- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 2 hours, 16 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: November 10, 1998
- Originally Released: 1998
- Label: Walt Disney Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
- Interactive Features:
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Selection
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Rolling Stone - 05/14/1998
"...Lee revels in mixing street cool with full-throttle emotion....HE GOT GAME provides potent entertainment..."
Entertainment Weekly - 09/18/1998
"...Big things to say....Washington does an award-worthy turn....[Allen] is an intense innocent..." -- Rating: A-
New York Times - 05/01/1998
"...[Lee] returns full blast to what he does best....[Washington] gives a splendid, carefully measured performance..."
Box Office - 06/01/1998
"...A moving and often powerful story that wisely chooses to ask more questions than it answers..."
Premiere - 05/01/1998
Los Angeles Times - 05/01/1998
"...HE GOT GAME is always watchable and often compelling....Likable, affectionate and unashamedly warm-hearted, DANCER, TEXAS is a sentimental little picture that goes gently against the grain..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 05/01/1998
"Spike Lee brings the spirit of a poet to his films about everyday reality....Lee uses visual imagination to lift his material into the realms of hopes and dreams..."
Spike Lee turns his attention to the high-stakes world of basketball with this charged drama. Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) is serving 15 years for playing a role in the death of his wife. His son, Jesus (Ray Allen), is the best high school basketball player in the country. One week before Jesus must sign a letter of intent to the college of his choice, Jake is granted a temporary reprieve. The catch is that the state's governor wants the prodigy to go to his alma mater and is willing to consider commuting Jake's sentence if he can persuade Jesus to go there. When the time comes for Jesus to make a decision, both father and son are forced to confront their past and present actions--as a role reversal has taken place during Jake's time in prison that sparks a heated confrontation on the basketball court. Lee's unusual choice to use the music of Aaron Copland, an American classical composer, for the soundtrack and his concept of pairing it with the national sport of basketball is a contrast that is made even more striking by the other contributing artists, notably the insistent urban sound provided by Public Enemy.
The story of a black ex-con, imprisoned for reasons relating to his wife's death, who gets sprung by a governor in order to convince his basketball virtuoso son to attend the politician's state university. This intense drama, directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, is largely about the ironic role reversal of a man suddenly finding himself free and unprotected, confronting his son who has acted as a father figure to his family. The soundtrack features Aaron Copland as well as Public Enemy in a striking, but effective, contrast of styles.
- Theatrical Release: May 1, 1998
- Shot on location in New York City, Los Angeles, North Carolina, and Virginia.
- The film features cameos from the following noted sports personalities: Dean Smith, Lute Olsen, John Chaney, John Thompson, Roy Williams, Nolan Richardson, Denny Crum, Dr. Tom Davis, Clem Haskins, George Karl, Jim Boeheim, Rick Pitino, Bobby Cremins, Dick Vitale, Bill Walton, Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, and Robin Roberts.