Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Lathan, charismatic and beautifully strong, holds the screen in every scene.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Harrison
    In her first feature, writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood tells a familiar tale with first-rate acting and an underlying sense of authenticity.
  3. Makes hoops look like the sexiest game in town.
  4. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The cinematic equivalent of a high, arching rainbow of a three-pointer from midcourt.
  5. 88
    The conventional and the cliche are slam-dunked in favor of a fresh, authentic take on passion, ambition and coming of age.
  6. Reviewed by: Sean Oxmaker
    Uses sports as metaphor for life with rare twist.
  7. 80
    Although the writing and the directing are smart and purposeful, the movie takes flight on the strength of its performances.
  8. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    A startling debut full of emotional depth and political punch.
  9. 75
    It's a tad too generic to be a slam dunk.
  10. 75
    Not as taut as it could have been, but I prefer its emotional perception to the pumped-up sports cliches I was sort of expecting.
  11. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    The biggest missteps come toward the end, when Prince-Bythewood's storybook instincts get the best of her and force a wrap-up that doesn't feel earned.
  12. Reviewed by: Phoebe Flowers
    Never really more than an amiable Cinderella story, but it leavens its subject with such heart, such idealism and such pure eroticism that it's nearly a total success.
  13. Love and basketball -- if you like either one, here is a movie for you.
  14. Prince-Bythewood's movie is an occasionally clunky, mostly engaging coming out party for herself.
  15. Any critic likes to predict the rise of a star, so let me introduce you to Gina Prince-Bythewood.
  16. 70
    Prince-Bythewood gives the film a style that's easy on the eye but also has muscle -- on and off the court.
  17. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    It's Lathan -- with her passionate performance, physical grace and drop-dead-gorgeous looks -- who makes Love and Basketball so entertaining.
  18. 70
    It's in the small touches that this movie comes alive, and it's rare that directors can pull off this kind of thing.
  19. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    The pic is so well directed and lead performance by Sanaa Lathan so charismatic that audiences will overlook the script's flaws and root for the central duo.
  20. This one has crossover hit written all over it.
  21. 70
    The lush, emotional scenes are enhanced by the sound track.
  22. The fact that the blatantly thumbtacked-on happy ending plays as unvarnished fairy tale adds a definite bittersweet tang of irony.
  23. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    One wishes producer Spike Lee had stepped in to give the dialogue some sass.
  24. 60
    The movie's performances, especially Lathan's, are strong enough to balance out the sometimes-clichéd script.
  25. 58
    The film's best sequences -- the troubles of the young woman -- are gems adrift in a sea of Jell-O.
  26. Strong cast is defeated by a labored, screenplay in this overlong, clunky love story.
  27. Reviewed by: Andrea C. Basora
    While the first half showcases an impressive new directorial talent, the last two quarters fail to score.
  28. A film built upon transitions so weak and obvious it's astonishing the entire thing doesn't collapse on itself.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 52
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 52
  3. Negative: 2 out of 52
  1. WesM.
    Aug 2, 2008
    While admirably unsentimental, it's nevertheless unengaging, poorly acted and frequently boring... though I confess I had little While admirably unsentimental, it's nevertheless unengaging, poorly acted and frequently boring... though I confess I had little interest in the subject matter. Full Review »
  2. KeishlaR.
    Nov 10, 2007
    This movie is true fairy tale with real life problems and a sweet twist.
  3. KimyanaG.
    Oct 8, 2007
    I love this movie everytime i break up with my boyfriends i would turn this movie on because its fun and depressing at the same time.