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“Shooting Stars” Review: LeBron Sports Bio is Fun, Inspirational

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Where to stream it? Peacock

Starring:  Dermot Mulroney, Wood Harris, Caleb McLaughlin, Marquis Mookie Cook, Algee Smith

Written by: Frank E. Flowers, Tony Rettenmaier, Juel Taylor

Directed by: Chris Robinson

Intro: Shooting Stars Review

Shooting Stars follows LeBron James and his three best friends, Lil Dru, Willie McGee, and Sian Cotton beginning in the 1990s when they declare themselves the “Fab Four.” The story charts how they met and their rise to the top in the basketball world.

We first meet them as kids when they're all at home playing video games. Their coach brings the crew together to play a game where they route the team. The movie then fast-forwards four years where we see the crew a little more grown up but with their continued aspirations of making it to the NBA.

The four of them decide to attend the same Catholic school so they can continue to play together into their high school years. However, things don't go so well for the kids once they find themselves “paying their dues” and riding the pine as freshmen.

Some of the same beats, but with added significance

On the surface, Shooting Stars has some of the typical beats you see in these types of sports movies but this one feels about as special as it gets. Much of that has to do with the remarkable story of the rise of LeBron James.

James has been the center of attention for a long time and has been incredible both on and off the court. This film provides a more in-depth look at that rise in a way that some of the newer LeBron fans might not know about from over 20+ years ago. Kids worldwide will watch this film and gain better knowledge of that history but even better, hope and inspiration.

Wood Harris and Dermot Mulroney are perfectly cast

If you are looking for the best actor to bring heart to a film, or especially a sports movie, cast Wood Harris. Harris has this perfect demeanor about him and brings so much to the table, elevating the film with his performance. Harris plays Coach Dru Joyce, who tames the ‘Fab Four' in ways that those around them can't.

Meanwhile, Dermot Mulroney plays a rejected down-on-his-luck coach that struck gold by taking the job at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. He and Harris bring the veteran-like acting needed when surrounded by some of the younger actors in the movie.

The run time is absurd

One of the more shocking things about this movie was that its run time was almost two hours. I'm sorry, but that is far too long for a streaming film. When building this story, you have it all laid out for you since it's based on LeBron and his friend's rise to the top. The film should've been an hour and a half TOPS.

Final Thoughts: Shooting Stars Review

If you take my issues with the runtime out of the equation, Shooting Stars is the perfect streaming movie. The rise of the greatest basketball player to ever grace the court is a sight to be seen. With Chris Robinson's tight and well-shot basketball direction mixed with a fun ensemble that all play their part, this is an under-the-radar movie you don't want to miss.

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Ricky Valero
Ricky Valero
Ricky Valero is a movie/TV critic whose favorite movies are The Departed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Fast Five, and La La Land. Currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, while not watching movies, he is either enjoying the latest Stand-up Comedy special or another dating reality series. He is also a member of the Critic Choice Association, the Hollywood Critics Association, and the Music City Film Critics Association.
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