7.5/10
3,416
16 user 75 critic

The Interrupters (2011)

Unrated | | Documentary, Crime | 12 August 2011 (UK)
Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence.

Director:

Steve James

Writer:

Alex Kotlowitz (New York Times magazine article)
10 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

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

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small financial institution called Abacus becomes the only company criminally indicted in the wake of the United States' 2008 mortgage crisis.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Cyrus Vance Jr.
Stevie (2002)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1995, director Steve James (of 'Hoop Dreams') returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy to whom he had been an "Advocate Big Brother" ten years earlier.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Steve James, Stephen Fielding, Tonya Gregory
Head Games (2012)
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary that follows football player and pro-wrestler Chris Nowinski's quest to uncover the truth about the consequences of sports related head injuries.

Director: Steve James
Stars: Chris Nowinski, Gene Atkins, Laura Balcer
Project Nim (2011)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.

Director: James Marsh
Stars: Nim Chimpsky, Stephanie LaFarge, Herbert Terrace
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
Life After Hoop Dreams (Video 2015)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Directors: Steve James, Abbey Lustgarten
Stars: Arthur Agee, Sheila Agee, Catherine Gates
Reel Paradise (2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
City So Real (TV Movie 2020)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A modern, multifaceted look at the city of Chicago.

Director: Steve James
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An investigation of the wrongful death of Carlos DeLuna, who was executed in Texas on December 7, 1989, after prosecutors ignored evidence inculpating a man, who bragged to friends about committing the crimes of which DeLuna was convicted.

Directors: Peter Gilbert, Steve James
Stars: Carroll Pickett, Steve Mills, Maurice Possley
Life Itself (2014)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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 | 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 Zhang, Yang Zhang, Suqin Chen
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Broken, desperate men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor risks everything to help them.

Director: Jesse Moss
Stars: Jay Reinke, Andrea Reinke, Alan Mezo
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:

View content advisory »
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

Don't Give Up On Me
Written by Dan Penn, Carson Whitsett and Bucky Lindsey
Performed by Solomon Burke
Courtesy of Anti Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
Meaner Streets
17 February 2012 | by jadepietroSee all my reviews

This film is recommended.

Flowers and candles, hand-printed messages written on notebook paper tacked to makeshift shrines, all decorated with photographs of young victims. This touching memorials litter the blood-spattered streets of Chicago and are the remains of the day in The Interrupters, a powerful and disturbing documentary by the talented Steve James ( Hoop Dreams ).

His film takes the moviegoer directly into the crime-ridden neighborhoods as we meet a group of peacemakers trying to restore sanity and preaching their anti-violence message to the choir. The group is called CeaseFire and it is made up of ex-gang leaders and former convicts whose motto is Stop the Violence - Save a Life.

James directed and photographed his documentary and focuses on three interrupter and their "scared straight" strategies of tough love and reality checks. We met Cobe Williams, a former gang member and family man now whose father was killed during a street fight, Eddie Bocanegra, a young man easily impressed by the gang's image of fast cars, money, and girls who served 14 years for murder and now uses art as a method of expression and conflict mediation, and the primary spokesperson, Ameena Matthews, the daughter of a gang leader who was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused at an early age and has since let faith and family lead her away from that life-style and keep her grounded.

We also met some of those troubled teens: Caprysha, a defeated Precious type, living in a halfway house, dreaming of a better life while constantly lying and breaking her parole; Lil Mikey, released from prison and wanting to be a better role model for his siblings; and Flamo, a young man enraged with his mother and brother's arrest and wanting his own form of justice. It is impossible not to care about their people and their lives.

The film consists of interviews with gang members, families of their victims, and scenes of escalating violence. At times, The Interrupters becomes slightly repetitive in its interventions and lock-step mindset of anger and frustration. More judicious editing could have made the film even more forceful. But the passion for its compelling subject and James' craft as a filmmaker make up for those minor complaints.

The documentary gives us no easy answers as drugs, unemployment, alcohol, poverty,and guns still are a major reason for the neighborhood's ills. Politicians come and go with each election, giving lip service and promises. Yet these people and their difficult lives become the on-going problem in search of a solution, and groups like CeaseFire seem to be their only course of positive action. The Interrupters allows us to see a world that we can never fathom and acknowledge the spirit of a group of strong-willed survivors, trying to make a difference and save a life or two throughout a normal day. GRADE: B

NOTE: Visit my movie blog for more reviews: www.dearmoviegoer.com


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 August 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Steve James Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Illinois, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,920, 31 July 2011

Gross USA:

$282,448

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$286,457
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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.



Recently Viewed