Talk to Me - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Talk to Me Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 26, 2014
Brilliant drama, Talk To Me based on the life of radio DJ Ralph "Petey" Greene, manages to be an engrossing picture, one that is engaging from the first frame onwards. I thought that the film's story was well written, and it boasted a great script, only elevated by two great performances its lead actors Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who have terrific on-screen chemistry, which makes this a stunning and accomplished drama. Greene was a controversial figure, and he wasn't afraid to speak his minds, and stand up for what he believed in. Cheadle channels that perfectly, and his performance here ranked as one of his finest of his career. Talk To Me is an accomplished drama, one that has hints of humor, just adds something a bit more to the serious story, and it works. The story and acting is sure to delight genre fans, and overall this is a compelling drama worth seeing due to its subject, it's acting and exceptional direction. Don Cheadle is always great to watch on-screen and here he delivers something unique and elevates his filmography even further because, he simply commands the screen with his presence, and the pairing of him and terrific actor, Ejiiofor is what makes this film definitely worth your time. I have a background in Radio, studied for four years in college, and seeing this film was a treat. "Petey" Greene was unique, and it's great to see Cheadle playing such a great figure and he brings his unique style to the role, which adds so much depth to the screen. Talk To Me is a great drama that is elevated by its cast, story and direction. If you love the genre, give this drama a shot, you'll surely find it very entertaining.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ November 20, 2007
this was a great movie. the story of petey green is portrayed with raw realism and the best part of this film was the performances of every member of the cast. an incredible ensemble led by don cheadle with easily one of the two or three best performances of 2007. im shocked cheadle isnt getting more hype for this role, he was masterful. good flick.
Super Reviewer
½ September 3, 2007
Don Cheadle gave an Oscar worthy performance in this true story. Chiwetel Ejofor also did an amazing piece of work. This film is both hilarious and poignant.
Super Reviewer
½ March 21, 2007
Sonderling: You got to tone it down Petey, the FCC is all over my rear.
Petey Greene: Well no offense, but the FCC can kiss my ass.

Don Cheadle stars as convict turn DJ Petey Greene in a film going over Petey's career during the 60s and 70s.

This film goes from a somewhat sitcomy approach into a dramatic biography about how one man always tried to stay true to himself.

Right on side of Petey is Chiwetel Ejiofor as Dewey Hughes, a man who respects how brave Petey is to talk like he does.

The highlights of the movie revolve around Cheadle on the air as Petey. Him as Petey in general is great to watch. We are not short on other actors either. I have been a fan of Ejiofor, and am glad to see him in all of these different roles. Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Sheen, Mike Epps, and Taraji P. Henson of Hustle and Flow round out the cast, providing good support.

The movie is also foul. The r rating provides for a lot of language to come out of Petey's mouth, all of which helping him to keep it real.

The movie looks and sounds great. Complete with hair and fashions of the time along with a great R&B soundtrack.

My gripe with the movie concerns its somewhat uneven pacing and its somewhat unorganized approach in establishing a time frame. We are given only two updates as to what year it is, with events occurring in between that make you feel somewhat lost when it comes to key moments.

Still, this is a well acted film, with a good soundtrack, some good laughs, and some dramatic punch.

