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The Basketball Diaries R

Based on the autobiographical journals of poet Jim Carroll, "Basketball Diaries" follows the descent of a Catholic high school student from star basketball player to drug addict. Jim and his friends roam the streets of New York City as goof-offs, petty thieves, and junkies. Expelled from school for using drugs before a game, Jim is also thrown out of his house and takes up street hustling. A pre-superstardom DiCaprio gives a strong performance in this gritty and uncompromising look at being young and streetwise.

Starring:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco
Runtime:
1 hour, 42 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Sports, Drama
Director Scott Kalvert
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco
Supporting actors Marilyn Sokol, James Madio, Patrick McGaw, Mark Wahlberg, Roy Cooper, Vincent Pastore, Bruno Kirby, Jimmy Papiris, Nick Gaetani, Alexander Chaplin, Ben Monk, Josh Mostel, Juliette Lewis, Michael Imperioli, Akiko Ashley, Ernie Hudson, Manny Alfaro, Cynthia Daniel
Studio New Line Cinema
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By frisky2000 VINE VOICE on January 31, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Director Scott Kalvert creates a moving and realistic recount of the true story of Jim Carroll, played superbly by Leonardo DiCaprio, a New York City teen who at the height of his high school basketball career, falls victim to drugs and violence in the rough streets.
Look for the real-life Jim Carroll who makes a cameo appearance as a crack addict in the scene where young Jim sitting in a back alley listening to the addict preach about his "high" while boiling his fix.
Fine supporting performances by the entire cast and a musical score including original songs performed by Jim Carroll's band. Especially memorable is the acid-rock message song: "These Are All the People Who've Died" which is a tribute to Jim's fallen friends throughout his life.
The serious messages in this film SCREAM out at teens, but also are sombering to adults who realize the sometimes hopeless devastation that wracks a family during a drug crisis. Your heart breaks for Jim's mom and his mentor, an African American ex-druggie who cleaned up and wants nothing more than to help Jim out of his living hell before it consumes him.
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Format: DVD
This movie was gripping from the start to finish. I loved how it opened- a bunch of kids who obviously have minds of their own- getting high off of some household cleaner or something, skipping school, ripping off hot dog carts.. and you think this all seems crazy but then ultimately all the hard core drug usage starts and while at first it may seem like nothing but a small enjoyable thing to do- it soon is a huge habit for Jim.

Watching all the struggles Jim has to go through- loosing friends, trying to be clean & then failing, prostitution, begging for money, getting into physical fights.. - it is hard to watch and you physically can't believe that someone can go through so much and come out victorious in the end.

Leonardo plays this role FANTASTICALLY. Especially the part when he is crying at the door begging for some money from his mother. The amount of passion he pours into this character is huge... for that reason alone- go see this movie.
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Format: DVD
I must admit this movie really had a huge effect on me. After watching this, I thought to myself, "How could anyone do drugs like this?" The look of this film matches the tone of it, which is a dark, gritty feel of the streets of Brooklyn during the 1960's.

This movie basically takes a real life teenager and throws him down the wrong paths in life. You can really see Leonardo DiCaprio's character grow more and more addicted to all these drugs. Physically, you can see his body become worse and worse as he becomes more plugged into the drug culture as nights go by.

I have a whole new appreciation for Leo DiCaprio. He was only 20 years old when this was made and you can tell, this young kid can act like a pro.

This film as a very indy-film look to it which seems to add to its realism unlike if it were a major Hollywood motion picture. So, if you want to see an emotional, tearjerking view of innocence crumbling into nothing, this one will suck you in.
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Format: DVD
The 1978 memoir of the late writer and musician, Jim Carroll(who cameos as addict Frankie Pinewater), based on diaries he kept between the ages of 12 and 16, is brought harrowingly and vividly to life under the auspices of director Scott Kalvert.
Viewing this film makes me appreciate why it has frequently been aired only in the pre-dawn hours.
We initially find our anti-hero ( played with bravura by a rail-thin Leonardo DiCaprio, who, like his co-star Mark Wahlberg, who plays his friend, Mickey, knew life on the streets of Los Angeles and Boston respectively quite well enough during their formative years) shouting down a crazy neighbor(Marilyn Sokol) in his New York neighborhood, and receiving a paddling from Father McNulty(Ray Cooper) at the Catholic School he attends--St. Vitus.
He responds to his humiliation with snideness, and we see the street tough, whose drug addiction began when he was twelve, form up with his best friends, including Pedro (James Madio), and Neutron (Patrick McGaw) in addition to Mickey, commit petty crimes, and behave like punks.
Freed from their parochial school influence, the influence of the street takes over.But even on campus, they deal with a perverted basketball coach named Swifty(Bruno Kirby), who has unwholesome designs on his charges. But we see Jim emerging as a writer.
Life on the basketball court is promising for Jim, who, in his own words, "plays like a cheetah."
He and his pals express generosity towards a hospitalized, cancer-stricken teammate named Bobby(Michael Imperioli) for whom they sign a basketball.
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Format: DVD
Jim Carroll's autobiographical life story is the basis for this cult classic of the early 90's. Leonardio DiCaprio plays Jim Carroll a poet writing basketball star at a Catholic prep school in Manhatten who's future comes tumbling down when he gets addicted from glue sniffing to heroin. Mark Wahlberg co stars as Mickey his partner in crime as they skip school and do drugs, Jim realizes his future of becoming a pro basketball player are gone when he sees a local kid that he used to run with that decided to stay clean makes it to college ball. Eventually his mother kicks him out and he is saved by a black preacher an ex drug user from the streets takes him in. A powerful story about addiction and the negative affects it has on one's dreams. Leonardo DiCaprio's performance was amazing & makes you wonder how accurate it was of Carroll. The soundtrack also is amazing, essential to collection & a must see film.
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