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Hoop Dreams Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Stunning documentary, great for older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this documentary film features a lot of intense discussion by two young men about their experiences with parental separation and divorce, familial drug use, extreme poverty, sport-related injury, urban blight and violence, as well as teen pregnancy, all while they are trying to earn college basketball scholarships.

  • Families can talk about the experiences of William Gates and Arthur Agee both on and off the high school basketball court. How are William and Arthur's high school experiences different? How are they the same? How do their family environments both help and hurt each of them? Why do other young people -– particularly young black men –- find themselves in similar situations? What do you think about the boys' long-term goals? What would you have done differently? How are their predicaments similar and different to other children in inner cities across the United States?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Not an issue

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A characters describes how he was mugged.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Teen sexuality is discussed in terms of its consequences.

  • language false3

    Language: Some strong language from basketball coaches and a scene where one of the characters is listening to music with particularly strong lyrics.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Basketball shoes and athletic gear are depicted and are discussed by brand name.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drug use by family members and friends is discussed, always in terms of its consequences.