Roxanne Roxanne (2017) Poster

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Quality Movie
fcthemusic24 March 2018
I gave this movie a 8/10. I thought the acting was great and the actual quality of the movie (sound, picture, etc) was phenomenal. I don't know what the budget was but I wish more movies looked as good as this. Chanté Adams did an incredible job. She was a natural and very believable.

I think it was a little hard to follow if you're not from that era because I don't know all of the players. I'm an 80s baby and I still don't know everyone who was being portrayed in the movie. I think they should've paused the film with a little caption under each main character so the audience can get a better understanding of who is who.

Also, I would've liked the film to illustrate how Roxanne Shanté affected the billboards and media etc. This was an inside looking out movie but the outside looking in perspective would've been nice to add, just a tad. Other than that, solid film!
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Great Performances ...... Bad Film
AhmedSpielberg9931 March 2018
The only thing that redeems this messy film is the superb acting specially from the lead actress Chanté Adams; she made me care about her character and root for her character, although neither the character's background or the struggles that the character went through have been represented well. Also, Mahershala Ali gave an awesome and powerful performance, he steals every scene he's in in this film.

Don't get me wrong it's a bad film but the great acting is what kept me riveted while watching it.

At the first act, the film tries to show me Roxanne Shanté's backstory which should be important but what I got instead are details about minor characters that don't have anything to do with the story but even that it was hard to figure out who's who. Also, there are a lot of in-your-face messages about racism.

The character of Roxanne Shanté's mother is annoyingly stereotyped and the film gave her dramatic scenes which are so corny. The dialogue is so faked and stilted that it ruined some great acted scenes.

There are many important turning points in the plot that are so rushed.

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Loved it
ladydainara15 September 2019
So I have to admit I was more into Headbangers Ball and Hair Metal then I ever was rap or hip hop. Some songs were an exception if they caught my attention. So while I knew who Shante was in mention I didn't ever know or experience HER.

However, when I was on youtube looking over new movie trailers trying to make a list of what I want to watch this one had enough drama to catch my eye. Which is great in itself because even there I am more of Horror/Action/Fantasy ind of girl. So this movie was so not me on all points and corners yet I settled down and started watching it and when I did it kept me watching from start to finish. I became so enthralled with the story of this lady's life that not only did I watch the movie and finish it I went to Wikipedia and several fan sites to read more. I then listened to the original song and then her response song in full followed by some of her other work. The movie touched me that much.

So yes I still love metal over rap lol. But this movie has inspired a new moderate fan.
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TheGarbagePaleKid23 March 2018
Much better than most hiphop movies previously made, with a bit more depth and budget I would have gone to the cinema to see this.

Hopefully there will be more movies of this type as there some great stories to tell about the golden era of hiphop and plenty of fans.

Good acting and casting and held my attention throughout which is a rarity nowadays for tv output. Way better acted and far more authentic than The Getdown.
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Mostly well made, and somewhat involving.
Hellmant6 April 2018
'ROXANNE ROXANNE': Three and a Hals Stars (Out of Five)

A Netflix original drama about a teenage girl in Queens, New York (during the 1980s), who had to fight to provide for her family, and defend herself on the streets, while also becoming a hip-hop legend at the same time (rapper Roxanne Shanté). The movie was written and directed by Michael Larnell (who also performed both duties on 2015's 'CRONIES'). It stars Chanté Adams, Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Nia Long, Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips and Shenell Edmonds. Forrest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams served as producers, and RZA did the music. The film was released by Netflix through it's streaming site. I found it to be mostly well made, and somewhat involving.

The story begins in the New York Queensbridge Projects, in the early 1980s, when Lolita Gooden (Adams) was just a young teen. She had to struggle to support herself, and her family, and defend herself from predators constantly. Lolita was already a very gifted rapper at that age, that went by the name of Roxanne Shanté, and her musical talents helped her survive on the streets as well. This movie details her rise to fame, as she also struggled just to get by.

