• R, 1 hr. 49 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Mario Van Peebles
    In Theaters:
    Sep 7, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    Sep 14, 2004
  • Sony Pictures Classics


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Baadasssss! Reviews

Time Out
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June 24, 2006
David Denby
New Yorker
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It's an exhausting, and exhaustingly pleasurable, entertainment.

August 1, 2004
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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It's a great story and well worth remembering.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

July 2, 2004
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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Effectively raw and stylish.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/5

June 25, 2004
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Van Peebles' stiff, needlessly flashy direction lacks the energy this material required to become truly transporting, and the relationships between the characters, particularly the father and son, is never convincing.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 25, 2004
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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Not just forgiving toward the elder Van Peebles, it's filled with a spirit of comic amazement about what he accomplished.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

June 25, 2004
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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A reminder that good intentions don't always make for good movies.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 2.5/5

June 24, 2004

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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June 18, 2004
Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
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A great glimpse inside an artist's struggle. That is, an artist's funky, nasty struggle.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

June 18, 2004
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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What it lacks in focus, it makes up for in energy and commitment.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B-

June 17, 2004
Ben Schwartz
Chicago Reader
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Mario's done a good job of depicting Melvin's accomplishments. Yet it seems to me that he's still selling his father's legacy short.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 2/4

June 11, 2004
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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Never feels like anything more than kids playing dress-up.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

June 11, 2004
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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A lively, absorbing, often uncannily authentic docudrama.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

June 11, 2004
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
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Mario lacks the finesse as a filmmaker to deliver the nuanced portrait his father deserves, but he largely succeeds: We see Melvin as a flawed man, but one who worked for something larger than himself.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: B

June 11, 2004
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Full of itself, as fiercely independent as it should be and primed with real passion, Baadasssss! is a salute to an imperfect man, a history of an imperfect time and a celebration of an imperfect film that kicked doors open.

| Original Score: B+

June 11, 2004
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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More nuanced and displays far more filmmaking finesse than Mario's previous films as a director.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

June 11, 2004
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Fascinating, raw and full of the kind of crazy life we don't see enough of on screen.

| Original Score: B

June 11, 2004
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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A color-saturated celebration of cinematic pleasure and filial love.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 11, 2004
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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One of the best movies I've seen about the making of a movie.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

June 11, 2004
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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It's hard to imagine that the chronicle of an artistic ordeal could be this much fun to watch.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A-

June 10, 2004
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A sobering and wildly entertaining account of how the elder Van Peebles crashed through the hurdles that continue to hinder independent filmmakers.

| Original Score: 3/4

June 10, 2004
Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
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It works as a biopic, as a truly American story, and as a sentimental, but never cloying, gift from son to father -- and from father to son.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 10, 2004
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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You don't need to have seen the father's movie to enjoy the son's, a multitiered fantasia that's part cinema history, part family reunion, and all hall of mirrors.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 4, 2004
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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Baadasssss! is one bad movie -- and I mean that in the most affectionate sense.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

June 3, 2004
Gene Seymour
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One is very glad to have Baadasssss! around, if only to remind younger moviegoers that taking chances and breaking rules can reap huge dividends.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2004
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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A tour-de-force by Mario Van Peebles, who not only does an uncanny impression of his cocky and often unsympathetic father, but briskly directed and wrote the insightful screenplay (based on his father's memoirs) with Dennis Haggerty.

| Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2004
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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A meta-cool history lesson and homage.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2004
Mike Clark
USA Today
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An entertaining movie.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

May 27, 2004
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
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For all its serious issues, Baadasssss! is terrific fun.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 5/5

May 27, 2004
Dave Kehr
New York Times
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Mario Van Peebles's film is a lightly fictionalized account of the making of Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song, the 1971 film directed by his father, Melvin Van Peebles.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 27, 2004
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The beauty of Baadasssss! is the way Mario Van Peebles salutes his father's truth by coaxing it into legend.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

May 27, 2004
Hazel-Dawn Dumpert
L.A. Weekly
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If the script, written by Mario with Dennis Haggerty, stops short of outright lionizing or demonizing, it leaves a strangely tepid character in its place.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

May 26, 2004
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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The son bears witness to his father's struggle and turns it into heroic legend.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

May 25, 2004
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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This is one of the best movies of the year.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

May 24, 2004
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The film is technically raw, but the sight of Van Peebles playing his father at a defining moment in movie history exerts a potent fascination.

| Original Score: 3/4

May 20, 2004
Dennis Harvey
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As actor, helmer and co-scenarist (with Dennis Haggerty), Mario ultimately delivers a tale that's engrossing for its underdog quality and significant place in film history.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 4, 2004
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