Petey Greene: I'll tell it to the hot, I'll tell it to the cold. I'll tell it to the young, I'll tell it to the old. I don't want no laughin', I don't want no cryin', and most of all, no signifyin'. This is Petey Greene's Washington.
Super Reviewer
½ October 4, 2008
Pulls no punches in showing a unique American voice from the turbulent late sixties, early seventies. Petey Greene spoke his mind and offended a generation of white listeners, but spoke truth to his audience, the African Americans who were beginning to make their voices heard all over our land. Don Cheadle is a charter member of the pantheon of actors whose movies are not only entertaining, but are also important. The supporting cast is excellent. I especially found Taraji Henson, as Vernelle, a joy to watch. The bigger her afro got, the more sass she put into her character's persona. She radiates on-screen. Chiwetel Elijofor was perfect as the button-down program manager, Dewey Hughes. Theirs was a symbiotic relationship. Petey said what Dewey was afraid to say and Dewey did what Petey was afraid to do. Henson sparkled as the woman who stood by Petey and brought peace and harmony back to their relationship after it was broken by Dewey pushing Petey to go where he was not ready or willing to go. I waffled between giving it four or five stars. It deserves better than four. Definitely four and a half.
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"Talk to Me" starts in Washington, DC in 1966 where the new program director of radio station WOL, Dewey Hughes(Chiwetel Ejiofor), is tasked with getting people to listen to the struggling R & B station. On a visit to his brother in prison, he has a chance meeting with Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene(Don Cheadle), a convict who is the popular prison DJ. After Petey is released, he applies for a job at WOL but is summarily dismissed. However, he does not go down easily as persistence wins out in the end...[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]Even though there is the usual very fine work on display from Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Talk to Me" is a biopic about a potentially interesting personality which misses the mark, making it more about Dewey than Petey, even goong so far as to give Dewey the best scene in the movie. Told through Dewey's eyes, the movie is more about a black success story than either racism or capturing the essence of a time and a place, namely Washington, DC, from 1966 onwards.(Only one brief moment at the beginning and the 1968 riots attest to this...) Without any social criticism to ground it, the movie eventually goes off the rails completely with a message that it is best to play it safe. Is that the kind of message you want to express?[/font]
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2007
Alive, in Victoria Falls (Zambia side today). Returning Stateside on Tuesday. Bummed about the Rockies getting their rumps handed to them in the World Series. Happy I'm alive to experience the bummer, after the Zambezi. That river kicked my arse. See ya folks soon, and with pics!

By the way, any good movies out lately? Saw the majority of both Away From Her and The Hoax on the flights out here, but not in their entirety (bleeping Air Canada's crappy in-flight electronics can be blamed for that). Both were excellent until being snapped away like a ghost line from my transfixed eyes. Bah.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2013
There has been some question as to how much of this story of Petey Greene is accurate. Nonetheless, these are outstanding performances from Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor that deserve kudos. The characters are fabulously well developed and the story is poignant.
Super Reviewer
½ December 15, 2007
A very interesting look on what happens when you try to take someone out of the waters they are used to being in...will they excel of will they fail? Superbly done.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2009
Don Cheadle AND Chiwetel Ejiofor :-) :-). Yay. Good story and music too.
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2007
Don Cheadle seems like the most likeable guy ever, even in his role as the self-centered cop in "Crash," he is able to exude a sense of care and knowledge and awareness of other peoples feelings. In Talk To Me, Cheadle's portrayal of Petey Greene could have made him look either ignorant or a brutally honest ex-con who brings a bit of controvesey to a safe radio station. Luckily it is the latter and with the movie safetly resting on Cheadles shoulders as well as a great supporting character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, the movie is good fun to watch. Moving at times, funny throughout, smart and emotional- I really enjoyed it.
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2007
Very truthful movie, beautiful.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2007
Cheadle, Chiwetel give first half a lively spark before biopic grows formulaic.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2009
Don Cheadle has to be the most underestimated actors in todays Hollywood. This performance is no exception and I was surprised he was not nominated for it. He is brilliant as this fast talking true story of a DJ that comes from nowhere. It is an awesome performance like none of Cheadles others. Unreal storyline as well and one that you don't hear about too much. Fast moving and very interesting with some great and funny lines by Cheadle. Good performances by Chiwetel Ejiofor as well and Martin Sheen. What a great life Petey Greene represented and a great acting in this little known movie!
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2009
I'm glad I saw this movie and learned a little bit more about broadcasting history

And this film showcases how Taraji P. Henson is so underrated
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2007
Good film with some great performances.
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