Like Mike [2002]

As its title suggests, Like Mike is a rousing wish-fulfillment fantasy for any kid who's ever dreamed of soaring for a game-winning slam dunk like basketball legend Michael Jordan. It's fun but formulaic, beginning when 14-year-old, 4-foot-8 orphan Calvin Cambridge (played by appealing teen rapper Lil' Bow Wow) dons a magical pair of hand-me-down Nikes with the enticing initials "M.J." written inside. Next thing you know, Calvin's the new star of the L.A. Knights, an instant NBA celebrity taking his team to the playoffs alongside favorite teammate Tracy Reynolds (The Best Man's Morris Chestnut), with a bevy of villains (including reliable weirdo Crispin Glover) trying to steal his thunder. With Jerry Maguire's Jonathan Lipnicki as a fellow orphan, and a solid supporting cast including Eugene Levy, Robert Forster, and two dozen NBA stars, Like Mike is schmaltzy and predictable (and, surprisingly, there's no cameo from Jordan himself), but its sweet, good-natured quality will captivate kids from start to finish. --Jeff Shannon

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