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Idlewild (2006)



Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 125
Fresh: 60 | Rotten: 65

Idlewild has some truly breathtaking moments, but borrows too heavily from other similar movies, and the disjointed script is not worthy of talents involved.


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 23

Idlewild has some truly breathtaking moments, but borrows too heavily from other similar movies, and the disjointed script is not worthy of talents involved.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 27,614

My Rating

Movie Info

OutKast duo André "Andre 3000" Benjamin and Antwan Andre "Big Boi" Patton star as two Prohibition-era performers determined to fend off the vicious gangsters currently attempting to gain a stake in the pair's lucrative club in this musical drama directed by longtime collaborator Bryan Barber and featuring choreography by three-time Tony award winner Hinton Battle. In the 1930s, Idlewild was the hottest speakeasy in the South thanks to the impressive showmanship of flamboyant manager/lead


Musical & Performing Arts, Drama

Bryan Barber

Dec 5, 2006


Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (131) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (65) | DVD (4)

For a band whose music is suffused with such delicate irony, you'd expect at the very least for there to be a few laughs along the way? There are none. Nothing. Zero.

October 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You don't have to have a stylistic device in every single shot.

August 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper | Comment (1)
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shakespeare has been quoted many, many times over the past 400 or so years, but never to such empty purpose as in the inchoate, self-indulgent musical drama Idlewild

August 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By jumbling genres, fashions, music and locales, and riddling bullets through much of it, Idlewild ends up feeling disjointed and disquieting.

August 25, 2006 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A series of pretty-good pop videos wrapped around a confusing tale of Chitlin' Circuit striving and conniving.

August 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Comic, dramatic, highly conceptual and all great fun.

August 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Benjamin and Patton have devised a basic Prohibition era gangster story as a background for their newest musical experiment melding modern hip-hop with the jazz and blues of the '30s, all put together with a great deal of visual cleverness and flair.

March 27, 2011 Full Review Source:

Its hodgepodge plot only heightens its stale smell

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Though not as good as I hoped it would be, it's still an above par musical effort in the end...

July 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

1930s black America becomes just a stage for OutKast's vanity project.

March 15, 2007 Full Review

Neither fish nor fowl. Nor foul, either, though not great--and ultimately, more idle than wild.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

In spite of several inspired moments where it exhibits some genuine promise, this desperate attempt to be all things to all people ends up sabotaging any potential to make a memorable contribution to the annals of cinema.

February 8, 2007 Full Review Source:

The music, which sounds like a collaboration between Cab Calloway and Run DMC, keeps the story flowing.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Idlewild overflows with inventiveness and random weirdness that sort of make it a must-see even if it isn't a particularly good film.

December 4, 2006 Full Review Source:

Fans happy to luxuriate in its artistic indulgence, however, will be swept up in the weird, random, fantastic OutKastness of it all.

October 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

You have to hand it to those OutKast fellas -- even when they make a mess, they do it with style.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source:

an eccentric, audacious musical that, like "Moulin Rouge," blends backstage drama, tragic romance and flights of fantasy into a story that bravely jumps from genre to genre and from era to era.

September 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

An imaginatively rendered and ultimately touching expression of the collision of creativity and responsibility, and the former bursting through the constraints of a small town outlook of diminished expectation.

September 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Now Playing Magazine

You'll probably come to Idlewild for the musical excitement, but you may just find yourself leaving with a surprisingly bittersweet lump in your throat.

September 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Structurally all over the place but its infectious rhythms more than make up for narrative deficiencies.

September 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Compuserve

Coming from a band as creative as OutKast, this film is a big letdown, because it lacks any creativity of its own.

September 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

The only real problem is the inconsistency of performances from the individually outstanding cast.

September 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Never idle, and always wild, "Idlewild" truly is an adults-only musical about gangsters.

September 1, 2006 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

...the film's audacity and peculiarity might mean Idlewild has trouble finding a mainstream audience, one it only marginally earns anyway.

August 31, 2006 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

At a certain point, the baldly borrowed story elements go from cute to plain lazy, and you notice that Benjamin's and Patton's characters -- introduced as friends from childhood -- share almost no scenes.

August 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Audience Reviews for Idlewild

See it. Chances are, you'll fall in love with Idlewild in spite of how many times you've seen this plot before. But that might be the Georgia boy in me talking...
June 11, 2011

Super Reviewer

This movie is beautiful. It's everything Chicago should have been: the music, the characters, the set design, the costumes, the script, the strange balance between tragedy, comedy and romance. This movie is really something special. Beautifully shot and the story is very well-crafted and tight. I love the surreality of the animation and the visual effects. Where was this during the Oscars?
February 12, 2008

Super Reviewer

This movie was okay. I think it couldn't make up it's mind about whether to be serious or funny. I mean who sings with Cuckoo clocks? And the talking rooster on the flask? Weird. But I loved the little animated people on the sheets of music.
March 20, 2007

Super Reviewer

This is an interesting blend of old time bootlegging and a concert video. The story is good and the acting is pretty spot on. If you really like Outkast you will dig this flick. For all you others it will entertain for a time.
February 11, 2007

Super Reviewer

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