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Street Fight (2005)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 2,889

My Rating

Movie Info

"Street Fight" chronicles the bare-knuckles race for Mayor of Newark, N.J. between Cory Booker, a 32-year-old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School grad, and Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent and undisputed champion of New Jersey politics. Fought in Newark's neighborhoods and housing projects, the battle pits Booker against an old style political machine that uses any means necessary to crush its opponents: city workers who do not support the mayor are demoted; "disloyal" businesses are targeted by


Documentary, Special Interest

Jan 9, 2007

Marshall Curry Productions - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (0) | DVD (5)

It's utterly fascinating, and if you don't follow New Jersey politics, you will be kept in the dark about the outcome of this 2002 race almost to the end.

April 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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[Marshall] Curry's picture is must-see fare for any and every observer of the curious world of American politics.

March 3, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The documentary is simple and strong and small. Its grit lifts it above its mechanical shortcomings.

March 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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If you didn't already realize that politics can be a dirty business, then Marshall Curry's Oscar-nominated documentary will set you straight.

March 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
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In brief, Marshall Curry, the young director of Street Fight, has hit the documentary jackpot.

February 28, 2006
New Yorker
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James is his own worst enemy in the documentary, behaving in public as a near caricature of Boss Tweed. But he won and is now serving out his fifth term.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Comment (1)
New York Daily News
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Funny, infuriating, and suspenseful, Street Fight is both a critique of the process and a vindication.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Street Fight isn't going to restore your faith in our desperately broken electoral system, but Cory Booker -- and the last moments of the movie -- may help you harbor that little flame of hope.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CHUD

"...completely gripping and enraging."

January 19, 2009
Los Angeles CityBeat

a primer for any aspiring politician to see the worst of what he can expect

January 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Booker and James square-off for a heavyweight political fight reminiscent of Holyfield vs. Tyson, except for the eating of ears.

January 19, 2007 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

It's essential viewing to prove to yourself that you're not so cynical after all.

April 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

an amazing work, thrilling and informative in equal amounts, reminding us that democracy isn't just fought over on message boards and foreign battlegrounds, but also on our very streets

March 14, 2006 Full Review Source:

There's no question which side Curry favors, but he turns Street Fight into an old fashioned political yarn, featuring hand-pumping and baby-kissing, but also a dash of blood fury.

March 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's a fascinating film, simultaneously enthralling, infuriating and guaranteed to make viewers ask how such a perversion of the political process could be taking place in America.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's kind of reassuring to see good old-fashioned dirty politics practiced with as much gusto as they are in the Oscar-nominated documentary Street Fight.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Audience Reviews for Street Fight

A well spun, if moralized and occasionally amateur, tale on the inequities of city-level politiking.

The films subject matter is engaging, and is more than enough to carry the film, and this is lucky, because the actual skill behind the documentary is lackluster, however honest and diligent it may be.
April 12, 2008

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Street Fight" is an enlightening documentary about the 2002 Newark, New Jersey mayoral election between four-time incumbent Sharpe James and challenger Cory Booker, a first-term city councilman, originally from the suburbs, who moved to Newark to make a difference, living in the low-income housing project, Brick Towers. By focusing on this municipal election, the documentary shines a light on elections in general and asks some very important questions about democracy. For example, when Booker is not spending a good deal of time simply raising funds, he has to deflect some of the sillier attacks against him, including his being Jewish and Republican.(Both candidates are black and Democrats. Newark is predominantly black.) All of which leaves little time for Booker to address the serious issues of reform that drew him to Newark in the first place.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The filmmaker is banned repeatedly from Sharpe James' campaign appearances while also being deeply ensonced in Cory Booker's campaign. So, "Street Fight" does come to side with Cory Booker and this does seem strange for a documentary about an election where some objectivity would be expected. Plus, the movie's New York City release date was rather close to the 2006 Newark mayoral election. [/font]
June 26, 2007
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Great Documentary that takes you deep into the crazy world of New Jersey politics. NJ is one of the most corrupt states in the United States and has been for a long time. You probably can't mow your lawn without a permit in some towns. This film takes place in the largest and also its worst city, Newark, during the 2002 mayor race. The film focuses around Cory Booker's campaign. it really shows you all the ups and downs that he had to go through to get where he is today.

To get a little politcal, Cory Booker has really turned around Newark and brought life back into a city that looked to never survive again. I love Obama, but later on history might show that Booker was really the chosen one. This would be a great time to make a Star Wars Reference, like Booker is Luke and Obama is.....well lets hope Obama doesn't turn to be that guy.
November 5, 2009
Keith Munley

Super Reviewer

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