For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
72 Ratings

High Flying Bird

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
United States, 2019
Drama, Sport


A sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during a lockout.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
High Flying Bird Directed by Steven Soderbergh
The film mirrors its own making, and makes a better case for iPhone as a filmmaking tool than Unsane did. Phones make things happen—whether it’s viral videos and social media beefs that stir up public interest, or a scene shot mid-day on a Manhattan sidewalk with minimal prep.
February 11, 2019
Read full article
The self-reflexive aspects are fun to tease out. It’s easy enough to see a link between Ray, a virtuoso negotiator whose experiences have left him with a weathered cynicism about his chosen field, and Soderbergh, who also knows a thing or two about being the Rookie of the Year. Back in 1989, he was the new wunderkind on the block after the watershed, game-changing release of Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
February 08, 2019
Read full article
There’s hardly any gameplay in Steven Soderbergh’s new basketball film, High Flying Bird. That is, there’s hardly any basketball—but there are plenty of games, and the one-on-ones are delightfully brutal.
February 08, 2019
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • Steve Pulaski's rating of the film High Flying Bird

    With the swirling controversy revolving around the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers' sloppy handling of the imminent Anthony Davis trade, is there a more emphatically timely movie than "High Flying Bird?" Steven Soderbergh has always been about three things: heists, criticism of institutions, and experimentation. Here, he rolls all three into a well-written film that's gripping from the first frame.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film High Flying Bird

    I don't particularly like basketball and I wasn't aware of the lockout's problems this sport has in the USA. It simply doesn't interest me. To earn money by playing a game is just a sign of our society's decadence. Now, in spite of such prejudices, I liked 'High Flying Bird'. In this freezing blue environment described by Soderbergh, red balls are the only signs of life. Recommended.

  • Jason's rating of the film High Flying Bird

    Soderbergh has become the director to must fully exploit the possibilities of the Netflix platform in order to make something of standard feature length for a wide audience that would have been unthinkable through any more traditional channel. What makes HIGH FLYING BIRD truly radical is that is would appear to have made actual use of ideas it fields re: the plasticity of markets. This is meaningful forward movement.

  • HenriqueA's rating of the film High Flying Bird

    Soderbergh is in that weird phase where he's experimenting on stories that don't really ask for it. I can't really understand how the editing could fail at such basic levels. And this story needed to either be a little slicker and pack more punches or create a slow-burning atmosphere. As it is we got a great cast, some perfect one-liners and a timely story about America, but it kinda feels like a disjointed first cut

  • Filipe F. Coutinho's rating of the film High Flying Bird

    Soderbergh never ceases to challenge himself, in the process pushing the limits of what cinema is, how it operates, what it can become. Perhaps that’s why HFB is a project that fits him like a glove. It is, after all, about what the NBA is, how it operates, what it can become. It’s brain food, a story about losing power, but finding empowerment, a tale of liberation by (re)visiting the annals of history.

  • Duarte Ferreira's rating of the film High Flying Bird

    An expertly acted and written film, that unfortunately felt a bit too overly cold and distant to deliver the gut-punch I think it needed. But seeing how Soderbergh manipulates the iPhone camera is something I find really, really captivating.

  • Renton47's rating of the film High Flying Bird

    I was tempted to think there might be something anti-auteurist in my love for Soderbergh. Think: his projects mostly guarantee an efficiency (not uniformity) of mise en scene, and allowance for the material to speak for itself. At the same time it's impossible not to read Ray as playing the same game as director - respect for the art, subverting the commerce. So dense, every bit as much McCraney's film.

  • Mr.Rager's rating of the film High Flying Bird

    A still experimenting Steven Soderbergh team up with Netflix for this very uncommon project. Taking notes from the actual '11 lockout events, this movie was all about the game on top of the game. But this was a bit confusing, there were so much crypted dialogs that helped on that baffle. Great game delivered by André Holland. 6.75/10.

Related films