Peter Ericson’s review published on Letterboxd :
Even though I’m definitely not a sports fan, I found "Hoop Dreams" to be an excellent movie/documentary. It may at first seem to be only about basketball, but it is in fact about so much more than that. Even though there are many basketball-related scenes in the movie, "Hoop Dreams" is also—or perhaps even primarily—about life in general, with its challenges, triumphs, and everything in between, for the people we get to follow. If the focus had been on the sport itself, I probably wouldn’t have found this movie particularly interesting.
It is on the whole a long movie, but considering that it is a documentary spanning several years, its running time is understandable. Also, due to its being a documentary and the way it was done, it doesn’t feel like a regular movie, but then again, it isn’t.
"Hoop Dreams" is a multilayered movie with important things to say, both on and off the basketball court. It is likely to surprise some people who see it, especially those expecting a basketball movie and those who, just like me, aren’t much into sports in general and basketball in particular. There is hope and inspiration, joy and sadness, and there are dreams that come true and those that remain dreams. All in all, "Hoop Dreams" is a powerful movie that won’t leave the viewer untouched.