ATL Reviews

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Frank Ochieng
Movie Eye
April 1, 2006
"ATL" doesn't explore any new ground in the genre of black teen disillusionment but this is an affecting urban cautionary tale that sparkles in its own self-reflection.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Josh Larsen
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
April 1, 2006
...serves as the Kanye West to gangster-rap movies such as `Never Die Alone.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 31, 2006
It's something akin to the earlier films of Spike Lee -- She's Gotta Have It and Crooklyn come to mind -- in that the characters are cherished for their human qualities, not for how well they swagger onto the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
March 31, 2006
The story is familiar, but terrific performances and a vivid sense of place elevate it above the average teen-oriented picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
March 31, 2006
Warner Bros.' low-budget stab at capturing an urban niche audience is higher on stylistic dazzle than originality or coherence, making it an unlikely candidate to bust out of the box office ghetto.
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
March 31, 2006
For a run-of-the-mill hip-hop drama, ATL has some engaging hooks that set it apart from the predictable formula of urban youth struggling to steer clear of crime and pull themselves up to a better life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
March 31, 2006
The film's special appeal is that while the boys are poor and black, their stories transcend race and socio-economic matters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
James Hebert
San Diego Union-Tribune
March 31, 2006
But the story behind ATL (credited to Antwone Fisher, the onetime Navy man in San Diego who had a movie made about his life four years ago) for the most part feels genuine and resonant.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kim Morgan
Reel.com
March 31, 2006
Along the way, the film is bogged down by its dramatic twists and turns.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 31, 2006
Making his feature-film debut, music-video director Chris Robinson expertly choreographs the skating sequences, which are exhilarating fun.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 31, 2006
Really, ATL -- like last year's Roll Bounce -- is about roller skating.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 31, 2006
The second half is clumsier than the first, and you get the impression that the studio rushed to cut things that hadn't worked in last fall's kids-skating flop and play up the Boyz aspects of the routine moral-dilemma plot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Marc Mohan
Oregonian
March 31, 2006
Ultimately, ATL is the same old teenager angst in a mildly novel package.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 31, 2006
A good message isn't enough to justify a $10 ticket. You also need a good movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
March 31, 2006
A thoroughly convincing portrait of black teens in Atlanta, ATL has the same broad range of laughs and fears as Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
March 31, 2006
It feels like a real window on the lives of disenfranchised youths -- these are in South Atlanta -- as they make their way in a society that doesn't cut them any breaks.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 31, 2006
Buoyed by a superlative soundtrack, ATL plays a familiar song about growing up, but hits notes that sound brand new.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Matt Pais
Metromix.com
March 31, 2006
ATL never suggests that it feels good to be a gangster, nor is it a preachy morality tale peppered with gunshots and prison cells.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Daily News
March 31, 2006
What Chris Robinson's debut feature lacks in imagination, it makes up for through a vivid sense of place as well as fine, instinctive performances, particularly from rapper Tip T.I. Harris in the lead role.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Loey Lockerby
Kansas City Star
March 31, 2006
ATL is unlikely to inspire any emotion stronger than vague indifference.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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