He Got Game Image
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Denzel Washington stars as a prison inmate trying to earn himself an early release by talking his estranged son into playing basketball at the governor of New York's alma mater.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    90
    The movie is a volatile combination of ambitious mythmaking and nasty reality, and like most of Spike Lee’s work, it is also an inextricable combination of good and bad.
  2. As is often the case with Lee, though, the film left me wishing for even more scenes of casual intimacy, still the most powerful way to carry any message.
  3. Basketball, bold urban landscapes, larger-than-life characters and red-hot visual pyrotechnics are the strong points of Mr. Lee's biggest three-ring circus, not to mention the central presence of Denzel Washington.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    Flaws and all, this may be Spike's most purely enjoyable movie, and his best looking
  5. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    60
    Lacking the moral indignation, outrage and militant politics that marked Lee's earlier work, this vibrantly colorful film is a tad too soft at the center, and arguably the director's most mainstream movie.
  6. Reviewed by: Bruce Diones
    60
    The film is gorgeously shot (slow-motion basketballs spin in the air like Kubrick's spaceships), and the majestic Aaron Copland score helps some of the images to soar, but Lee's screenplay, heavy-handed and didactic, gives the actors little room to convey any real emotions.
  7. 20
    There's not a relationship in He Got Game that feels right, especially the one between Washington and Allen, and if that doesn't work, neither does the film.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. SeanK
    Jun 10, 2009
    9
    Coming off a series of mediocre films to say the least, Spike Lee presents us with perhaps his best film since Malcolm X. The movie flows Coming off a series of mediocre films to say the least, Spike Lee presents us with perhaps his best film since Malcolm X. The movie flows with a certain ingenuity that keeps the viewers locked in even when the movie and script all together sems to falter. Combined with some stunning cinematography and great acting from Denzel Washington, He Got Game's low points are surely overshadowed by its High Points and the fact that well....Spike Lee has finally given us a film worthy of seeing in theatres since Malcolm X. Expand
  2. JoshC.
    Feb 3, 2007
    9
    "He Got Game" ranks alongside, Do the Right Thing, Clockers, Malcom X, 25th hour, and When the Leeves Broke as one of Spike's best "He Got Game" ranks alongside, Do the Right Thing, Clockers, Malcom X, 25th hour, and When the Leeves Broke as one of Spike's best films. A very moving and underrated movie. Expand
  3. Nov 21, 2014
    8
    He Got Game totally is one of Spike Lee's Joints best. Ray Allen is a rarity, an athlete that can act. Denzel Washington delivers as always.ItHe Got Game totally is one of Spike Lee's Joints best. Ray Allen is a rarity, an athlete that can act. Denzel Washington delivers as always.It may not have been a box office success but Spike Lee should be proud of this amazing film Expand

See all 4 User Reviews