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The 2018 film "Amateur" captivates its audiences with an impeccable blend of sports, drama, and heart-rendering performances. Directed by Ryan Koo, and featuring a star-studded cast that includes Michael Rainey Jr., Tekola Cornetet, and Hanna Longo, "Amateur" is a gripping tale about ambition, resilience, and the harsh realities of big-time sports, set in the heart of American youth basketball.

The film's central character is Terron Forte, compellingly portrayed by Michael Rainey Jr., a young eighth-grader with an exceptional talent for basketball. From the streets of his undisclosed hometown, Terron's basketball talent shines in local leagues and quickly gains recognition, causing a stir in both the neighborhood and the demanding world of high school sports.

Tekola Cornetet competently plays Vincent, a sports agent who sees Terron's potential and works tirelessly towards getting him acknowledged on bigger platforms. Cornetet brilliantly brings to life the ruthless competitive spirit that echoes behind the scenes in every field of sports, including basketball. He offers Terron the chance of a lifetime; an opportunity to attend an elite prep school and play for its professional-level youth team - an offer that's nearly impossible for Terron and his family to refuse considering his prodigious basketball prowess and the potential advancement of his career.

Hanna Longo plays the role of Terron's academic tutor at the new elite school. She's one of the few characters who isn’t completely consumed by the charm and allure of professional sports. Hanna's character plays a pivotal role in Terron's story, as she opens his eyes to the rampant corruption in the system and helps him adjust in his new, high-pressure environment.

"Amateur" isn't just a sports movie; it’s an exploration of the trials and tribulations of young athletes tossed into the world of professional sports before they're ready. The film takes on controversial real-life issues, such as exploiting young talents for financial gain and the vast disparity that often lurks beneath the surface glamour and glitz of sports. Director Ryan Koo brings to life the gritty side of youth basketball, unveiling the immense pressure and stress young athletes face, their struggle to balance work and study, and the manipulation they often endure from adults who see opportunity in their talent.

Throughout the narrative, the audience will witness Terron's journey as he faces a whirlwind of challenges, learn to navigate the power dynamics, unravel the world of media influence, recruiting processes, and eventually stand-up to the corruption. His struggle paints a real and sobering picture of the all-consuming world of youth sports, especially for those with dreams of making it big and the lengths they are pushed to, to make those dreams come true.

Rainey Jr.'s portrayal of Terron Forte shines in its sincerity, making the audience root for him from beginning to end. Cornetet’s Vincent and Longo’s tutor, too, do an excellent job rounding out the strong ensemble cast. They bring authenticity to their characters, immersing audiences in an engaging story of ambition and the high cost it sometimes demands.

"Amateur" also uses a unique visual approach to capture the fast-paced, high-stress world of basketball, along with a captivating soundtrack that takes viewers deeper into Terron's world. The film's advanced filming techniques, including POV shots, make the audience feel as if they are in Terron’s shoes, living his experiences in real-time.

Overall, "Amateur" successfully demonstrates the darker sides of youth sports –the sacrifice, the toil, and the disappointments, not just the glory and victory. It blends authenticity and emotionality to offer a gripping portrayal of the tussles and triumphs of a would-be basketball star. This film is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys emotionally charged sports dramas and is bound to leave viewers deep in thought about the world of professional youth sports long after the credits roll.

Amateur is a Drama movie released in 2018. It has a runtime of 96 min. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.9..

How to Watch Amateur

Where can I stream Amateur movie online? Amateur is available to watch and stream at Netflix.

Ryan Koo
Michael Rainey Jr., Josh Charles, Brian White, Sharon Leal
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