HUSTLE tells the story of an NBA player scout for the Philadelphia 76ers and his determination to get an unknown Spanish player onto the team through hard work molding raw talent. Adam Sandler plays Stanley Sugerman, an exhausted basketball scout who scours the courts across Europe to recruit foreign talent for his team. He has a devoted wife, Teresa, and teenage daughter, whom he rarely sees because of his frantic schedule. One night, Stanley discovers incredible raw talent in a Spanish player. Getting him into the NBA turns out to be really difficult.
Streaming on Netflix, HUSTLE is shot in gritty, street-smart fashion from a superb script. Adam Sandler gives a career-best performance as the extremely sympathetic Stanley, while Juancho Hernangomez as Bo is a revelation. He’s an extremely rare find, a real athlete who can also actually act an extremely broad palette of emotions. HUSTLE has a wonderful portrait of a strong marriage, examples of good parenting, and a strong pro-capitalist approach to hard work paying off in life. However, it has lots of strong foul language. So, extreme caution is advised.
(BB, CapCap, LLL, V, S, N, A, D, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral, pro-capitalist worldview has a wonderful portrait of a strong marriage, examples of good parenting, and a strong pro-capitalist approach to hard work paying off in life
83 obscenities (about half are “f” words), three JC profanities, nine GD profanities, and five light profanities such as OMG and Good Lord
A basketball player’s conviction for a violent assault is mentioned several times, references to traffic accident that injured a man’s hand, and at a particularly tense moment player shoves another player to the ground and slams his hand down (at first, viewers are led to believe he punched the other player, but he really just slammed his hand into the court floor)
Man tries to talk another man into looking at topless women in a pool, but the other man refuses, and several crude and lewd taunts are uttered by a rival player, including one involving incest
Upper male nudity, and brief partial side view of a woman’s breast as she gets out of a pool
Some alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Some smoking but no drugs; and,
Some gambling and hustling in private basketball challenges.
HUSTLE is a stunningly good sports drama on Netflix starring Adam Sandler about an NBA player scout for the Philadelphia 76ers and his determination to get an unknown Spanish player onto the team through hard work and by molding raw talent. HUSTLE is an uplifting crowd-pleaser with some strong positive family, pro-capitalist values and an appealing, career-best performance by Sandler, but it has lots of strong foul language, so extreme caution is advised.
Sandler plays Stanley Sugerman, an exhausted basketball scout who scours the courts across Europe to recruit foreign talent for his team. He has a devoted wife, Teresa (Queen Latifah), and teenage daughter, whom he rarely gets to see because of his frantic schedule. The crusty owner of the 76ers, Rex, decides to hire Stanley as an assistant coach, but Rex dies suddenly that night and is replaced by his clueless son, Vince. So, Stanley has to go back to Europe to find a player that can make the team championship worthy.
One night in Spain, Stanley stumbles across an incredibly intense basketball game on an outdoor court in a rough neighborhood. He’s mesmerized by the incredible all-around talent of a player named Bo Diaz (actual NBA player Juancho Hernangomez). He instantly tries to talk with him about coming to America and trying out for the team, but Bo is highly skeptical because of his rough life as a single father with a troubled past.
By appealing to Bo’s mother, Stanley wins the chance to take the young talent to the United States. Bo has an audition game for Vince, the team’s new owner, that starts well for him but winds up incredibly sloppy in its second half. Vince isn’t interested and strips him of his coaching status, telling him to return to Europe for scouting.
Stanley stands up for himself and says no, instead opting to put it all on the line – both his career and finances – to train Bo anyway and get him signed by another NBA team. Their hard work is akin to the unique, adrenaline-pumping workouts in the ROCKY movies, and a real friendship forms between the two men.
However, when the shocking revelation that Bo has a violent assault conviction from five years ago, the NBA teams all drop their interest in him. Can Stanley achieve a miracle by getting Bo one last shot?
HUSTLE is shot in gritty, street-smart fashion by Director Jeremiah Zeger from a superb script by Will Fetters and Taylor Malerne. As mentioned, Sandler gives a career-best performance as the extremely sympathetic Stanley. Meanwhile, Juancho Hernangomez as Bo is a revelation. He’s an extremely rare find, a real athlete who can also actually act an extremely broad palette of emotions. The movie also has a terrific keyboard score by Dan Deacon, who underpins the story in a uniquely affecting fashion.
HUSTLE has a wonderful portrait of a strong marriage, examples of good parenting, and a strong pro-capitalist capitalist approach to hard work paying off in life. As such, it bears the conservative real-life values of Sandler (a staunch Republican) on the big screen as entertainment, the way that more movies should rather than ceding all message-pushing to films with leftist agendas. However, HUSTLE has lots of strong foul language, including some “f” words, several strong profanities and some lewd trash talk on the basketball court. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
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