Before I Self Destruct (Video 2009) Poster

(2009 Video)

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16 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
7/10
Much Better then I EXPECTED!
west_civillian4 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I thought Curtis Jackson's performance in this movie was shockingly amazing,I personally thought Curtis Jackson's acting would be okay due to seeing his last performance where his acting wasn't completely top notch,But Curtis proved me wrong with his amazing performance in this crime drama action movie.This movie's about Clarence(Curtis Jackson)about to make it in Basketball but his career goes down the drain when he badly injury's himself,He then finds a job at a supermarket.But then his mum get's caught between a drive bye and end's up getting shot,Clarence(Curtis Jackson) then finds out by police telling him and he then tries his best to raise his little brother Shocka(Elijah Williams).But since the supermarket didn't pay him well he doesn't have enough money for the rent and then someone offer's him a deal that will get him enough money to pay the rent and live a better life.Clarence(Curtis Jackson)then live's a life of crime.Although the acting was not completely perfect i thought every actor in this movie done a good job.I Also see a new career for 50 Cent perhaps's directing and Writing movie's this movie show's potential.
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5/10
Underrated.
Luke Hodgers2 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I think this is a brilliant film, yes i agree the visuals etc. are questionable...

But that's not the way i am approaching this film, it shows us a very legitimate view of what life in the Ghetto can be like. The film gives you a good sense of emotion with a good attempt to try and put you in the place of Clarence, with the death of his mother driving him to revenge and then to participate in his new found skill of being a hit-man he turns from rags to riches and brings his little brother along for the ride. The fact that 50 cent is the producer gives authenticity to the film for those familiar with 50 cents history and the fact he actually came from Queens, New York and became involved in the criminal world.

The film however is highly predictable, with a brother that is so clever its only a matter of time until we see Clarence get shot and Shocka take revenge.

Clifton Powell fulfills his role quite well, but admittedly some acting is questionable.
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5/10
One Third Good Two Thirds Predictable
Theo Robertson28 June 2013
Aspiring basketball player Clarence suffers an injury that puts paid to any hopes of sporting fame . Taking a dead end job in a grocery store he finds that living in the ghetto involves survival of the fittest and finds himself being dragged in to a life of crime

I've got to confess here and now that I am not a rap fan . Most of my music collection is dominated by Celtic artists like U2 , Simple Minds and The Beta Band so I came in to BEFORE I SELF DESTRUICT with the view of watching it as a film in its own right rather than as some star vehicle for 50 Cent . The fact that the credits read that it's produced , written and directed by Curtis Jackson , the real name of 50 Cent perhaps tells you something

The story starts with setting up the backstory of the home life and family background of Clarence who is brought up by his single mother and has an academically gifted 13 year old brother . Right away I thought I'd be watching a subtle feel good cinema verite style movie where Clarence becomes a role model to his brother while struggling against a brutal environment and what the film does very well for the first third is portraying the American inner city as a bleak nihilistic place without over doing it

Then unfortunately the film blows it by having an inciting incident that takes the film in a new direction . This incident isn't exactly unexpected or shocking but it means Clarence starts becoming an entirely different character to the one we were introduced to at the start of the film and as you might expect the soundtrack becomes more prominent as if the film is trying to sell some tracks by 50 Cent . The ending is also so abrupt you'd think Jackson ran out of money before shooting was completed

There's also an aspect that's already been mentioned on this page and that is the acting is rather poor . There's different kinds of poor acting in cinema . Loud OTT acting personified by the ham acting of Steven Berkoff and the opposite type of bad acting seen here - wooden acting . It's not so bad in the early stages of the film because you can get away with it in a realist drama to a small extent and claim it's naturalistic but when the film becomes more plot driven it becomes more noticeable and annoying , but I guess if you're trying to sell records then Jackson wasn't concerned too much about the cast
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4/10
Typical Street Movie
Lahhlay M3 September 2012
Recently watched this movie on youtube. So many times i wanted to turn it off because it was so bad, but it was so bad I couldn't turn away if that makes any sense. The acting at times was quite comical but I've seen worse. 50 Cent's acting has improved since "Get Rich or Die Trying". However that's not saying much as he can still seem a bit stiff and often times can come across as being "robotic" in some scenes.

The "kill" scenes are pretty authentic and brutal. The story is basic but lacks depth. I've seen worse street movies than this (Belly 2). I will commend 50 Cent for directing/writing/acting in this movie. It's hard work and for a debut in directing/writing, he did pretty well. I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone, but if your a fan of 50 Cent and G Unit, then feel free to check it out.