The film is another story about a very strong, and talented, young woman, that has to put up with constant sexism, and oppression, but still survives. It's well shot and acted. It's also really depressing, and frustrating at times as well. Obviously it's an inspiring story in the end. I would have liked a little more from the third act though, the film seems to end without a strong emotional climax of any kind. Overall it's a well made movie though.
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left wanting
jersmac30 March 2018
I remember when my boy D came home from Detroit with a Roxanne tape. It was all we played for weeks. This movie was well acted but lacked the feeling of the time and music of the period. I expected more from it.
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Decent TV Movie
krisdimoski23 March 2018
After watching this movie i cant say that I was left speechless but have to admit that there was definitely some decent acting and a familiar story told from a fresh and unique perspective. Nia Long who was playing the mother of Chante nailed her roll, her acting was really spot on. One could easily see how Mahershala Ali managed to score himself a golden statue. His character was the complete opposite of the one he played in Moonlight where he was the criminal with a golden heart. Here we had a troubled drug dealer who couldn't rise above his dark environment, his huge gangster ego and his selfish needs. And finally Chante gave us a really honest and fresh performance that kept me and my girlfriend watching until the end of the movie. I rate it 7 out of 10 only because i felt that the movie lacked a bit of depth.

All in all i would recommend this movie if you are into biopics.
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A small piece of Hip Hop history Roxanne Roxanne lacks on all fronts.
theabstraktmedia24 March 2018
As a hip hop head this truly disappointed me. Of course I am aware of the history Roxanne Shante has played. For those who did not know now know, but I felt the story was very weak. The dialogue doesn't grab you by the balls. There is a huge lack of, something. It doesn't feel raw. It doesn't take you back to the 80s, more like a low budget movie. The same feeling I got from The Get Down, although they had a 30 million dollar budget. I also feel that her story alone is not enough to represent Hip Hop alone. There were many other female MCs at that time who started way before Shante who never received the same credit they deserve. If this story is about abuse, a young girl going up in the projects and by ''accident'' becoming a full-time rapper, then overall it could have been told better.
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Film let down by poor script and direction.
stellanjara1 April 2018
Film let down by poor script and direction. There were lots of moments that were just useless, utterly useless. The actors were good but the lack of direction, plot and story line left it drifting in the breeze.

It could of been really great but it missed the mark totally. I felt it was rather a film of "why men are rubbish" or "how to groom a teenage girl" instead of rap and hip hop. Where were all the rap battles and hip hop scene???

Give this a miss and don't waste an hour and half of your life. Although towards the middle I forwarded through the film in the hope it got going, it never did!
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Decent HipHop biography with great acting and poor execution
amonem5 November 2018
I remember exploring Roxanne Shante and the infamous Roxanne wars, since I was still not born by that time, but around BDP conflict with MC Shan. I became quite the hip hop schollar since then, so I was realy excited to see some new biography of maybe nowadays forgoten rapper.

The movie had some amazing, excelent performances - Marshala Ali is simply one of the better actors of this generation, maybe even top 10 at the moment. Every scene he engages in is pure gold from his side. I was surprised, since the main actress was a mystery to me, but her job was well done - she had great charisma, attitude and most of all - diversity in delivering different types of feelings to the audience. The script however was not so good - maybe even the direction, because the story itself is something a viewer could easily get into, but the delivery was just so mediocre, you stop caring about the characters during the movie (even though they are going through hard times, have interesing plots and meet interesting historical people, it just comes out flat and soon to be forgotten). I realy wish this was done better, because it had so much potential to be a stand-alone biopic, different from everything else, but it ended up being same old repetitive tv movie.
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I Didn't Move!
authorkradir31 March 2018
From the time I pressed play, I DID NOT get up from my seat. I paused the film maybe twice, to explain scenes to my family members. Other than that, I was thoroughly engrossed in the movie. It was heartbreaking, an emotional roller coaster ride. I was drawn back to the 80's when Roxanne raps were on fiya! The film to me, confirmed what is MISSING in rap and rap artist. The only thing is, I wished it was longer! Bravo!!
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What a let down.
MovieCriticOnline25 March 2018
I love hip-hop history, but very few films ever get it right, with the exception of Wild Style, Style Wars, and Beat Street, no other film captured the hip-hop scenes.

