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The Hip Hop Project

The Hip Hop Project (2006)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 16

Director Matt Ruskin's enthusiasm for the project is readily apparent, but his film is unfocused, meandering, and frustrating to watch.


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 8

Director Matt Ruskin's enthusiasm for the project is readily apparent, but his film is unfocused, meandering, and frustrating to watch.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 2,574

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Movie Info

Chris Rolle was born into poverty in the Bahamas and found himself forced to fend for himself as a child when he was abandoned by his mother. Rolle came to America in his teens but soon found himself homeless on the mean streets of Brooklyn, NY. Rolle had a natural talent as a rapper, and had the good fortune of meeting Scott K. Rosenberg, who was the founder of Art Start, an organization that brings arts education to New York City's underprivileged. Encouraged by his contacts at Art Start,

Jan 5, 2010

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May 10, 2007:
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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (16) | DVD (1)

It makes the viewer uncomfortable, too -- but it's unquestionably honest, like so much of Hip-Hop.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A big, wet, sloppy valentine to hip-hop's power to give voice to the voiceless.

May 12, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
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First-time director Matt Ruskin is a skilled documentarian; he releases information gradually so the narrative develops in an organic fashion that is consistently engaging.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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The film meanders, sidetracks, and frustrates -- few of the rap songs, some of them boasting wildly inspired couplets, are shown and heard in their entirety.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dramatically, the movie lacks motion -- the kids don't seem a lot better off at the end -- and the point of the program escapes me. These kids badly need an education.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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[Director] Ruskin is so awed by his subject that he never gains the distance needed to create a bigger, more powerful picture.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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Rolle's passion and perseverance power the film, and along the way he gets a boost from rap mogul Russell Simmons and Bruce Willis.

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

[A] powerful and, if we're lucky, influential documentary.

September 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinematical

Based on what we hear, though, it's hard to assess whether anyone has any breakthrough potential. Likewise, there's nothing remarkable about the filmmaking.

August 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Even if you don't particulary care for rap, The Hip Hop Project may persuade you that there's something to be said for it, after all.

May 23, 2007 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Unfortunately, this is a Hallmark version of hip-hop-and it really hurts to knock this film.

May 19, 2007 Full Review Source:

The story is compelling enough that even glib phrases like 'healing through hip-hop' can't drag it down.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Net profits from the theatrical release of The Hip Hop Project will be donated to youth organizations, so you can feel doubly good about attending this modestly moving tribute to a small but significant kind of inner-city success.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Its most compelling message is about the importance and power of community.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

Scenes that should be revelatory, such as a lyric-writing session, are sketchy and fail to give a sense of the work being done.

May 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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