The Basketball Diaries


Photo via Island Pictures

The Basketball Diaries poster

Molly Boetsch, The Delphi Staff

Movies today are clearly different than some the older movies out there, but that doesn’t mean those older ones aren’t as good. The Basketball Diaries is a great example of a good, older movie.

The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 movie based on the life of Jim Carroll (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), a high school basketball player who seems to have a bright future. After the loss of a friend, mixed with the pressures from his creepy coach, Jim develops an addiction to heroin and his life, and the lives of some of his friends, slowly start to fall apart. His world shifts from school and basketball to the streets of New York where he has to steal and find other ways to make money. As his need for the drug increases, what he’s willing to do for it increases as well.

Leonardo DiCaprio does an amazing job of making viewers feel the heart-breaking moments as Jim’s addiction increases. Both the emotional and physical toll it takes on him is one of the saddest things to have to watch.

By the middle of the movie, Jim is almost unrecognizable from the cheerful boy at the start of the film. However, his time on the street, the audience gets to see the real Jim Carroll. It’s a short segment of the film that’s only real propose is to remind the audience that all of this really happened to someone.

After watching young Jim hit what is possibly the lowest point of his life, through the help of a friend, he can start to be himself again. The way the movie shows the withdraw and recovery process is hard to watch due to DiCaprio’s amazing performance. Viewers can see and feel the pain that Jim must be going through so clearly. This makes his slow rise back up, and how the takes back his life, even better.

If you’re looking to watch a good movie based on true events, The Basketball Diaries might be a great choice for you.