Best Movies by Farr
Hoop Dreams Poster
Released Runtime Category
1994 171 Documentary, Sports Movies, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Frederick Marx English
William Gates, Arthur Agee

Hoop Dreams

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What's it About

Directed by Steve James, this top sports documentary chronicles the fortunes of two Chicago inner-city youths who look to basketball as their ticket out of a dead-end existence. It all starts when William Gates and Arthur Agee win basketball scholarships to St. Joseph's, the prestigious high school that turned out legend Isaiah Thomas. Tracking William and Arthur's progress over a five year period, the filmmakers capture the twists and turns of each individual's odyssey.

Why we love it

This highly personal film, many years in the making, allows the viewer to get to know both young men profiled: their families, friends, and how each reacts to a whole new world of pressure at St. Joe's. We think we see where it's all going early on, but of course, we're wrong — a subtle reminder that life has a way of surprising us, and that everyone develops at their own rates of speed. You don't need to be a basketball fan to love and admire "Hoop Dreams."

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"