He Got Game Image
Metascore
63

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

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 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.
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. As usual, Lee tries many kinds of stylistic effects and uses wall-to-wall music (by Aaron Copland and Public Enemy); what’s different this time is how personally driven the story feels.
  4. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    Uneven, ludicrous, but--oh man!--fun to watch.
  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: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3