MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 15,027 this week

The Interrupters (2011)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, Crime  |  12 August 2011 (UK)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,894 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 14 user | 77 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence.

Director:

Writer:

(New York Times magazine article)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 29 Jan 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 11 Jan 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 04 Jun 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 21 Feb 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Interrupters" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Interrupters (2011)

The Interrupters (2011) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Interrupters.
10 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Music Man (2012)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

MUSIC MAN tells the story of professor and inventor Ge Wang who teaches computer music at Stanford University where he began the innovative Stanford Laptop Orchestra. Wang believes everyone... See full summary »

Director: Steve James
Reel Paradise (2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Former indie film "guru" John Pierson takes his family to Fiji for one year to run the world's most remote movie theater.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Georgia Pierson, Janet Pierson, John Pierson
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Documentary | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James
Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates
Murderball (2005)
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Quadriplegics, who play full-contact rugby in wheelchairs, overcome unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Directors: Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro
Stars: Joe Soares, Keith Cavill, Mark Zupan
Passing Glory (TV Movie 1999)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A talented all-black high school basketball team challenges the top all-white team in civil-rights-era New Orleans.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Andre Braugher, Rip Torn, Sean Squire
Life Itself (2014)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Gene Siskel
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.

Directors: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi
Stars: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A couple embarks on a journey home for Chinese new year along with 130 million other migrant workers, to reunite with their children and struggle for a future. Their unseen story plays out as China soars towards being a world superpower.

Director: Lixin Fan
Stars: Changhua Zhan, Yang Zhang, Suqin Chen
Documentary

Today, one in four people is overweight. One in six is malnourished, and more children die from malnutrition than anything else. For the first time in human history, tomorrow's generation ... See full summary »

Director: Steve James
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Greg O'Brien, long-time Cape Cod reporter and newspaperman, has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's. Acting on instinct and journalistic grit, Greg has decided to face down the ... See full summary »

Director: Steve James
Stars: Greg O'Brien
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Steve James
Higher Goals (1993)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Higher Goals encourages young athletes to put their dreams of professional sports in perspective and focus on getting an education. The real life stories of two high school athletes ... See full summary »

Directors: Steve James, Frederick Marx
Stars: Tim Meadows, Isiah Thomas
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tio Hardiman ...
Himself
Ameena Matthews ...
Herself
Toya Batey ...
Herself
Cobe Williams ...
Himself
Gary Slutkin ...
Himself
Earl Sawyer ...
Himself
Bud Oliver ...
Himself
Kenneth Oliver ...
Himself
Caprysha Anderson ...
Heraelf
Sheikh Rasheed ...
Himself
Alfreda Williams ...
Herself
Mildred Jones ...
Herself
Mildred Williams ...
Herself
Lillian 'Madea' Smith ...
Herself
Rashida ...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. From acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, this film is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn, persistence of violence in our cities. Shot over the course of a year out of Kartemquin Films, The Interrupters captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in our cities. During that period, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student, whose death was caught on videotape. The film's main subjects work for an innovative organization, CeaseFire, which believes that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases, and so the treatment should be similar: go after the most infected, and stop the infection at its source. The singular mission of the "... Written by Kartemquin Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every City Needs Its Heroes

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 August 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Steve James Project  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,557 (USA) (5 August 2011)

Gross:

$282,448 (USA) (17 February 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is Steve James' sixth feature length collaboration with his long-time filmmaking home, the non-profit Chicago production studio Kartemquin Films, and is also his fifth feature to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.12 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Piece of Me
Written by Klas Ahlund (as Klas Frans Ahlund), Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg
Performed by Britney Spears
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A complete portrait of the roots of urban violence
7 September 2012 | by (IL, USA) – See all my reviews

The problem with gang violence in Chicago hasn't changed much (for better or worse) in decades. In that light, "The Interrupters" can't be considered timely, and it certainly doesn't expose a new and growing problem. But in focusing on a group of dedicated violence interrupters, writer Alex Kotlowitz and documentary filmmaker Steve James ("Hoop Dreams"), stepping away from his usual sports focus, capture the cycle of violence in such a complete way that you can finally start to see how it could in fact end.

CeaseFire is a violence prevention group that largely consists of former convicts and people who have spent time in prison. They dedicate a large portion of their time to being present in the communities where violence strikes and stopping conflicts before they escalate into violence. They also make themselves available as resources and confidants to individuals in need of a calming influence.

Essentially, these interrupters do what the police can't, even though none of the subjects come out and say it directly, nor does James imply it in a heavy-handed fashion. The people in these neighborhoods don't trust the police and fear the police, whereas these interrupters are adult role models who they can relate to/who can relate to them, people they respect.

James chronicles a year from summer through spring, or the most violent time of year to a time of year when hope grows anew. He focuses on the efforts of three violence interrupters and a few of the young people they each reach out to during the course of this year.

The first is Ameena Matthews, daughter of notorious Chicago gang leader Jeff Fort, who at one point became involved in a drug ring. She's easily the most magnetic figure in the film and given that families of violence victims seek her comfort specifically, it says a lot about her strength as a community leader. Throughout the film she delivers powerful and moving speeches suggestive of her strength, but as she works with a loving but emotionally troubled teenager named Caprysha, we learn even she has moments of doubt.

Next is Cobe Williams, more soft spoken, but whose prison time give him a street cred that finds him able to talk to and work with some hostile individuals. His work with a gangbanger named Flamo, who he comes into contact with at a serious boiling point, is one of the more powerful arcs in the film.

Lastly there's Eddie Bocanegra, who does art work with students but spent half his life in prison for murder. His redemption story proves more than any that there's hope for those who make these fatal mistakes.

"The Interrupters" explores the deepest depths and root causes of violence, enough to even the most self-assured pacifist consider reality that is the cycle of violence and that it's not simply a matter of just not letting it be an option. Many of the subjects discuss the role of parents being there or not there and how they are role models whether they want to be or not, as well as how violence has become part of the culture because of the value placed on pride and ego.

Like any great documentary, "The Interrupters" is a conversation starter. Yes, it's edited in a powerful way will elicit emotion, but there are so many discussions worth having based on what the subjects say and do and what we observe. It's really hard to capture the entire spectrum of the conversation on a subject as general as violence, but somehow James manages to do it. And nothing he presents is black and white (not referring to race); if you pay attention through the entire film, you rationally cannot make generalizations about the roots of violence.

There are moments when the film drags a bit as it takes a step back to cover the human interest element of the film, the tragedy of it all. That's important, but its call to action is loud and impossible to ignore, so much so that you want it to continue its search for an answer, or in this case, to see if the work CeaseFire does really makes a difference.

It certainly does. "The Interrupters" proves as much. At the same time, we become so aware of how they can only be in once place at a time. A handful of occasions during the film we hear someone talk about some act of violence unfolding somewhere else right now as the camera is rolling. It's a wake-up call that unless the City of Chicago or the government take an extensive, grass-roots approach to ending violence, there's no way that even these amazing individuals can end it.

~Steven C

Thanks for reading! Visit moviemusereviews.com


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Should have gotten an Oscar nomination maymay-2
Song list of this documentary? jfca283
Steve James interview AtlantaMoviesExaminer
What is going on, now? vilj-1
Sinking ship. aphexxx
Discuss The Interrupters (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?