The Basketball Diaries

Movie review by David Gurney, Common Sense Media
The Basketball Diaries Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 16+

Stark tale of teen drug abuse and delinquency.

R 1995 102 minutes

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 24 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Leonardo will blow you away!

Amazing film! First saw it when I was 12, loved it at first sight. It's a very realistic look at what drug addiction can do to a person, it completely changes who you are. Jim (Leo) had a passion for basketball, he joined a school team and even played it in his spare time with his friends, until one dose of heroin took over his life living on the streets of New York. If you don't like sports movies or think it's all about basketball, it's not. Only a few scenes of basketball are shown and the rest is pure drama. It's amazing what people will do to get drugs, who they will hurt and how far they'll go to get their next fix. Leo is simply an amazing actor! Lots and lots of teen violence, one off-screen sex scene followed by lots of prostitution and off-screen sexual acts as well as Jim and a friend watching a nearly naked woman dance. The language is very strong. It's good for young viewers to see what can happen even just your first time trying a drug, but it's also very intense - so know your child first before letting them see it.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Really intense and realistic

This movie is very realistic and does a great job portraying drug abuse and how it can ruin your life. Jim had a great life, he played basketball and had many friends, but it was all taken away when he got addicted to drugs. This movie had a lot of violence and some obscure scenes but it was really amazing and had life lessons.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Movie Details

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