(2005)

Critic Reviews

68

Metascore

Based on 37 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Entertainment Weekly
The home-studio recording sequences in Hustle & Flow are funky, rowdy, and indelible. Brewer gives us the pleasure of watching characters create music from the ground up.
80
Film Threat
While never sacrificing any of the hard-knock authenticity and specificity of his characters and their milieu, Brewer has crafted a deeply felt film.
75
ReelViews
It celebrates art, hope, and dreams, and you don't have to like hip-hop to appreciate the message or the way in which it is delivered.
75
Rolling Stone
Explosive entertainment.
70
Ends with a burst of movie-ish mayhem, and then a burst of sentiment, but when Brewer, Howard, and Ludacris stick to the bitter texture of South Memphis failure and success they produce a modest regional portrait that could become a classic of its kind.
70
Variety
Director Craig Brewer has given his second feature film a vibrant pulse amplified by an outstanding cast led by Terrence Howard.
70
The A.V. Club
The vibrant rap drama Hustle & Flow wraps the authentic around the inauthentic, telling an underdog story that sticks to formula, yet resonates with an undeniably real energy and texture.
50
Newsweek
Howard redeems this lumpy fantasy. Soft-spoken and mysterious, he presides over the movie with a dangerous, feline grace.
40
Village Voice
There's something wrong with Hustle. A bad aftertaste, and not just the dry grit of Memphis dust, but something meaner. A feeling that Brewer's sensibility is way off. Aside from Howard's characterization, the most indelible parts of the movie are the demeaning caricatures forced on DJay's women.
40
Dallas Observer
Spends most of its 114 minutes on the making of a demo tape. People in a studio, rapping and recording. If you're going to watch that, wouldn't you prefer it to be Dr. Dre, or Lil Jon, or whoever, rather than actors pretending to be their kind?

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