Basketball movies, and sports movies in general, can vary hugely in terms of both critical and box office success. Take Space Jam: A New Legacy which was released just last year and got a critical roasting. But then there’s Steven Soderbergh’s High Flying Bird for Netflix, which was praised almost across the board. Now, LeBron James is looking to pay penance for his Space Jam crimes with new basketball movie Hustle.
Adam Sandler, who is known for being a basketball obsessive in real life, stars in Hustle, his latest vehicle for Netflix. Since 2015, Sandler has starred in a succession of Netflix original movies, including The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, The Week Of, Murder Mystery and Hubie Halloween. While these have generally been critically-panned, he has also made time for The Meyerowitz Stories (also for Netflix) and Uncut Gems (which had its own connections to basketball) – and his performances in both films were widely praised. This is how he wins.
Hustle has some impressive names involved, including LeBron James and Sandler as producers, and director Jeremiah Zagar, who made the beautiful We the Animals in 2018. Add in the acting talents of Robert Duvall, Ben Foster, and Queen Latifah, and this latest Netflix Sandler flick is starting to look more prestigious.
Real-life player Juancho Hernangómez stars as a young man who Sandler’s scout discovers on the streets of Majorca and brings over to the US, hoping to improve his fortunes in the NBA. Of course it helps that he’s 6 feet 9 inches tall.
The official synopsis is as follows; “After discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player with a rocky past abroad, a down on his luck basketball scout (Adam Sandler) takes it upon himself to bring the phenom to the States without his team’s approval. Against the odds, they have one final shot to prove they have what it takes to make it in the NBA. ”
You can watch the new teaser trailer here;
While we wait to find out if Hustle is a slam dunk or a dead ball, check out our guide to the best Netflix horror movies.