4.5/10
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7/10
Amazing for the fact 50 Cent directed it...
Twenty Sixes14 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
There are a few hiccups with editing in the movie. But the way the story went was really good. The fact that he is rapper (with no direction background other than his fellow member's music videos). Most of the dialogues, the conversations in the movie were like the ones we have in our everyday life. The storyline was pretty the same old seek revenge. But you feel for the character when he loses his mom and he gets betrayed. 50 Cents's son (Marquise Jackson) can be seen at he beginning of the barber shop shot. For some reason the sex scene looked similar to the movie Shottas. Fifty can act and direct. In my opinion he needs to work as an assistant director with some good directors so that he would get a better perspective if directing anymore movies. All the best Fifty.
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3/10
It wasn't a crappy movie but it sure wasn't a great movie either
masmou198426 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Curtis, Curtis oh Curtis, why art thou Curtis.. If you like his music, i mean if you like his ghetto centric violence glamorizing lyrics then there are some chances you will like this movie. Mr. Fifty plays a talented basketball player who unfortunately injures his knee. So he turns into a heartless killer. Well, his mother dies, he has to take care of his brother but gets fired from his job and gets an eviction notice first. Then he turns into a heartless killer.

The acting is OK. Can't say I am impressed. Fifty does the best job. The story is less than average though. He draws a nihilistic picture of living in the hood, as does Gangstarap in general, a genre which of course Mr fifty cent is a notorious representative. What puzzles me is that the (subliminal) message is in some way that even a black young man, who is a promising athlete and never touched the criminal lifestyle can turn into a shotgun-blasting killer just like that. With no second thought on why his mother got killed he somehow enters the same criminal spiral. However i guess he kills only those who "deserve it". It is interesting that what brings him down is his trust for women, as she betrays him. Just like Gangstarap, where violence is needed, money is love, and females are not to be trusted this Fifty makes these parts of Gangstarap to a movie. It is interesting to analyze this movie in the context of the academic discussion regarding Hip Hop and Gangstarap nowadays (No, I'm not talking about C.Delores Tucker, O'Reilly and other numskulls. The REAL discussion going on, Mos def, The Roots etc..)

Better acting, better storyline and creativity is what I am missing from Curtis. This is no more than listening to his albums, and I had hoped for a bit more diversity in his productions rather than a simple replay on his rap lyrics in a manuscript form.
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10/10
This movie shows what can happen when you are lead down the wrong path
wisetoni18 November 2009
I am very proud of 50 cent. I found his acting to have improved greatly. I also found for this to be his first directorial film he did an excellent job in directing it. i love the idea of him bringing in new fresh faces in the movie. I felt these actors did a great job. i was impressed. the story line was great. i am patiently waiting for him to direct another movie. I find this movie to be realistic and many people will identify with the story line. It showed the struggles one has to go through in order to try to make it. It also showed sadness and sorrow.

i highly recommend this movie to all to see.
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4/10
Lack of good acting in some roles hurts this film
dbborroughs6 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
50 Cent wrote, directed in stars in a good little film about a young man who has to turn to crime when his mother dies and leaves him to take care of his little brother.

The film is far from perfect but the film shows promise, even if 50 Cent tries to be a little too flashy at times (though points for not looking like every other film out there) the real problem is that the films cast is wildly uneven and it runs from real performances to some were on the other side of "you must be joking". Its the lack of a good acting a couple of roles that really hurts this film. The ability to get through this film will depend upon how forgiving you are. if you can forgive the actors then you'll probably like this, if you can the stay away.
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2/10
Hard to find any value
sconard224 September 2010
I usually like to state the positive prior to the negative. This flic had so little production value that I am at a loss for props. Music tracks deserve ups. The fact that he did not make it "autobiographical" deserves ups. I have seen many community college media department films that scored better production points. Script, Acting, Cinematography, Lighting, Music fades and placement... all at "student" level. Not just bashing Mr. Jackson. I have deep appreciation and respect for his part in his audio artistic efforts. The overall concept of the story was not that bad either but I must say that for such a successful/talented audio artist, this film was a disgrace.
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7/10
Pretty decent movie
tinoynk23 September 2010
I'm far from a 50 Cent fan but I was overall pretty impressed with this movie. It's a very standard hood/crime drama that doesn't exactly break much, if any new ground. There's lots of macho posturing and blood and even a gratuitous girl on girl scene. The plot kind of stagnates towards the middle of the film but still is able to stay interesting.

The acting is one of the more surprised positive aspects. Curtis is average-solid as usual but Clifton Powell really knocks it out of the park and none of the supporting cast is bad enough to ruin the movie, which is usually the case with similar movies.

If you're a fan of the genre it's worth taking a look at if its on Showtime or maybe even for a rental if you're also a 50 fan.
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9/10
great film lots of potential for Curtis Jackson
allprops116 November 2009
I watch this film last night and i was like,WoW,i did not move from the chair till it was all over,it was deep,original,and well done,great acting,just shows you how life is really like in the hood,i can relate to this situation,cause i'm from the hood,not to far from were this took place,from Newark,n.j so stuff like this really happens,he really took this film to another level,and i think this is a stepping stone,for what is yet to come in the future,he is more focus,and his acting has hit another its peak,the man can act,there is no doubt about that,well done Curtis aka 50 cent,i hope there is a sequel to this one,in (Newark)
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10/10
Great Movie
danceability-119 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Great Movie.

Before I Self Destruct is an uncompromising view of life in the inner-city that focuses on how things can change without warning. When that happens, you can be forced into making decisions that alter your path and the life of those around you. The story is told from the view of Clarence (Curtis Jackson), who also adds insightful narrative of his thoughts and past throughout the film.

