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Before I Self Destruct (2009)

A coming of age story about an inner-city youth raised by a hardworking single mother. When his dream of becoming a basketball player fails to materialize, he finds himself employed in a ... See full summary »

Director:

50 Cent

Writer:

50 Cent (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
50 Cent ... Clarence (as Curtis Jackson)
Clifton Powell ... Sean
Elijah Williams Elijah Williams ... Shocka
Sasha Del Valle Sasha Del Valle ... Princess
Gabriel Ellis ... Rafael
Michael Wright ... First Victim
Anthony 'Treach' Criss ... Cedrick
Gabriel Casseus ... Freddie (as Gabrielle Casseus)
Kar Kar ... Miss Jenkins
Los Jones ... Jay (as Carlos Jones)
Shorty Red Shorty Red ... Tiny
Eve Lora Eve Lora ... Mrs. Ortiz
Tayuana 'T.J.' Jones Tayuana 'T.J.' Jones ... Ronette
LoLa Monroe ... Mona (as Angel)
O.G. Mack McLean O.G. Mack McLean ... Mr. Harris
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Storyline

A coming of age story about an inner-city youth raised by a hardworking single mother. When his dream of becoming a basketball player fails to materialize, he finds himself employed in a supermarket. After his mother is tragically gunned down, Clarence (played by Jackson) is consumed by revenge and takes up a life of crime in order to support his younger brother. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence, pervasive language and some strong sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Before I Self Destruct See more »

Filming Locations:

Paterson, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The directorial debut from Curtis Jackson (50 Cent), and was delivered with his fourth album 'Before I Self Destruct'. See more »

Soundtracks

Pray For Me
Performed by Gasner Hughes for Courtesy
Produced by Ky Miller for Mudd Monkey Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One Third Good Two Thirds Predictable
28 June 2013 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

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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