Hustle & Flow - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hustle & Flow Reviews

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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
August 16, 2007
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
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AV Club
September 26, 2005
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 25, 2005
It's kind of a conventional story, but it's told in such a unique way and the locations in Memphis all feel very authentic.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 23, 2005
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow suspends you in its spell of mood, of feeling, of climate. It's a pop picture that finds its richness in peeling down to the essentials of good storytelling.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 22, 2005
Watching as a pimp, a pothead and a pregnant hooker play and sing in a makeshift bedroom recording studio, and becoming increasingly caught up in their determination and hope, it's impossible not to think that this is a part of the American Dream, too.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 22, 2005
Every now and then, Brewer pulls off a near-miracle with his flinty characters: He lets us, for a moment, slip into their lives -- and sing their song.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
July 22, 2005
Unlikely as this may sound, Hustle & Flow -- about a low-down Memphis pimp who wants to be a rapper -- is the feel-good movie of the summer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 22, 2005
What makes the picture sail past its flaws is its earnest understanding of the desperation that drives people to regain control of their lives -- and the profound courage required to attempt it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 22, 2005
Of course it manipulates us; most movies do. But it does so with such sincere, funky confidence that I loved just about every minute of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow has a heart that beats as loudly as the bass line on one of DJay's tracks.
| Original Score: A-
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 22, 2005
So much love went into Hustle & Flow that it almost glows with it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Edelstein
NPR's Fresh Air
July 22, 2005
What's missing in this self-proclaimed story of redemption, though, is something other than a fairy-tale finale. It's the sense that the filmmaker understands the consequences of exploiting women even if his protagonist doesn't.
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J.D. Considine
Globe and Mail
July 22, 2005
While the plot avoids the most obvious happy-ending clichés, it stays unnecessarily close to the pimps 'n hos mythology of crunk hits, and that's particularly discomfiting if you happen to believe that women are people, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow is a celebration of crude aspirations, of raw art, of raunch and street and yearning and, beneath it all, family values.
| Original Score: A
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Houston Chronicle
July 22, 2005
This is Howard's show. His DJay is intense, with blue sky dreams other than pimping and living in Memphis.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow promises gritty street drama but delivers Pretty Woman with crunk instead of Roxette.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 22, 2005
As the film's anti-hero hero, though, Howard never compromises at all.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 22, 2005
The movie is too corny to be edgy, and too hard-core to be uplifting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Malene Arpe
Toronto Star
July 22, 2005
It's all good. The story, the characters, the music, acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 22, 2005
Some will rightly find it corny, absurd, and an insultingly limited presentation of options for the most disenfranchised African-Americans: I'm still waiting for the movie fantasy about the pimp who wants to get his GED.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 21, 2005
Howard takes a character that might have been a caricature and makes him real -- sometimes icy, sometimes fiery, sometimes slick, sometimes passionate.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 21, 2005
A surprisingly charming story that -- in certain sections -- almost crystallizes into the sweetness of a Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland musical.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 21, 2005
A sort of Rocky for ambitious street hustlers, Hustle & Flow traffics in the risky business of making prostitution seem not quite as bad as the hip-hop world, and it conjures a sticky mix of urban grit and Hollywood schmaltz.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
July 21, 2005
Hustle & Flow unfolds in the satisfying fashion of classic Hollywood movies that strike a balance between grit and heart, capturing the hard edge of poverty and lack of opportunity but also offering a ray of hope for a better life.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Larry Rodgers
Arizona Republic
July 21, 2005
Hustle & Flow uses its street smarts to show that dreams come in all shapes and sizes and that their realization sometimes is preceded by nightmares.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 21, 2005
Terrence Howard modulates Djay with great love and consideration for the character. He never cheapens him, or condescends. He builds him inside-out.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 21, 2005
Craig Brewer's first feature film is a volatile mixture of slickness and sincerity, hard-edged naturalism and sheer show-business hokum.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
July 21, 2005
Happily for all involved, it's still pretty good, with a leading performance by Terrence Howard that is that good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 21, 2005
Hustle & Flow is a weird fusion of blaxploitation and American indie, built on a template of old-style, follow-your-dream Hollywood drama. But it works -- sometimes magnificently.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 21, 2005
The film's supporting characters are as rich as the lead, each one of them chasing an unlikely dream.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
July 21, 2005
Brewer hasn't sugarcoated his pimp, and Howard's performance locates all the shadings of fury and desperation that drive him.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 21, 2005
Dolemite and Super Fly weren't exactly ennobling role models, but they were fighting a good fight against an oppressive system, whereas DJay is resisting what exactly? Getting a real job?
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
July 21, 2005
Howard's been knocking on stardom's door for some time now, and Hustle & Flow should seal the deal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 21, 2005
One of those terrific out-of-the-blue movies that come along every so often.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 20, 2005
We're drawn to the exotic inside portrait of a flyweight urban hustler who knows how to cast a spell.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
July 19, 2005
There's something wrong with Hustle. A bad aftertaste, and not just the dry grit of Memphis dust, but something meaner. A feeling that Brewer's sensibility is way off.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 18, 2005
It celebrates art, hope, and dreams, and you don't have to like hip-hop to appreciate the message or the way in which it is delivered.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 14, 2005
... explosive entertainment.
| Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
July 5, 2005
When Brewer, Howard, and Ludacris stick to the bitter texture of South Memphis failure and success they produce a modest regional portrait that could become a classic of its kind.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
June 29, 2005
It boasts a seductive lead performance and the best ensemble cast since Ray.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 2, 2005
Exhibits an undeniable confidence that permeates its every aspect.
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
February 5, 2005
Screenwriter-director Brewer transcends his generic story, laying out his beat from each character's heart. We come to know their inner fears and demons, including those of some particularly well-drawn supporting characters.