22 user 16 critic

Life Is Hot in Cracktown (2009)

R | | Crime, Drama | 26 June 2009 (USA)
2:01 | Trailer
Various stories of how crack cocaine has infiltrated the inner-city streets. Based on Buddy Giovinazzo's novel "Life is Hot in Cracktown".


Buddy Giovinazzo


Buddy Giovinazzo (based on his novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Evan Ross ... Romeo
Stephanie Lugo Stephanie Lugo ... Debbie
Maurice Blake Maurice Blake ... Brazil
Omar Regan ... Cremont
Jeffrey Lorenzo ... Soby
Victor Rasuk ... Manny
Tony Plana ... Lou
Lara Flynn Boyle ... Betty McBain
Melissa Wilfley ... Fay
Ten Travis ... Ceasar
Shannyn Sossamon ... Concetta
Gavin and Noah Enriquez Gavin and Noah Enriquez ... Ramon
Elena Franklin ... Melody Amber
Marci Canipe Marci Canipe ... Melody's Mom
Quddus ... Terrance (as Quddus Philippe)


Various stories of how crack cocaine has infiltrated the inner-city streets. Based on Buddy Giovinazzo's novel "Life is Hot in Cracktown".

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Be cool. You're so cool. Life is cool in Cracktown.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, rape, drug content throughout, graphic sexuality, nudity and pervasive language

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The dude that robs Manny the first time is Carmine Giovinazzo (Detective Danny Messer from CSI: NY (2004)), cousin of the director, Buddy Giovinazzo. See more »


Benny: Marybeth, I know what I am. Don't think for a second that I don't, 'cus I do. Like when I hear you and Ridley talking to some of the other girls, things yous able to talk about
Benny: you're smart, you got schooling, you know things. Me, what do I know... I know that being with me must be like being with a retard. I look in the mirror sometimes, I wonder what you're doin with me. I know you do, too. When the day comes, you find somebody better, 'cus one day that will happen, I ain't gonna give ...
See more »


References Bubble Bobble (1986) See more »

User Reviews

Gritty. Real. Personal. Unfortunate About The Title...
2 September 2009 | by fwompSee all my reviews

I'm gonna have to eat some crow here, especially after complaining about the last film I reviewed, SHADOWHEART. Both it and this one – LIFE IS HOT IN CRACKTOWN – came to me via Amazon's Vine Program. And I was becoming rather tired of the careless films that tended to populate The Vine's DVD list. Well, Life Is Hot In Cracktown has reformed me ...somewhat. It isn't great. It isn't stupendous. But it is gritty, real, and put together in a way that made it extremely watchable.

All of these characters are well-rounded and exceptionally well acted. There will be someone that every watcher will be able to connect with. Whether it's the young boy looking after his younger sister as his mother and her boyfriend get high and leave them alone for days, or the pre-op transsexual Marybeth (Kerry Washington, THE LAST KING OF Scotland) and her emotionally labile boyfriend Benny, or Manny, the guy working two jobs trying to support his wife Concetta (Shannyn Sossaman, WRISTCUTTERS) and their colicky baby, or the gang-banger Romeo who's life on the street is turning him into a dangerous individual, there's someone here for everyone.

The interest comes in the fact that you watch most of these people make horrible decisions or do terrible things, yet you cannot look away or even condemn them. They are the best and worst of us all, and it shows a rugged side of humanity that most of us would rather not see ...except to realize that one of these people might have been you had you not had a few breaks. It's frightening and enlightening.

The best part of the film is toward the end as we watch each person forced to make a decision and wonder at what the outcome will be. It is a turning point in their lives and we are given front row seats to it. Amazing how it all came together.

Watching the special features, I have to disagree with Kerry Washington's comment about transsexuals never being shown on film in any meaningful way. The film TRANSAMERICA focused specifically on this subject and was a fantastic film. Just FYI, Kerry.

Anyway, this film is actually quite good, even though I found the title a bit unfortunate.

10 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

26 June 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life Is Hot in Cracktown See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed