top of page
  • Writer's picturePerrin Faerch

Classics Review: Hoop Dreams (1994)

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Original Review Date: 22 July 2020

Arthur Agee and William Gates were young inner-city kids from Chicago filled with dreams and aspirations of becoming the next big thing in Basketball. Like any kid with a whiff of potential and talent, scouts and their parents would flock and huddle around them, in hopes of elevating them to the next level. Hoop Dreams (1994) follows these kids as they maneuver and steer themselves onto what they believe is the right path, hoping and praying that their perceived destinies are true.

Filmed over five years, we watch Arthur and William as they claw their way through the competitive and often cruel high stakes nature of high school basketball. It’s fascinating seeing these two individuals with different support systems and attitudes trying to make sense of where their future is heading. Injuries and failing grades (among other things) begin to shape their destinies, only to have us praying to the heavens that these kids will make it, even if it isn’t in a sport that has them fighting feelings of doubt and failure to live up to their own expectations.

Hoop Dreams clocks in at just under three hours, but not one minute ever feels like filler. We experience the successes and failures that these people have to endure, allowing us to grow with them as we see it happen before our very eyes. It is one of the most compelling films of the 90s, that belongs in the pantheon of the truly great epics in American filmmaking. A culturally significant film upon release as well as a smash hit at Sundance, Hoop Dreams remains as poignant and as relevant as ever - offering us a glimmer of faith and hope in an often hopeless world.

You can stream Hoop Dreams over at HBO MAX in the US, and rent on Curzon Home Cinema in the UK.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page