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Rize (2005)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 90
Fresh: 75
Rotten: 15

Critics Consensus: The dances in Rize are electric even if the documentary doesn't go that deeply into the performers' lives.

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 28
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: The dances in Rize are electric even if the documentary doesn't go that deeply into the performers' lives.


Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 8,795


Movie Info

Taking advantage of unprecedented access, this documentary film brings to first light a revolutionary form of artistic expression borne from oppression. The aggressive and visually stunning dance modernizes moves indigenous to African tribal rituals and features mind-blowing, athletic movement sped up to impossible speeds. "Rize" tracks the fascinating evolution of the dance: we meet Tommy Johnson (Tommy the Clown), who first created the style as a response to the 1992 Rodney King riots and … More

PG-13 (for suggestive content, drug references, language and brief nudity)
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
David LaChapelle
In Theaters:
Oct 25, 2005
Box Office:
Lions Gate Films - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Rize

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (15) | DVD (11)

It's a well-known truth in the dance world that the body doesn't lie. As long as the characters in this film are dancing, we have little reason to doubt their sincerity. But once turned into talking heads, the dancers begin to sound like propagandists.

Full Review… | August 5, 2005
Toronto Star
Top Critic

A vivid portrait of art rising from deprivation and social hopelessness.

Full Review… | August 5, 2005
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

LaChapelle's powerful street-dance documentary Rize never lets us forget that its subjects are dancing in a war zone. But dance they do, in a kind of controlled frenzy, with music throbbing and limbs whirling and swaying and pulsing to the beat.

Full Review… | July 8, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

[LaChapelle's] not the world's best documentarian, but he saw something that needed chronicling. So he turned his camera on the krumpers and let them do the rest. Smart choice.

July 1, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

Clowning and krumping are urban art and art therapy in motion.

Full Review… | July 1, 2005
Denver Post
Top Critic

[F]or all its mis-steps, Rize gets by on enough jumping, pumping energy to fuel the national grid.

Full Review… | December 20, 2005

Dealing with life's darkness is what this type of dancing is all about.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

An unusual movie whose energy lingers.

Full Review… | November 11, 2005
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Recommended to fans, potential fans, and the curious; the main thing you can ask from a documentary is that it show you something new, and for me this one certainly did.

Full Review… | November 3, 2005
Urban Cinefile

David LaChapelle's documentary is a spirited but less-than-insightful look at contemporary youth culture in south-central Los Angeles.

Full Review… | October 27, 2005
Film Journal International

A triumph from every angle.

Full Review… | September 23, 2005
IGN Movies

It's as if he forgot he was making a gritty documentary and found himself shooting a Christina Aguilera video.

September 2, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

not much more than an extended infomercial

Full Review… | August 28, 2005

Explosive Rize. Dance documentary exhilarating.

Full Review… | August 9, 2005

Part historical document, part social commentary, part guided tour through a tough neighbourhood. It's also a super-adrenalized tribute to the transformative power of art.

Full Review… | August 5, 2005
Jam! Movies

LaChapelle does an admirable job avoiding a pitfall by staving off pretense. He frames an unobtrusive canvas for the performers to stroke with flailing arms and jiggling hips

Full Review… | August 4, 2005
Arizona Daily Star

Rize is full of sugar-rush adrenaline, but it also has the presence of mind to cool our enthusiasm enough to pierce through to its issues' core.

Full Review… | July 16, 2005
Film and Felt

...succeeds as joyous entertainment so long as the bodies are flying, but dancers only seem to fly. What goes up usually comes down.

Full Review… | July 15, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

There is a sense of pride in these dancers. They are showing what they can do, not simply mimicking someone else.

Full Review… | July 11, 2005

Visually stimulating and busting with jubilance...Rize is an irresistibly endearing showcase that brims with confidence and exhilaration.

Full Review… | July 9, 2005
Movie Eye

Rize does not so much report on a cultural phenomenon as package it.

Full Review… | July 7, 2005
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Exuberant, colorful, viscerally exciting but overly flashy and sadly disorganized.

Full Review… | July 6, 2005
One Guy's Opinion

Audience Reviews for Rize

Having lived in Los Angeles for the last decade, I was here when Krumping was a big thing amongst the inner city youth. I didn't live in the same neighborhoods, but I went to school in South Central for a couple of years. So I got to witness the dance first hand. When I first saw it, I laughed at it. To me it looked like nothing more than controlled flailing. Just swinging your arms around with balled fists, rolling your body like a stripper, jumping around, fake fighting and not much more. After seeing this documentary (which got snubbed for at least a nomination for Best Documentary), I realize that it is so much more than that. To the kids that are in that world, it is everything to them. It keeps them out of trouble, it gives them something to do besides play sports.

I really have to commend Tommy the Clown for what he did. I've seen him at a party once, but I wasn't too familiar with his movement back then. What he has done is bring hope to kids that had almost none. Without his guidance, a lot of the kids in this film would be in gangs, in jail, doing nothing productive at all, or possibly dead. That alone makes this a film that everyone should see. I wanted to give it a higher score, but I still have trouble taking Krumping, as a form of dance, seriously. Still, this is an excellent film.

RJ Smoove
Ryan Rutherford

Super Reviewer

A dull little documentary about dance. Compared to the incomparable Pina, Rize is bush league.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

I only watched a half hour of this and already had more than enough. But hey, if you love to watch people from the ghetto uttering half hearted, believe-in-yourself cliches while performing at first appealing, then off putting "dance" moves, then this is the movie for you.

Joey Nevarez

Super Reviewer


It was interesting to watch the krumping I guess, and it's great that it's keeping kids out of gangs, but I didn't find the film that compelling. At the end after the dance battle, it's kind of like they're rival gangs anyway...

Sarah Prisbylla

Super Reviewer

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