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Reviews & Ratings for
Hustle & Flow More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Film-making and Casting

Author: Atlanta Talent Magazine from United States
18 July 2005

I couldn't take my eyes away, wondering what will happen next - the way film was meant to be. The story builds and then there is a climatic turning point that gets you really engaged. Amazing film-making!

I think Terrence Howard is one of Hollywood's best kept secrets, that is until now. By starring in Hustle & Flow, his talent shines. He embodies the soul of this pimp-turned-wannabee rapper character so intrinsically that you swear it's really the story of HIS life.

Nonetheless, I must admit I was somewhat put off by the stereotypical characters at first. The movie quickly overcame those hesitations. At least there is a balance of imagery amongst characters; some depicting conversely positive roles.

The casting was perfect from Anthony Anderson to Elise Neal, Taryn Manning to rapper "Ludacris". This award-winning indie is a must-see.

I'd like to say a lot more but it's one of those times where, "You have to see it for yourself" is best suited.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

An Embarrassing Hook

Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
13 December 2006

Sometimes a movie is successful, engaging you but leaves you feeling dirty.

Sometimes a movie is well enough made to seem worthwhile but gives you nothing, nothing at all.

Sometimes a movie purports to be a genuine visit, an exploration in real, raw human dynamics from a world we wouldn't other wise see. This does advertise itself that way. And it is a fraud.

The "true" part is the story of the guy, the Memphis rapper who sold CDs out of the back of his car. He tricked his way into a meeting with the director — a polished white guy — and made a demo in 24 hours from scratch. That song won the Oscar prompting the ghetto/ trailerpark hoots half the world saw. That part is genuine, a man "making it."

But what false is everything else. Oh, I know folks get offended at the misogynism, but that's excusable here because that is the way most of the world runs. What is obnoxious is that we see a man "finding himself," following his path," and other sorts of soft notions about moving from irrelevance to a full life. The opening speech gives it to you in terms of dogs and man.

And we see him do so in the context of making the song that both redeems him and forms the sonic backdrop of the movie. It seems so genuine on screen: a whore finds her center to sing; a repressed producer finds his groove la la la. And our pimp finds untapped resources that must exist lest we wouldn't have a movie.

But in reality this is not the case. The top musical talent in Memphis (which is saying something) is turned to giving us what we see as genuinely from the man's soul but could never be. Never. And even if it were, does this song do anything but make your head bob for three minutes?

The acting is impressive, and we should give Singleton credit for that, I think. But what a waste these actors must have known this to be. We like it, but it is lies. We like it because it is lies. There is no genuine black culture any more. It is all packaged to be sold, pimped.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Terrence Howard Is A Brilliant Actor, But....

Author: Lauren Jones (lawn819) from United States
30 July 2005

Terrence Howard, as "DJAY," is, as usual, brilliant in HUSTLE & FLOW. There are too many stereotypical characters and events in this movie for it to have the real depth I expected. It's as if someone told the screenwriter, "this is how black people MUST be portrayed. They must live down to THESE stereotypes." There are several hiccups in the flow of this story, certain plot points that should have been either explained or omitted. As seems to be expected, DJAY resorts to violence, and is arrested, as so many unenlightened people expect of black males. There is no explanation given for any of the relationships DJAY has with the women he exploits, though they seem to have strong bonds with him and each other. Ultimately, this is a movie that had potential, but seems to have needed some script revisions. It is a vehicle that is far beneath Terrence Howard's brilliance. I won't give up on Howard, though; I still intend to see every movie he is in. I just hope he makes better script choices than HUSTLE & FLOW.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great performances by the entire cast--a movie that has a lot of meat on its bones

Author: goodwaterbetty from United States
29 July 2005

I broke with my weekly movie group to see HUSTLE AND FLOW alone, something I've never done in the past. As I had expected from the reviews I had read, it was a gritty movie with strong performances by the leading and supporting cast. What I did not expect was that the movie would linger with me--sort of a haunting presence--for days and days. Terrence Howard did a masterful job of portraying DJay as a complex, flawed character, but I think that the other actors were equally as convincing. The subject matter of the movie probably is a little harsh for some people, but it is handled with so much sensitivity for the characters involved that the performances really make it a film well worth seeing. I think I can guarantee that it's not a movie that you will easily forget.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great movie - Great performance

Author: Althea Deal from Philadelphia
28 July 2005

The movie flowed very well. Terrence Howard (D-Jay) gave a very believable performance as a pimp. Taraji Henson (Shug) was also very good. Even though D-Jay was a pimp he had a good heart and even though he was verbally abusive, he did not physically abuse his "ho's". The movie also made you feel like these people were only doing what they had to do in order to survive in the poor area that they were living in and to appreciate the opportunities we have where we are and that we're not there. Because, "except for the Grace of God it could be any of us trying to live the best way we can". I only wish the movie had elaborated on what their life would be like at the end but I guess this way we can have a sequel.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Going to buy it as soon as it comes out on DVD!

