Ball Don't Lie
Although director Brin Hill slathers the melodrama on thick in his adaptation of Matt de la Pena's novel about Sticky (well played by Grayson Boucher AKA The Professor), a gifted young Los Angeles basketball player making it up through the local ranks, "Ball Don't Lie" precisely conveys the troubled mindset and determination of its charismatic protagonist with clear-eyed purpose. Suffering from OCD, and traumatized by years of abuse with his now-deceased mother and various adoptive families, Sticky comes into his own when he steps onto the basketball court, and the game sequences are thrilling. But a love interest distracts him from his goals and opens up a chink in Sticky's well-defended amour that his equally impoverished court buddies fill in with faulty logic. Kim Hidalgo gives a notable performance as Sticky's girlfriend Anh-thu, but it's Boucher's slow-burn intensity and unmistakable basketball skills that drive this entertaining independent drama.
Not Rated. 102 mins. (B) (Three Stars)