Never making it of the ground level, 'Notorious' fails to fully express the grandeur of Biggie Smalls. Jamal Woolard at times comes eerily close to a level of verisimilitude that lends the film authenticity, but sadly the rest of the cast doesn't live up to his potential. The main problem with the story is its intention to give an overall look, thus sacrificing the moment to moment drama that could have been more resonant. 'Notorious' instead comes of a largely basic portrait filled with the usual narrative elements one would come to expect from a music biopic, and given the subject, that's a shame. While the film is photographed well, the direction is nondescript lacking for depth and true insight.