Ball Don't Lie

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** (Two stars)
To understand this streetball narrative’s all-too-cozy relationship with sports-movie clichés, one needn’t look further than its protagonist, “Sticky,” a troubled white high-school player with a history of abuse, rejection and severe OCD. Though aided by several unexpected cameos from the likes of Rosanna Arquette, Nick Cannon and several castaways from Lost, this flick meanders into increasingly tired sports tropes with every sappy flashback and canned inspirational speech. Thanks to a fantastic soundtrack, featuring less-than-mainstream acts like Antibalas and Jaylib and a killer Dilated Peoples track that plays over the opening sequence, Ball might be better regarded as an extended music video. Much like its star subject, real-life baller and AND1 Mixtape veteran Grayson “The Professor” Boucher, Ball Don’t Lie must settle for entertaining a few people at the amateur level because it has little hope of going pro.—Andrew Frisicano, editorial intern

[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.]

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Brin Hill
Screenwriter: Brin Hill, Matt de la Peña
Cast: Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges
Rosanna Arquette
Nick Canon
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