Black and White (2002)

Black and White



Critic Consensus: The atmosphere is affecting, and the story, at times, is compelling, but with a lean script and limp direction, Black and White doesn't add up to much.

Movie Info

The inner workings of the New York hip-hop scene, and the fascination of white observers with rap music and hip-hop culture, set the stage for this drama written and directed by James Toback. Rich Bower (Power) is a mover and shaker in the world of rap music (he's involved with a number of other licit and illicit business ventures as well), and his apartment is a favored meeting place for musicians, hangers-on, and hipsters who want to seem cool, including a clique of white kids who want to be … More

Rating: R (for violence, sexuality, and language)
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: James Toback
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 26, 2000
Palm Pictures


as Sam Donager

as Dean Carter

as Mark Clear

as Scotty

as Bill King

as Cigar

as Rich Bower

as Sheila King

as Will King

as himself

as Himself

as Himself

as Arnie Tishman
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Black and White

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (26)

As lively and amusing as the film is in some ways, it does set up expectations at the outset that are never really delivered upon.

Full Review… | June 17, 2008
Top Critic

It looks like a mess -- if one stuffed with incident, issues and intrigue.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It doesn't try to spell out all aspects of the issue or arrive at any particular point. Toback presents specific characters dealing with specific problems and, through their stories, somehow manages to take the temperature of the times.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

This lively mess proves that when Toback loses his head, he does it with style.

May 10, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Black and White is defeated by its structural shapelessness, and a down-with-it attitude that glosses over the script's lack of any real analysis of hip-hop's cultural influence.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Tends to be blabby and pedantic.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Black and White


Just a fine drama like documentary tale of race, class, and sexual boundaries blur in this voyeuristic tour of modern Manhattan in which privileged white kids reinvent themselves as gangstas, and African-American thugs morph into recording artists.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

A film that tries to cast Mike Tyson as an intellectual is never going to be that good. Odd film that shows how some white kids think it's cool to act gangster. Also shows how a promising basketball player gets caught up in the illegal activities of his friends.

Dean King

Super Reviewer

I'm sure I'd reviewed this film on Flixster but apparently not. Anyway, Black & White is a pretty unmemorable comment on race and culture, but there is good improvising from a typically excellent Robert Downey Jr. Director James Toback is here evidentially trying to do a "Robert Altman" by splicing interweaving story lines, but to be honest the whole thing is pretty messy and actually quite contrived.

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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