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LeBron James Peacock Movie ‘Shooting Stars’ at Its Best on the Court

“Shooting Stars” is the new basketball movie about LeBron James based on the 2009 book of the same name written by James and Buzz Bissinger. The biopic stars Wood Harris (“Creed”), Caleb McLaughlin (“Stranger Things”), and Marqui “Mookie” Cook, making his debut as James. The film dramatizes how James’ career was impacted by a group of close friends, all basketball players, who dubbed themselves the “Fab Four.”

About the Movie

“Shooting Stars” gives a window into the pivotal friendships that shaped LeBron James’ life and set him on the path to the NBA. The film shows how James and his three best friends (which eventually expanded to four) became a close-knit brotherhood and developed a bond they all still share in real life. Each having experienced some kind of tragedy or trauma, the boys bonded relatively young over basketball and video games…about basketball. Their passion for the sport and shared loyalty captured their city’s and, eventually, the nation’s attention.

The new Peacock movie feels every bit as long as its two-hour runtime, yet — despite the wooden dialogue in many scenes — is still enjoyable to watch. The numerous basketball scenes are definitely what make the movie, and provide some of its best camerawork. Each of the young men portraying James’ close-knit crew performs well. In particular, Cook carries his role as the soon-to-be NBA legend most brilliantly on the court. However, Cook’s performances in other scenes mostly come across as flat. Caleb McLaughlin, portraying Lil Dru Joyce III, performs the strongest — which makes sense as he is the most seasoned actor among the “Fab Four.”

The film’s focus has to be on how James jammed on the court with his best friends, yet viewers don’t really get to see how they developed as athletes — not long after the film starts, the guys are already great. Viewers also hear a lot about their hardships — losing parents, moving multiple times, etc. — but never see them experience the challenges that supposedly brought them together. Including such scenes might have made “Shooting Stars” seem less formulaic. Were writers working on the assumption that viewers would come into the movie having read the book?

Final Thoughts

Overall, “Shooting Stars” is a good sports movie, shining most when its stars are on the court. Fans of LeBron James, and basketball in general, will enjoy Cook’s on-fire plays. However, those who are not basketball enthusiasts might not find the off-court scenes quite as engaging.

“Shooting Stars” was directed by Chris Robinson. Frank E. Flowers, Tony Rettenmaier, and Juel Taylor wrote the screenplay. Others starring in the film include ​​Natalie Paul, Algee Smith, Dermot Mulroney, Khalil Everage, Sterling “Scoot” Henderson, Katlyn Nichol, and Avery S. Wills, Jr. “Shooting Star” is rated PG. Watch it on Peacock starting June 2.

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Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menziehttp://www.nicolamenzieonline.com
Nicola A. Menzie a religion reporter whose bylines have appeared on the websites of the Religion News Service, The Christian Post, CBS News and Vibe magazine. Nicola is the Managing Editor at faithfullymagazine.com. You can find her on Twitter @namenzie. Email: nicola.menzie (at) faithfullymagazine.com.

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