes about what might have been.
The film follows William, Arthur and their families on the boys' slippery journey through high school as they meet an assortment of coaches, teachers, talent scouts and pro sports celebrities who all influence what both youngsters see as a viable goal: to reach NBA's echelons. This vision of stardom has been dangled in front of the boys not only by coaches but by family as well. William's brother and Arthur's father each try to live their fantasy of reaching the NBA through their up-and-coming hoop heroes.
Curtis' story points to another reason why kids like Arthur and William try so hard to make it to the pros. Clearly seen in the film is how much of their family and friends' hopes are riding on their success. The boys do not just play for their own personal fortunes but for their family and friends' redemption as well. Having to play basketball not only for oneself but for one's family's future must impose an enormous amount of pressure on the young players. Not only do they face the pressure to perform well enough to play professional sports, but also not to become one of the many failures that form a constant element of an inner-city black kid's landscape. In the film we learn that Arthur's father Bo Agee was also a local hoop star with dreams of making it to the pros. Now he wants to "make it" through his son.
HOOP DREAMS says much about Black American life in particular, and U.S. society in general. Demonstrating the impact of class, race, differential opportunities, and gender are just as essential to this film as the game of basketball itself. The documentary allows the viewer to learn more about the human sacrifices made by those who run up and down our courts and fields trying to live their dreams amid a nightmare. 781b155fdc