The Basketball Diaries Synopsis
Crime pays for the drug addiction of a high-school hoopster and three teammates in 1960s New York.
Read Full Synopsis

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

46
SEE ALL CRITIC REVIEWS
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
The tale related here isn't all that original, but the honest presentation lends impact to a wrenching scenario.
Full Review
75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
[Kalvert] best serves the movie by simply focusing on DiCaprio, who communicates the spirit and blunt truth of the diaries even when the...
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
It's an energetic, watchable mess.
Full Review
63

TV Guide

By
Jim Carroll's dreamy, pseudo-poetic memoir of a misspent New York boyhood - standard equipment for alienated adolescents of the 90s - is...
Full Review
60

Empire

Without rising star DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg this would have been considerably more turgid and unappealing. But their charm allows...
Full Review
50

Chicago Tribune

By John Petrakis
It's more of a pastiche, a montage of brutality, a slow descent into Dante's Inferno until we reach the subbasement of a boy's soul. [21...
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Edward Guthmann
Basketball Diaries is an earnest, botched effort to do justice to Carroll's book. Amazingly, though, even with Kalvert's lack of style and...
Full Review
50

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The movie is unconvincing. At the end, Jim is seen going in through a "stage door," and then we hear him telling the story of his descent...
Full Review
38

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
It's not boring to watch, but in the end it's too lame and too tame. [21 Apr 1995]
Full Review
25

San Francisco Examiner

By
Imagine if "On the Road" ended with Sal and Dean settling down in the 'burbs. Or if the carnal encounters in Henry Miller's "Sexus" were...
Full Review

Drug Movie

By too_legit
Excellent movie foreshadowing the addiction and withdraws heroin users go through....

Freakin Awesome

By Trixta09
Very very very very very very very VERY good movie. Dicaprio and Wahlberg were awesome in this movie. Great Acting and emotional. Great Story. 20 stars!!!...

More Info

Rated R
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 15+ Stark tale of teen drug abuse and delinquency.
Read the Common Sense Media Review
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
LANGUAGE
DRINKING & DRUGS
SEXY STUFF