6.2/10
5,363
45 user 65 critic

High Flying Bird (2019)

TV-MA | | Drama, Sport | 8 February 2019 (USA)
Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
During a pro basketball lockout, a sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business proposition.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Action | Thriller

Plot is unknown. Described as an action thriller.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
André Holland ... Ray Burke
Melvin Gregg ... Erick Scott
Eddie Tavares ... Waiter
Farah Bala ... Manager Sal
Skip Bayless ... Himself
Shannon Sharpe Shannon Sharpe ... Himself
Joy Taylor Joy Taylor ... Herself
Zazie Beetz ... Sam
Bill Duke ... Spence
Zachary Quinto ... David Starr
Caleb McLaughlin ... Darius
Bobbi A Bordley ... Freddy (as Bobbi Bordley)
Sonja Sohn ... Myra
Kyle MacLachlan ... David Seton
Jeryl Prescott ... Emera Umber
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Storyline

In the midst of a pro basketball lockout, sports agent Ray Burke (André Holland) finds himself caught in the face-off between the league and the players. His career is on the line, but Ray is playing for higher stakes. With only 72 hours to pull off a daring plan, he outmaneuvers all the power-players as he uncovers a loophole that could change the game forever. The outcome raises questions of who owns the game - and who ought to. Written by Netflix

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Play the Game on top of the Game

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Flying Bird See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second film Steven Soderbergh shot on an iPhone, following Unsane (2018). See more »

Goofs

When Ray and Myra are talking in Myra her office, the Iphone and its tripod used for shooting are visible in the window reflection. See more »

Quotes

Sam: I know you're old school. I sent you a fax.
See more »

Soundtracks

Minus40
Written by Bryan M. Dych
Performed by Two Headed Hound
Courtesy of Pen Music Group, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Small camera, big issues
9 February 2019 | by screenotesSee all my reviews

Soderberg's latest experimentation with the iPhone focuses on a struggling idealistic player agent during an NBA "lockout". You may wonder how so small a camera manages to capture or at least replicate the drama of fast-paced sporting action, particularly the pinnacle grandstand moment of that ole rags to riches sports tale. Without spoiling anything, let me tell you it doesn't. Or more to the point, High Flying Bird is less concerned with the sport of basketball itself than it is with "The game on top of the game".

Instead of an arena, the game is played out in offices and instead of action, there is dialogue. Considering the constrained budget and production schedule, it is a testament to the cast and to the screenplay that the film holds together at all. And yet it does. The performances are naturalistic while the story moves along at pace, generally eschewing exposition.

In keeping its focus narrow, centring on a small cast of characters, Tyrell Alvin McCraney's screenplay cuts to the core of issues of race and power in the NBA without a whisper of melodrama. In fact, considering the wider story it is telling High Flying Bird remains upbeat and inherently promotes a message of positivity.

High Flying Bird will not be for everyone, it could be accused of being a little dry. However it is an intriguing experiment in film-making which finds a new way to tell a story which needs telling.


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