Bamboozled (2000)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  20 October 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 8,506 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 184 user | 57 critic | 32 from

A frustrated African-American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.



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1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sloan Hopkins (as Jada Pinkett-Smith)
Verna (as Gillian Iliana Waters)
Susan Batson ...
Mau Mau: Big Blak Afrika (Julius Hopkins) (as Mos Def)
M.C. Serch ...
Mau Mau: 1 / 16th Blak (as MC Serch)
Canibus ...
DJ Scratch ...


Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy-League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family has been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. The hook: instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also come repercussions for all involved. Written by N. Cognito <nobody@noplace>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Starring the great negroe actors


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's Showtime  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$190,720 (USA) (6 October 2000)


ESP 5,010,100 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Appeared on Entertainment Weekly's list of The 50 Best Movies You've Never Seen in the Jul 16, 2012 issue. See more »


Pierre Delacroix: Yes continue, great niggerologist.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits for the film roll at the end. See more »


Referenced in My Big Fat Independent Movie (2005) See more »


In My Head
Written by India Arie and Blue Miller
Performed by India Arie
Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

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User Reviews

fascinating failure
4 June 2005 | by (San Francisco, US) – See all my reviews

first, the criticisms:

the acting is bad. the camera-work is only competent. the narrative is weak.

now the praise: my jaw dropped a number of times during the viewing. I couldn't believe I was watching an American movie. more so than other movies, bamboozled is entirely a result of entertainment. the world the movie depicts is centered on a TV network (entertainment producers and distributors), the narrative within the movie looks at entertainment (they're making a TV show!), and there is the film itself (which is entertainment).

but the things the actors say! if there is such a thing as a monolithic white America and a monolithic black America, many many lines that spike wrote can NOT be said in polite company.

and the events that transpire! the very idea of a c.2000 minstrel show is enough to provoke discussion and examination. the non stop barrage of highly charged race signifiers (speech, clothes, ideas, the blackface fabrication and application, etc) contributed to a very specific tone of outrage and cynicism. so it's fascinating because it's brilliantly done. but it's a failure because it's not quite a movie. could spike really have intended to make a satire of a movie, where the story of the movie is to make a satire on TV?

in short, the (often intense) reaction this movie engenders is worthwhile in itself. however, the movie feels to me like an intentioned, crafted harangue, which lowers its worth as entertainment, and establishes itself as a diatribe.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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