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Rize (2004)



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

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


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

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



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 8,784

My Rating

Movie Info

Noted photographer David LaChapelle makes his feature directorial debut with this documentary on a new facet of street culture in South Central Los Angeles. In 1992, after long-simmering racial tensions in Los Angeles erupted in riots following the verdicts in the Rodney King trial, a man named Tommy Johnson sought to spread a new message in a new way to the city's African-Americans. Creating a character called Tommy the Clown, Johnson developed an act that combined hip-hop-flavored comedy and

Oct 25, 2005


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All Critics (100) | Top Critics (36) | 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.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comment (1)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop 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 IconTop Critic

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

July 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a feel-good film that actually makes you feel good.

July 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 20, 2005 Full Review Source: BBC

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

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

An unusual movie whose energy lingers.

November 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
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.

November 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

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

October 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A triumph from every angle.

September 23, 2005 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
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 | Comment (1)
Salt Lake Tribune

not much more than an extended infomercial

August 28, 2005 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Explosive Rize. Dance documentary exhilarating.

August 9, 2005 Full Review Source:

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.

August 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
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

August 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
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.

July 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
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.

July 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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

July 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

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

July 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Eye
Movie Eye

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

July 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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

July 6, 2005 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
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.
June 26, 2010
RJ Smoove
Ryan Rutherford

Super Reviewer

A dull little documentary about dance. Compared to the incomparable Pina, Rize is bush league.
July 25, 2012
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.
July 21, 2007
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...
May 16, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Rize - Uns hält nichts auf! (DE)
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