I need a momentary reprieve from all of the cinematic bullet-riddled mayhem that this week has brought. This is one of my favorite films from Spike Lee. The central performance by Denzel Washington is a total wowser, all brute force emotion and fiery dramatics. Released in 1998, He Got Game should have done so much more than $22 million at the domestic box office. Malik Hassann Sayeed’s vivid cinematography is frequently arresting, painting a visual portrait of two men trying to wrap their heads around the lives that they’ve made for themselves. Critics supported the film, but not enough in my estimation. The cast is tremendous from top to bottom. This is a great piece of storytelling. Available on Blu-ray and packaged as a double-featurer with Lee’s masterpiece 25th Hour.
Review by Nick Clement