Love & Basketball


Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28

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Critic Reviews

  1. The fact that the blatantly thumbtacked-on happy ending plays as unvarnished fairy tale adds a definite bittersweet tang of irony.
  2. 88
    The conventional and the cliche are slam-dunked in favor of a fresh, authentic take on passion, ambition and coming of age.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The cinematic equivalent of a high, arching rainbow of a three-pointer from midcourt.
  4. Any critic likes to predict the rise of a star, so let me introduce you to Gina Prince-Bythewood.
  5. 70
    The lush, emotional scenes are enhanced by the sound track.
  6. 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.
  7. 75
    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.
  8. Lathan, charismatic and beautifully strong, holds the screen in every scene.
  9. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    A startling debut full of emotional depth and political punch.
  10. 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.
  11. 80
    Although the writing and the directing are smart and purposeful, the movie takes flight on the strength of its performances.
  12. Los Angeles Times
    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.
  13. 75
    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.
  14. 75
    It's a tad too generic to be a slam dunk.
  15. Makes hoops look like the sexiest game in town.
  16. Love and basketball -- if you like either one, here is a movie for you.
  17. Prince-Bythewood's movie is an occasionally clunky, mostly engaging coming out party for herself.
  18. Uses sports as metaphor for life with rare twist.
  19. 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.
  20. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    One wishes producer Spike Lee had stepped in to give the dialogue some sass.
  21. 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.
  22. 70
    Prince-Bythewood gives the film a style that's easy on the eye but also has muscle -- on and off the court.
  23. This one has crossover hit written all over it.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 98 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.