And unfortunately, Roxanne Roxanne didn't break the legacy of any of those 3 films. It just didn't feel like they were living in the times of 80s from the clothes to the hairdos. it was more like the 70s.

The lead girl was actually pretty good, but the directing wasn't very good. It was hard to figure out where they were sometimes and what they are doing and why, location and time wise.

There was a failure by the writer to establish a good relationship. And the music was all off. Sometimes it felt the 80s, but then the music felt 70s and vice versa. The wrong wardrobes, which must have been done by people that didn't know the times, like the oversizes Adidas tracksuits and pulled down Kangol hats. All wrong. not the style of NYC hip hop at that time.

Too many close-ups. Maybe they were trying to avoid the 2000s scenery. There were also too many characters, which made it hard to follow. They should have focused on 1-3 an then let the time period and progression surround around those characters, instead of adding too many.

The movie was just poorly executed and was way too many scenes that were supposed to create an emotional connection were either forced or rushed or both.

It's like this film was written and directed by someone that wasn't there at the time or just too young to have known the times the film takes place and then just adding a few words here and there they got from a Hip Hop lexicon. I.e. they read a hip-hop history book and then imagined what it was like. I was right after watching this.

Just sad the subject matter wasn't handled properly. It could have been a great story if done right. Just too many things weren't believable. There was too much unnecessary resistance.
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Actress was Horrible !!
jennfinn7 October 2021
I'm pretty sure Netflix has completely run out of ideas for movies because I can't imagine anyone less significant to make a movie out of. I know that sounds harsh but I doubt anyone born after the eighties even knows who Roxanne Shante is. First let me say grew up on this kind of music in the eighties and I was a fan but I don't think a movie was necessary.

Some reviewers commented on the quality of the production and how it must've cost a lot. I'm not sure what they were watching but it seemed like a made for TV from years ago. Also the main actress was absolutely horrible and it's no surprise this was her first movie.
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The passion for rap
DogePelis201517 January 2021
A good movie with good performances and good music; I recommend it.
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mochabeige25 March 2018
I Luv'd this movie. I did not expect the quality of the movie to be as such. Just seeing how they brought it back to yesterday with the clothes, the slang and how we were all the way around back in those day. It brought back such good memories. When I 1st saw that ROXANNE ROXANNE gold Name Plate I thought of how I had one with my name on it as well and how SPECIAL of a feeling I had when I got it.

But mostly to see your Journey Roxanne Shante and how u were the one to open the doors for the Female Rap Mc's today.

This Movie is worth the watch and to watch it over and over again.

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TeddyOnome7 January 2020
I didn't expect this film to have so much rape scenes and domestic violence. I thought it was going to be focused on her music career. This was triggering and disappointing
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Poor acting and lack of exploration dilutes potential
paulhoughton26 December 2018
Whether it was the acting or direction needing vast improvement, the portrayal by Chante Adams of Roxanne Shante was average at best, and sometimes cringe enducing. And although the factual story was interesting to absorb, as a fan of Roxanne Shante's music, I would have liked to have seen it stretch into the Go on Girl and Live On Stage era.

Additionally, the rap wars with BDP and the coming together of the Juice Crew would have bolstered the story with factual content important and interesting to Hip Hop fans across the world, especially relative to Roxanne Shante. I understand the focus here was on the mistreatment and early life, but the film lost an opportunity to be much bigger by leaving out these explorations.
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Couldn't finish it
gmaileatsyourlunch5 December 2020
I grew up with this music. I remember when all the answer songs were coming out, all the kids would gather around a boombox on the playground to hear them. We'd listen to the latest ones back to back to hear the whole "story". For around a month, you heard Roxanne beef tracks all the time.