Author: Dee from North Carolina
26 July 2005

I loved it!! This is NOT a family movie - it definitely deserves the "R" rating. Some will complain because of the negative images, but they are part of our society and ignoring them won't make them go away. I rated it based on my level of enjoyment - not on movie snob criteria like sophisticated dialog, elegant sets, etc. It made me laugh, made me cry - just made me feel. While I can't personally relate to the characters, it allowed me to see up close what happens when people have little or no resources. Each character was different yet most were the same - stuck doing what they had to do to survive. I was rooting for DJay. Like another reviewer, I'm glad Terrence got to make this film and showcase the depth of his talent. I was even feeling his flow and wanted to "Whoop that trick" too!!

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the best movies I've ever seen!

Author: jh-51 from Los Angeles
4 May 2005

I saw this film at Sundance this year. I had no idea what to expect, it was just one of the last films that had tickets available. Well it was amazing! It is a perfect film. It makes you laugh, cry and feel great afterward. It was beautifully shot and well made. It had great direction and amazing performances. I think this film will be in the running for the Academy Awards this year. The entire audience at Sundance gave this film a standing and I have no doubt that every other audience that sees this film will do the same. Nothing else to say, just go see it! It's now one of my favorite movies of all time. I can't wait to get the soundtrack!

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

everyone has a dream

Author: extclipslee from United States
24 July 2005

Have you ever woke up one morning feeling tired and burnt out? Then something dramatic happens in your life and you see the world differently. "Wow!" That is exactly the moral being told here. There is humor, sadness and anger in this film. I cried three times, and yelled at the screen twice. I haven't felt this moved in a movie since Tom Hanks lost Wilson, the soccer ball, in The Castaway.

Everyone has to go see this movie regardless of race, age, (18yrs) or gender. I give this movie the highest rating for a director and performer.

Thank You, Staci Schacht

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Good movie. Not great, but definitely good.

Author: Cycklops from United States
18 June 2005

I saw "Hustle & Flow" yesterday at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

The movie's plot and feel are similar to "8 Mile." A gritty underdog story about a lower class guy with one shot at making it as a rap star.

But instead of Eminem, we get Terrence Howard as DJay, a Memphis Pimp. Howard is very good in this movie. He's very believable as a dirty, foul-mouthed chain-smoking hustler. His accent is serviceable enough for you to suspend your disbelief. And he is at times scary, funny, and sympathetic as he goes through his "mid-life crisis" and tries to live his dream.

In fact, the believability is one of the main strengths of the movie. The hoes are all overly made-up, potty-mouthed, or appropriately nasty for you to believe them. Anthony Anderson does a good job as a church-goer trying to mix it up with a friend who took a different life path.

While the audience generally laughed their heads off (I found some scenes funny but not all), the best parts of the movie were easily the sequences where DJay and his friends create their music. You get to see Shelby, a skinny white guy, surprise DJay (and the crowd), by creating a tight beat to match DJay and Anderson's "Whup That Trick" chant. Later, a ho sings the hook on one of his songs, and they turn it into a catchy track. The audience really got going in these parts, and the songs will stick in your head.

But the movie definitely has weaknesses as well. There is some inspired humor in it, but a lot of the jokes are stale and lazy. How many movies have we seen that try to wring laughs out of a white guy acting black? Ten thousand? Add this to the pile. If you're one of those people who laughs at that type of thing every single time you see it, expect to laugh more here. But if you're sick of it, like I am, you'll be rolling your eyes. Other than that, while it's funny, there's nothing that will really rock your world in terms of original or snappy humor.

The story as a whole is also fairly pedestrian. It's one of those movies that wants to use an original setting and characters, but plugs it all into a run-of-the-mill plot. The dialogue was somewhat flat and average. It definitely felt like a "Festival-quality" film instead of a high-quality studio release.

But with that being said, the plot functions well-enough, and the ending is a clever double-reverse of sorts. Overall, it was a crowd-pleaser. And I got my money's worth, which is more than you can say for a lot of indie films.

A good movie. Not great, but definitely good.

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Very good film

Author: F_Jenkins from la
12 January 2006

I hate rap music and anything that promotes pimps, gang banging, shooting cops or beating women. I'm a middle-aged white guy; you'll never see me wearing a gold chain or spending a lot of money on rims for my car. I can't stand people who drive by blasting music out of their car as if I want to hear their stupid music. With that said, I really enjoyed this film.

Why? Because of its combination of great actors, direction and a multi-leveled script that made you care about the characters no matter how shady. Brewer has done an amazing job with this screenplay, and although there are couple cheesy parts I hated ("I'm gonna get you a head set to talk into and make you feel important" - boy, if you couldn't see what that was leading to you don't know movies), but overall, he made the characters three dimensional beings that you actually pull for, despite their disrespectful standing in life. Howard is always great in anything he's in, I love how he says "mine" instead of "man" (like he did in Dead Presidents).

This film might have done real well at the box office had they promoted it to the general public, rather than the black community. I live in LA and work in the entertainment industry and saw how it was promoted and remember thinking "man, there's one movie I'll never see," and that's not my fault, it's the promotions department fault. It was promoted as a movie about a pimp loser who wants to be a rap star, not as a person with a dream, who gives it a shot and almost loses everything.

Of course, its one huge negative aspect is how it promotes racial stereotypes: the blacks want to be rappers, refer to women as "hos" and being a pimp is where it's at. Outside of that, for pure entertainment value, I recommend this movie highly.

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