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The Basketball Diaries
The Basketball Diaries
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol, James Madio, Patrick McGaw
Director: Scott Kalvert
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 42min

Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll's epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction. As a member of a seemingly unbeatable high school basketball squad, Jim's life centers aro...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol, James Madio, Patrick McGaw
Director: Scott Kalvert
Creators: Chris Blackwell, Dan Genetti, John Bard Manulis, Kathie Hersch, Liz Heller, Bryan Goluboff, Jim Carroll
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/19/2004
Original Release Date: 04/21/1995
Theatrical Release Date: 04/21/1995
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Craig S. (InnerMacro) from WAUSAU, WI
Reviewed on 12/5/2023...
I was hoping this film would be at worst a cinematized biography of Jim Carroll, but it's a drug movie that could be about anyone dealing with drug addiction. Several lines of Carroll's poetry appear as a voice-over monologue in the movie, but they are mostly concerning how one feels on drugs. I'm no expert on his work, but I'm assuming there's more to it than that, so maybe this was not the best entry point for someone like me with a passing knowledge of his music. The soundtrack list is impressive, but over half of the tracks are apparently so subtle or cut short that I'm not entirely sure where they featured during the film. DiCaprio does a good job of playing a junkie, but it was tough to mentally see him as Jim Carroll. He's too short, despite attempts in the film to hide this fact by using camera angles and short supporting actors. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I didn't already know what Carroll looked like, but then there's a scene with Carroll in it where's he's seated and talking to DiCaprio . . . see what I mean? The guy looks like a giant compared to Leo! Anyway, this film is basically a full-length drug abuse story, with a too-fast wrap up caption about Caroll's success since recovery. Since watching people self-destruct via drug addiction is not what I would consider entertainment, this movie seems more like a drug exploitation film than a biography. As such, much of it has been told in other movies before this one, and after, so not a lot to make this one stand out. Wahlberg gets a chance to play a character-type that hasn't been seen since he became a leading actor in his own right, so that could be of interest to some viewers.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michelle S. (Chelly10s) from W HOLLYWOOD, CA
Reviewed on 4/6/2010...
This film is based on a true story of a boy who gave up his dreams of playing basketball after getting hooked into a seedy lifestyle. The boy the main character is based on grows up to become a published poet in real life.

I thought this film was poorly executed. I'm sure the script was great, but Leo couldn't pull off the tough kid character for me. Maybe he was too young, because I think he's a great actor, but something about him in this film didn't fit the character. In fact, I think Mark Wahlberg was perfect and might have even been better for the main character.

Basically, the writing is great, the movie was okay, but the main character brought it down a bit for me.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

This 'bomb' didn't explode
Peter A. Gemmer | Space Center, FL | 12/10/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This just can't be me alone! I could not finish this disjointed, boring, bad acting mistake called a movie. I like Leo, but bought it for Mark Walberg. I either didn't recognized him or he didn't make the first half of this waste of film and my time. Skip this one. Watch Leo in "Titanic" or "Blood Diamonds" or Mark in "Shooter" or "Planet of the Apes". These in my humble opinion are good films and should be seen. I would rather try to stomach a plate of brussel sprouts than start this film over."