The good ones were allowed to play - sometimes got a replay. The bad ones got booed. It a track was especially bad, someone hit the stop button and we moved on. There were beefs in the neighborhood and among us kids, but we'd never heard a beef played out in songs. Not on the level of Roxanne.

So what does this film have to say about that short but intense cultural phenomenon? Almost nothing.

This is a cookie cutter "overcoming, rising up" film, with paint-by-numbers misogyny, racism, poverty, sexual abuse, nobody believing in her dream, the list goes on. Everything but the kitchen sink.

Of course her father is a deadbeat. Of course. Because of course all black fathers are deadbeats.

Of course she has to battle rap to support her family. Of course. Because poor people slaving at their art just to put food on the table warms our cockles. Of course.

Of course no one believes in her abilities and tries to convince her to "get real" and that "no one will take a female rapper seriously". Of course.

It just never stops touring these cliches and pounding them home with all the nuance and care of a sledgehammer.

The characters aren't authentic in the slightest. The script is a joke. None of the dialog is from the period. It's 2017 dialog transposed to 1982. It is, frankly, what middle and upper middle class people THINK or IMAGINE people in the hood talked like back then. This is a film solely for people who weren't there. It's for people who definitely grew up on the right side of the tracks. It's flattering to their noble notions of poverty and race.

Of course the critics gave this a pass. Of course they did. To do anything else proves their blah blah deep-seated racism blah blah obvious ignorance blah blah misogyny. This film puts on the critic armor, and puts it on thick.

What we're left with is a vacant, soulless, sanitized and not even slightly nostalgic tour of a magical, made-up hip hop ghetto. Nothing of the true grit, grime, hustle and struggle is anywhere to be seen.

In it's excessive degree of dishonesty, it's manages to be insulting, both to the history it's supposedly portraying, and to audience sensibilities. It assumes we're wide-eyed rubes who can't tell the difference between champagne and ginger-ale. It's the worst dis track of them all.
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pdiamant201121 April 2018
Yo came here to ask just a quick question, was "Tone" from the film supposed to be the same Tone with the one from the "Trackmasters" fame? Thank you, holler if you know anything.
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A Real Gem of a Biopic! Well Worth a Watch
The_Fi1m_Fan26 July 2020
I first came across Roxanne Shanté in the 80's, it was the birth of Hip Hop and it seemed that every day a new star was being discovered. As a kid growing up in London Rappers, DJs, Break Dancers and Body Poppers were gods!

Michael Larnell's film intelligently charts the struggles and challenges of Roxanne Shanté (Chanté Adams/Taliyah Whitaker) faces growing up in Queens, New York. I would have been happy if this film was just about Hip Hop. Instead however we're treated to a snapshot of story lines that neatly intertwine. Roxanne's mother Ms Peggy (Nia Long) acts as the trigger for a chain of events that force a young black teenage girl to make adult decisions in an adult's world. Her relationship with Cross (Mahershala Ali) compounds her sense conflict and adds to her torment.

Along this journey of discovery and hustle Roxanne interacts with Managers, Promoters and Drug Dealers - where she's promised the earth and has to deal with the consequences of the decisions she makes. All this when most 14 to 17 years olds are still at (and should be at) school.

This is a beautifully paced film that's both thrilling and thought provoking. It successfully portrays the human dimension that underpins the machismo often trumpeted by the world of hip hop.

Pay close attention for the 'cameos' from other rappers from the period as you'll appreciate those moments when they come.

If I had to criticise the film - I'd struggle; but I did find myself wishing that Roxanne rapped more. She was an awesome rapper, so sell this. Nevertheless, that's what CDs tapes, LPs and streams are for, no?! So I'll forgive them for that. Instead we have a mature film about a 'sometimes' difficult subject played by a great cast.

How anyone could give this less than a 7/10 is beyond me.
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