Clarence and Shocka (Elijah Williams) are nurtured and loved by their hardworking single mother. Shocka is gifted academically and excelling in school while Clarence works at the grocery store after his future as a talented basketball player was shattered when he was injured on the court. Coming home one evening Clarence walks by the scene of a shooting without much thought, that is, until the police come to the door with the news that their mother was killed during a shooting. Life gets even harder when Clarence comes home to find an eviction notice the same night he is fired from his job for stealing food to feed his little brother.

After committing an act that opens the door to an illegal life he starts working for Sean (Clifton Powell) as an enforcer. He enforces Sean's enterprise and the code of the streets with deadly force. Shocka's life keeps getting better because Clarence shields him from everything. He is a positive role model at home and keeps Shocka on the right path. As Shocka asks... How long can this continue?

danceability-1, Amsterdam Holland
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a Proper HOOD movie
rossipaddy26 December 2015
I saw this movie by mistake, I was browsing around, and started watching it from the beginning, thinking "the second this gets lame I'm turning it off". But alas, it was gritty, realistic and very engaging! A proper hood movie.

I never ever liked 50 cent, I always thought he was just this big mumbling beast, I never could figure out why people actually bought his records. I was full of prejudice before watching this one. REady, to watch something REAL if it looked like B.S.

Anyway, in this movie 50 cents actually acts. And when I say acts, I mean, he display tons different shades of emotion- him as well as his co-stars.(his brother, his mother, his hood friends down the street). And when I say he displays I'm not say he OVER-display, actually he's subtle.

The dialogs smell REAL from 10 miles, even the humor. Sometimes even unexpect great dry humor.

You feel really urban in this one.

The violence is realistic, and the feel is what I look for in a good Blaxplotion, I repeat a GOOD blaxploitation.

The only thing that's bad about this movie is the poster, which is really,really bad.

If this movie had another name attached to the directing/writing ....People would have taken this movie seriously.

Not because 50 direction and lead acting is bad CAUSE IT IS NOT. but because of the reputation 50 has: as a uni-emotional mumbling beast.

Had he used a pen-name for the director, and a pen-name for the writer, then this would movie would make all those "10 best hood movies" list. I have no doubt about that.

There's a scene when 50 cent had to shoot a gang member. There were 4/5 minutes of tension and suspense and fright, like I haven't felt in a long time in the genre. (this is due to the directing , acting, and location)

If the producers are listening, REMOVE THAT UGLY COVER, give a pen- name to the director and writer.. AND see this movie rise and finally take the proper CREDIT it fully deserves

if you like the genre I highly, highly recommend it. I'll def watch it again, like real, real soon.
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7/10
BISD Is a great first directorial debut by 50 cent. Surprisingly Good
Daniel Deltondo12 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
After appearing in various films, this is good film and 50 makes a decent directorial debut. With his own music on the soundtrack, it could have been a very C-Grade Gangster in the hood movie, but 50 adds plenty of depth with some humour, touching moments when his mother dies and the genuine pride he seems to have when his little brother Shaka gets accepted into all these prestigious schools. The girlfriend is hot, the biggest downfall is the length of the film, unless there is a part 2, it seems to come to a fairly abrupt end which leaves you with a "that's it?" moment. There are a few scenes where the characters just seem to waffle on, suggesting that both the script and editing could have been tighter and the screen time used more effectively, but again its only minor.

I hope there is a part 2, cause there are some decent characters, good acting and does warrant a sequel. 50 as a Hit-man is a dope idea and could make a big budget movie franchise. Well done Fif! PS> Lloyd banks as a teacher was hilarious. But where was yayo and WHOOO KIDDDD? On a side night - saw 2012 last night and the main character's name is JACKSON CURTIS...Yep who would have thought John Cusak playing CURTIS, JACKSON. lol.
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10/10
GREAT!!! AMAZING!!! This man is talented and funny!!!
devinfears22 November 2009
This movie is a great hood classic. It follows in the line of I'm bout it, and other hood tales. 50 cent and Clifton Powell on screen interaction was pure magic. The young man that played Chaka was talented as well. The movie was funny, heartfelt and painful all at the same time. My favorite line is "the insurance business." 50 cent is definitely a visionary and very talented businessman. This movie is a must see!! 4 stars out of 4!!!! The accompanying album is a masterpiece as well. To all the 50 cent haters, go get a job and/or a life because this movie is the truth. Support hood films and quit hating. The latino girlfriend with the face of an angel and the heart of snake was simply terrifying. Please 50 make a sequel. You are the next Rudy Ray Moore!
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1/10
A terrible movie in all respects
scott-vandemotter6 April 2011
50 cent directed and starred in this movie because no one else would. The dialogue is terrible. The "plot" is disjointed. Narration was used very poorly. The sex scene was a joke. The target audience seems to be inner city youth and the message is to stay away from bad influences.

I guess when one's music career is not going so well one may be forced to find other outlets for one's creativity.

50 Cent has a lot to learn about film acting, directing, producing.....as a matter of fact, just stay out of it.

To the poor souls who are considering watching this on Netflix:Unless you hate yourself, do not waste your time on this junk.
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