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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.54%
Average: 22.99%
Pretty Bad: 10.34%
Total Crap: 3.45%

7 reviews, 45 user ratings

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Hustle & Flow
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by EricDSnider

"Sure, I pimp, but what I REALLY want to do is rap."
3 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: "Hustle & Flow" is a movie about rap music, which means, perforce, that it is also about guns and sex. It is the black version of Eminem's "8 Mile," which many will argue should have been black to begin with.

It is not as good as "8 Mile," though, and it certainly doesn't warrant the attention it got from distributors when it premiered at Sundance. In fact, much of it is unintentionally funny, being the story of a Memphis pimp who wants to leave the world of pimping and become a rapper, though once he achieves that, all he raps about is pimping. So I guess there's no pleasing some people.

The man in question is DJay (Terrence Dashon Howard), a mildly successful hustler with a handful of hos and a stormy relationship with girlfriend/lead whore Nola (Taryn Manning). Inspired by the new stardom of Skinny Black (Ludacris), a local boy who has recently achieved fame as a rapper, DJay sets up a makeshift studio in his house with his friend Key (Anthony Anderson) and begins recording.

The conditions are not exactly state-of-the-art. They have to turn off the electric fans when the microphones are on, then turn them back on between takes to ward off the oppressive heat. DJay also must plead with his neighbors to turn their own music down, because his un-soundproofed studio is picking it up.

But from primitive circumstances can come genius, and DJay's masterpiece is called "Whoop That Trick," a mournful ode to the woes of pimping on which Sugar (Taraji P. Henson), a sweet, simple-minded, pregnant hooker, sings backup. Visions of fame and fortune begin to percolate in DJay's contemplative little head.

This chunk of urban angst is written and directed by Craig Brewer, and he gives it the gritty, graphic feel that such a story undoubtedly requires. And to Terrence Dashon Howard's credit, he manages to make DJay -- who is, let us not forget, a violent flesh-trader -- a somewhat sympathetic character, flawed but honest. But he cannot overcome DJay's inherent ugliness, and the movie as a whole feels self-consciously "important," as if it's trying too hard to be a rising-up-from-the-streets story as powerful as "8 Mile" was.

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originally posted: 04/21/05 16:01:31
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/16/19 Anne watch it 2 stars
4/22/13 Jeff Wilder Fantastic. Howard makes himself a star. 5 stars
3/13/10 Matty P. Strong acting saves an otherwise cliche music video. 4 stars
9/04/09 robert mcdonald great movie --best i have seen in years 5 stars
10/19/08 Itsucked White persons poor analogy of the rap industry 2 stars
9/22/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Cast!! 5 stars
5/19/06 alvino hernandez it was perfect i wanted tobuy the soundtrack after watching it 5 stars
4/13/06 Suzz Howard deserved the Oscar; great film 5 stars
3/23/06 Annie G Everyone involved in this film deserve kudos for making these characters symphathetic! 5 stars
3/13/06 Kay Josh shut the fuck up. anyways this movie is a CLASSIC! <3 5 stars
3/11/06 Josh Standlee Rap cannot be classified as music because there is no tune and no singing. It also sucks. 1 stars
2/06/06 othree Outdated, Grimey, Can't phantom why this was even considered good 1 stars
2/03/06 katsat Graphically and powerfully depicted the redemptive power of art. Absoutely amazing. 5 stars
2/03/06 adi actors r great, thoug script could be better 5 stars
1/17/06 Jared Wilson one of my favorites of 2005 5 stars
1/16/06 Rocky Great story, totally entertaining and excellent music. I'd recommend this one to anybody 4 stars
1/12/06 sjjlw the movie was great and the performances the best especially T D Howard. We had a viewing 5 stars
9/20/05 Jonathon Holmes one of the 10 best films of the year 5 stars
9/08/05 bac not a very good movie, but it showed just how good of an actor Terrance Howard is 3 stars
8/28/05 malcolm finally, a thoughtful hip-hop movie 4 stars
8/16/05 Yvonne Captivating (even when you're not a rap fan) 5 stars
8/13/05 LINDA B. BLANTON RIVITING. Terrance Howard bought DJ to life. Great Actor. 5 stars
8/01/05 krispf3 amazing. period. 5 stars
7/30/05 Kankasaur Dirty South gets its due, from pimp walk to perp walk 5 stars
7/28/05 Obi Wan Very good movie and Howard gives a hell of a performance 4 stars
7/26/05 Ty Spiceland Like Million Dollar Baby with rap 3 stars
7/26/05 Derrick Rubin Great movie. Very much one of the best in 2005 so far. 5 stars
7/25/05 Jim The Movie Freak Best Film of 2005 so far 5 stars
7/25/05 arealazzlady` i guess you just have to live in proverty to understand the film 5 stars
7/25/05 Frank Newhouse HUSTLE AND FLOW IS OFF DA CHAIN NIGGA!! 5 stars
7/25/05 danyelle wilson i think the movie is better than all dis bullshit they got out now 5 stars
7/24/05 Yolanda Hustle and Flow was the bomb. Terrance was so amazing I've always been a fan of his . 5 stars
7/24/05 Kayla Great Movie! Terrence Howard and Taranji Henson and the entire cast awesome job 5 stars
7/23/05 babs hustle down to your local theater and SEE THIS MOVIE 5 stars
7/20/05 nimrod seductive but tragically misguided exercise in redemption at the expense of women; tired. 2 stars
7/17/05 Kristina Williams whoop that trick! 5 stars
7/13/05 Corny White Wow! I haven't seen all of these clichés before. 'Everybody gotsta have a drame!' 1 stars
7/05/05 GHill The characters & their dreams have never left my mind. WoW! 5 stars
6/28/05 babynisha love the soundtrack 5 stars
3/16/05 NovelistKC Gritty, sad, hilarious & thought-provoking. Terrence Howard is AMAZING as is Taraji Henson 5 stars
2/05/05 glory I want that soundtrack!! 5 stars
1/26/05 Kathryn Hightower Absolutely amazing. Beyond wonderful acting, soundtrack, script, direction. 5 stars
1/25/05 Bill Schultz Outstanding! And I didn't like hip-hop till now.... 5 stars
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  22-Jul-2005 (R)
  DVD: 10-Jan-2006



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