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He Got Game

He Got Game
He Got Game
He Got Game
  • R
  • 2h 16m
  • 1998
Certified Fresh80%
Common Sense Media Iconage 17+
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Academy Award(R)-winner Denzel Washington stars in this must-see story about a convict given one shot at a second chance to be a father! With promises of a reduced sentence, Jake Shuttlesworth (Washington) is granted temporary release from state prison in order to persuade the nation's top basketball recruit ... his estranged son, Jesus (NBA basketball star, Ray Allen), to play ball for the governor's alma mater! But just as Jesus faces intense pressures and irresistible temptations contemplating his big decision, Jake is also forced to consider not only what's best for himself ... but what's best for his son! With a groundbreaking soundtrack by the legendary Public Enemy -- plus great cameos from John Turturro and basketball personalities Dick Vitale, John Thompson, Dean Smith, and more, HE GOT GAME is a critically acclaimed hit you don't want to miss!
© 1998 Touchstone Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Certified Fresh80%
Critics Consensus: Though not without its flaws, He Got Game finds Spike Lee near the top of his game, combining trenchant commentary with his signature visuals and a strong performance from Denzel Washington.
Emanuel Levy

Lacking the moral indignation and militant politics of Lee's former work, this vibrantly colorful father-son melodrama is soft at the center, but it's one of the most accessible films Lee has made and Denzel Washington is terrific.

June 21, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 17+
Common Sense Says
Spike Lee sports drama has strong language, violence, sex.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that He Got Game is Spike Lee's 1998 exploration of the pressures placed on a fictional number-one high school basketball pick as colleges and NBA coaches line up to offer money, women, and cars. A dad with impulse control issues tries to get back into the life of the talented son who rejected him long ago. Corruption in high school and college sports is shown, as well as graphic sexual scenes with bared breasts, depictions of drug use, violence, and manslaughter. Women are largely portrayed as whores, sex objects, or betrayers. Condoms, abortions, and STDs are mentioned; prostitution plays a large role in the movie. The predominating subtext is the exploitation of Black athletes, and also the circumstances from which they often come -- deprived neighborhoods and schools, broken families -- in some cases caused by racism. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "p---y," "d--k," the "N" word, "f-ggot," "scumbag," "ho," "bitch," "balls," and "poontang." Drug use -- cocaine, crack, crystal meth -- is discussed and shown in montage. A man accidentally kills someone when he's drunk. Denzel Washington co-stars.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:May 1, 1998
  • Languages:English, Spanish
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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