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He Got Game (1998)

R | | Drama, Sport | 1 May 1998 (USA)
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A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Jake Shuttlesworth
Ray Allen ... Jesus Shuttlesworth
Milla Jovovich ... Dakota Burns
Rosario Dawson ... Lala Bonilla
Hill Harper ... Coleman 'Booger' Sykes
Zelda Harris ... Mary Shuttlesworth
Ned Beatty ... Warden Wyatt
Jim Brown ... Spivey
Joseph Lyle Taylor ... Crudup
Bill Nunn ... Uncle Bubba
Michele Shay Michele Shay ... Aunt Sally
Thomas Jefferson Byrd ... Sweetness
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Big Time Willie
John Turturro ... Coach Billy Sunday
Lonette McKee ... Martha Shuttlesworth
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Storyline

Tells the story of Jesus Shuttlesworth, the most sought after high school basketball prospect in the nation. Jesus and his dream to make it to the big ranks in professional basketball are overshadowed by his father, Jake, who is spending his life in prison for killing Jesus' mother. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The father, the son and the holy game. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexuality, some drug content and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

He Got Game See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,610,663, 3 May 1998

Gross USA:

$21,567,853

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,567,853
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first major motion picture written-and-directed by Spike Lee not to have a performance from him in it. See more »

Goofs

At first while D'Andre is touching Lala's neck, he's not wearing any ring - next scene he's wearing a silver ring on his ring finger. See more »

Quotes

Jesus Shuttlesworth: God ain't shit!
Jake Shuttlesworth: Number one, why you gotta use this kinda language? What you some kinda heathen now? You don't make no mistakes? You be out here shootin', but you don't miss no shots ever? EVER? People make mistakes! People veer off the path! God forgives them!
Jesus Shuttlesworth: Has God forgiven you for killing my mother?
Jake Shuttlesworth: I pray that he has, Son. I believe he has. When will you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Roth Show: The New York City Way (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

He Got Game
Written by Chuck D, LuQuantum Leap and Stephen Stills
Contains a sample of "For What It's Worth"
Written by Stephen Stills
Performed by Public Enemy featuring Stephen Stills
Produced by Hank Shocklee & Keith Shocklee
Public Enemy appears courtesy of Def Jam Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A fascinating performance by Denzel Washington in a solid film.
4 November 1998 | by RigorSee all my reviews

Denzel Washington has one of his greatest charcaters in Jake Shuttlesworth in this compelling film by Spike Lee. Jake is a man serving a life sentence for the accidental murder of his wife during a domestic dispute. The dispute centered around Jake's aggressive coaching of his young son Jesus who he is obsessed with turning into a basketball star. As the film opens we learn that Jesus (effectively played by Ray Allen) has indeed become a high school basketball star and is being now aggressively pursued by University teams and commercial agents. In a somewhat fanciful, yet unfortunately believable plot device the Governor promises Jake early release from prison if he can convince his son to go to Big State. Much of this film is amazingly well executed my only regret comes around some of the gender politics of the film (many of the female characters are underdeveloped and/or cartoonishly stereotyped). This is particularly unfortunate because the film has so much to say about the intersections of patriarchy/economic injustice/racism that I wish Spike Lee could have been a little more consistent with his development of the women characters (one notable exception is a brilliantly realized performance by Milla Javovich as a prostitute that rooms next to Jake). This said the film is still an important accomplishment and should be seen.


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