More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 26%
Worth A Look: 6%
Average: 2%
Pretty Bad48%
Total Crap: 18%

4 reviews, 26 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Lion King, The (2019) by Peter Sobczynski

Stare by Jay Seaver

DreadOut by Jay Seaver

S He by Jay Seaver

We Are Little Zombies by Jay Seaver

Lion King, The (2019) by alejandroariera

Darlin' by Jay Seaver

Astronaut (2019) by Jay Seaver

White Storm 2: Drug Lords, The by Jay Seaver

Vivarium by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Get Rich or Die Tryin'
[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"I wouldn't pay fifty cents to see this movie."
2 stars

If you like movies that are too long and have characters you can't understand, you'll love "Get Rich or Die Tryin'"! It's the marble-mouthed feel-good film of the season!

The first indication that something is seriously wrong here is that 50 Cent (nee Curtis Jackson, aka Fiddy Cent) is not only the main character, but also the narrator. If you've ever heard Fiddy speak, you know that it is not his strong suit. He has a flat monotone (even when he's rapping), and his manner of speech is so lazy as to be indecipherable. It's sometimes literally impossible to make out what he's saying.

That is something of a liability in a movie as talky and heavily narrated as this one. Add to that a generic, slapped-together screenplay and haphazard direction, and you've got yourself big pile of dawg crap, yo.

"Get Rich or Die Tryin'" invites comparisons to Eminem's "8 Mile." The similarities are striking. Both tell loosely fictionalized versions of how America's current rap star rose from poverty to prominence. Both sound like nothing more than cynical attempts to make money while the artist is in vogue, except that both are also helmed by well-respected directors (Curtis Hanson in "8 Mile," Jim Sheridan here).

"8 Mile" turned out to be a fine film while "Get Rich" is a dud -- but then, Hanson had more to work with. Eminem, love him or hate him, is a clever creator of intricately rhymed, often parodic rap lyrics, and as a white kid who became America's biggest rap sensation, his story is inherently interesting. Much of his public persona is an act, and playing it up for so long turned him into something of a natural actor.

Fiddy, on the other hand, is more famous for having been shot nine times than for anything he's said in any of his raps, which are of average quality for their genre. And not to put too fine a point on it, but the story of a black man who becomes a successful rapper does not immediately grab one's attention.

Fiddy plays an inner-city kid named Marcus, the child of a skanky drug dealer who gets herself killed early in the film, leaving Marcus to be raised by his grandparents. He finds a little refuge in rapping, but not much; performing is not a priority for him until quite late in the film.

In the meantime, he turns to the family business of dealing drugs. Crack is all the rage, which suggests the film is set in the '80s, though a colleague of mine points out that the film also references the death of Tupac Shakur, which occurred in 1996. And in 1996, nobody was excited about crack cocaine, because it had already been in all major American cities for well over a decade. So my point is, I don't know WHEN this movie is set.

Anyway, Marcus' career leads him to prison, where his new friend Bama (Terrence Howard) pledges to become his manager when they are both released. He's true to his word, though Marcus continues working the drug angle in addition to rapping, much to the consternation of Majestic (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a fellow drug dealer who dabbles in rapping. (I guess you can't really do one without the other.)

The film has a chance to explore the mindset of a criminal-turned-musician. What motivates someone to get involved in crime, and to cling so tightly to it even when other opportunities arise? ("I'm a gangster, Grandpa, and I'm proud of it!" Marcus tells his grandfather earnestly.) Considering dealing drugs is how his mother died, why would Marcus embrace that lifestyle so readily?

But the movie, written by Terence Winter (a frequent "Sopranos" writer), is not interested in things like "motivation" or "character development." It seeks only to give 50 Cent's biography, which it must do hastily, while he's still hot. You waste another year hammering out a quality screenplay and teaching Fiddy to act, and by then no one will care. Besides, most of his fans are more interested in his nine bullet wounds than anything else. (My question is: Why only nine bullets? If I started shooting 50 Cent, I don't think I'd ever stop.)

Terrence Howard is the film's bright spot, obviously better than all the actors around him as Marcus' savvy prison friend. This is particularly true when he's next to Mumbly McSlurryspeech, 50 Cent, who always sounds like he just came from the dentist and whose facial expressions can be counted on one finger. Thank goodness the movie, unlike its star, was only shot once.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/10/05 12:28:34
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

6/11/09 leon that was a hell of a movie great story to tell the movie makes you feel like you know him 5 stars
5/09/08 Danica 50 Cent IS better then all of u SO SHUT UP 5 stars
10/18/07 Simon What are the critics talking about? This is a fantastic film better then 8 mile! outstandin 5 stars
9/14/07 Tracy 50 was great! Great movie I was suprised. 5 stars
11/14/06 Beau Liked this movie, it melt my heart. A good storyline.well done! 4 stars
8/18/06 Nix Better than 8 mile 4 stars
5/31/06 Bryan McAllister fairly good movie 3 stars
5/17/06 shady total shite it represents chav scum who should all be shot 1 stars
4/16/06 skippy it speaks for it self 5 stars
3/11/06 Josh Standlee In order to make music, you need more than a shitty beat! 1 stars
3/01/06 chris f do not waste time watching this shite 1 stars
3/01/06 Uk_shooter shite gangster wanna be movie do not watch!!!! 1 stars
2/06/06 k t 50 is hot hot hpt! 5 stars
1/20/06 nadia 50 cent mullen was amazin!! colin u know nothing u twat! 5 stars
12/16/05 justin gleason the movie is a 5 star movie because of 50 cent(ya its fifty cent,not fiddy cent)you must li 5 stars
11/27/05 djacosta To those who call the best movie ever: "have you ever been to the movies before?" 1 stars
11/22/05 Javier Joachin Is very interesting. 5 stars
11/21/05 Jamie Walker it was the best movie i have ever seen 5 stars
11/19/05 CourtManShan Best moviee ever 5 stars
11/18/05 Jabber 8 MILE, PART 2...50 Cent is untalented and can't spell. 1 stars
11/17/05 dreskeezy if your from the hood then u would understand this movie. 50 is back on top 5 stars
11/15/05 YOisMe same recycled dissappointments 1 stars
11/14/05 Curtis Jackson I thought that movie was very interesting 5 stars
11/12/05 Zigga 50 cent trys too hard 1 stars
11/12/05 chris trundle 50 gotta b doin somfin right his minted simple as that 4 stars
11/11/05 alnurs aa_ha 1 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  09-Nov-2005 (R)
  DVD: 28-Mar-2006

  20-Jan-2006 (15)


Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast