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Talk to Me (2007)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 127
Fresh: 104 | Rotten: 23

A riveting look at the life of legendary DJ "Petey" Greene, Talk to Me goes beyond the typical biopic with explosive performances from Don Cheadle and Chiwetal Ejiofor.

74

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 10

A riveting look at the life of legendary DJ "Petey" Greene, Talk to Me goes beyond the typical biopic with explosive performances from Don Cheadle and Chiwetal Ejiofor.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 41,279

My Rating

Movie Info

Don Cheadle stars as outspoken ex-convict and iconic radio personality Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene in a powerful biopic detailing the life and career of a media figure whose voice instilled the black community with hope during the turbulent 1960s. After talking his way onto the Washington, D.C. airwaves in the era of free love, a man emboldened by the inspirational soul music and rapidly expanding social consciousness that defined the decade openly courts controversy as his put-upon producer,

R,

Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy

Michael Genet, Rick Famuyiwa

Oct 30, 2007

$4.4M

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All Critics (127) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (104) | Rotten (23) | DVD (18)

In its wrenching shift from farce to tragedy, and its evocation of the bridge offered by friendship, Talk to Me tells it, and keeps on tellin' it, much as 'Petey' Greene would have.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: NPR.org
NPR.org
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thanks to its two leads, the film remains vivid, honest and deeply felt.

November 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Speaks powerfully to audiences with its potent blend of extraordinary performances and engaging soundtrack.

September 1, 2007 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie's occasional narrative shortcomings are offset by the performances, which are uniformly fine.

August 3, 2007 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its dialogue, equal parts uptight honky and jumping jive seems, particularly in the early stretches, to have been generated by a computer.

July 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The characters are brought to vivid life with remarkably compelling performances by two of the screen's most versatile actors: Don Cheadle as the freewheeling Greene; and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Hughes, the aggressively ambitious executive.

July 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kasi Lemmons' radio drama of flamboyance, fury and finesse cranks the funk on a sister station to "Talk Radio" and "Good Morning Vietnam," powered by two performances of impeccable clarity and cut from Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

October 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

Although the director succumbs to the genreā(TM)s temptation to wrap up a messy life with a neat, platitudinous resolution, she lets her cast give Greene and his era its due.

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

Talk to Me is an incisive portrait of a provocative figure. It comes very close to caricature, but remains human and lively.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Just as she did in Hustle and Flow, Taraji P. Henson steals many a scene and is wonderful as Greene's flamboyant girlfriend.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

It's a visually and aurally riveting trip to an important time from a perspective few here will know, about a person worth meeting.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor make a terrific duo, first as enemies, then as colleagues and finally as partners %u2013 until the partnership self destructs.

February 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Even Martin Sheen is keepin' it real.

December 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Snobs
Film Snobs

A good movie about a powerful friendship, and it brings a bygone era back to life.

December 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Hysterically potent, thought-provoking and deliciously nostalgic. Overall, the proposed chatter is warranted in the movingly impish Talk to Me.

December 6, 2007 Full Review
TheWorldJournal.com

Ejiofor and Cheadle are a force to be reckoned with...

December 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

This straightforward schematic biopic never talks to me.

November 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A stronger screenplay and more sensitive direction would have made this movie into something far more genuinely uplifting than it is.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The movie is decent enough, but contains Greene's story in a sentimentalised career arc.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

This biopic of Greene, a DJ most Brits will not know, has a limited appeal.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Poignant and often very funny, Cheadle deserves a clutch of prizes come awards season.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

If the picture doesn't ultimately live up to the raw vitality of Cheadle's performance, it remains an uplifting snapshot that broadcasts its message with zero distortion. Tune in and you won't be turned off.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A traditionally handsome biopic bursting with 1960s period detail and firecracker performances, Talk To Me tackles one of the most volatile periods in American history, but tragically finds nothing interesting to say about it.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: BBC

The incendiary soundtrack and committed performances keep the film in its groove, which could give Cheadle another well-deserved shot at an Oscar.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for Talk to Me

A morning talk show host mobilizes a network of listeners during the Civil Rights era.
The first act of this film sets up themes of negotiating "blackness," and set as it is during the Civil Rights era, this is an interesting question, pitting the executive against the ex-con. But the plot eventually degrades into thematically irrelevant and unfocused interpersonal dynamics that make the film as a whole more like My Week with Marilyn than Malcolm X, as Dewey Hughes, the radio executive, must keep Petey Greene, the host, from sabotaging both their careers.
The performances by Don Cheadle, whose antics are barely on the right side of believability, and Chiwetel Ejiofor are very good. I especially like Ejiofor whose reserve and intensity are characteristic of his fine body of work.
Overall, though the film has promise at the beginning, this biopic ultimately doesn't live up to expectations; it's just good enough to make me wish it were better.
April 9, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Another feather in Mr. Cheadle's cap. Super-fun movie with a solid dose of history. Always nice to see a well-done true-story.
January 19, 2012
jarobb3

Super Reviewer

Along with Don Cheadle, there are many good performances in Talk to Me, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P. Henson (who could be hilarious), Cedric the Entertainer and Vondie Curtis Hall. Martin Sheen could have phoned in his part as the one-dimensional "irate then calm" boss.

Greene's story is an affecting one in that he was another person who rose from a criminal youth to prison, but had a talent with words on the air. Many people are afraid of the microphone, but not Petey. Unfortunately, out of that element, Petey fell as fast as he rose. Very entertaining not-too-heavy drama with a solid soundtrack.
January 8, 2009
DrBenway
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

as biography movies go, this is about middle of the pack. There are some nice moments, the reaction to the King riots, and some of the outragiousness of the girlfriend, but I felt that some of the low points of his life were glossed over.

In many respects the film made it appear that Petey was a bit player in his own life, which contradicts the ambition and drive that were evident in the early prison scenes and his determination to land a radio gig. I guess that was all he was really after, so once he achieved that he simply took a back seat to other peoples plans.

Have to mention that Cedric The Entertainer was perfectly cast as the late night "nighthawk" soul man and love machine. After fighting with Petey earlier, his embrace after Petey emplores the citizens to stop rioting was hearfelt and sincere, carrying all the emotion while still having the little hesitation that showed his embarassment for the earlier fight, and probably realizing that there were issues that far outweighed his petty jelousy.
September 15, 2008
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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