(2003)

Critic Reviews

75

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Entertainment Weekly
The beauty of Baadasssss! is the way Mario Van Peebles salutes his father's truth by coaxing it into legend.
80
The New Yorker
Mario Van Peebles creates what can only be called a lucid fantasia; the movie quickly reaches a pitch of manic activity and stays there. It’s an exhausting, and exhaustingly pleasurable, entertainment. [31 May 2004, p. 88]
80
The A.V. Club
A vibrant, funny, fully realized slice of oft-overlooked cultural, show-business, and black history. It's better than the film whose genesis it chronicles, though inherently doomed to be nowhere near as important.
80
Village Voice
Accurate enough as history to provide a potent reminder that black independent cinema did not end with Oscar Micheaux or begin with Spike Lee.
75
Rolling Stone
The film is technically raw, but the sight of Van Peebles playing his father at a defining moment in movie history exerts a potent fascination.
75
This colorful time capsule of a movie was directed by Van Peebles's son, who appeared in "Sweetback" as a child and doesn't minimize the difficulties his father's underfinanced dream entailed for his hard-pressed family and friends.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
One of the best looks at a period in American film to be seen in a long, long while. BaadAsssss Cinema has meat on its bones and analysis in its soul.
70
L.A. Weekly
The genuinely fascinating story is one of revolutionary intention and unrelenting grit, but while Mario is a competent enough filmmaker, he has neither the urgency nor, frankly, the chops to make his own movie fire up.
60
Film Threat
A heartfelt and incredibly resonant ode to his father's achievement, Mario's film relives the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the making of Melvin's pioneering effort.
60
The movie is at its best when it's most straightforward. Flights of fancy like the child angel perched on Melvin's ceiling or his conversations with the black-clad Sweetback, who appears to undermine his confidence at crucial junctures, seem forced and pointless.

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