Director: Steve James
Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Sheila Agee
Lesson Learned: For some, a chosen sport can become a salvation.

For a nearly three-hour-long documentary, Hoop Dreams moves with the quickness of Derrick Rose. Lively and poignant, director Steve James' epic looks at two inner city Chicago high school basketball players' four years of roundball experience could go on for double its running time and we'd still be down. That's because Hoop Dreams paints such an honest picture of young ballers William Gates and Arthur Agee's lives; going through ups (success on the court) and downs (watching parents' abuse drugs), the film's subjects are intimate characters presented in a grandiose yet still personal way. There's no better portrayal of high school sports out there, nor are there many stronger documentaries.