Hoodlum - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hoodlum Reviews

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½ September 25, 2016
A very good film but a bit too complex for me to follow and understand with my brain the way it is since the accident. Could be worth watching again in the future if I can start to concentrate and follow things better.
July 21, 2016
1972's The Godfather Is My Fourth Favorite Film Of All Time And 1994's Pulp Fiction Is My Seventh Favorite Film Of All Time.
May 8, 2016
Good looking but generic Prohibition Era gangster film. Solid performances all around.
April 2, 2016
So like, what the heck was with the ending and the last quarter? A cross between The Cotton Club and Harlem Nights but a bit worse.
May 10, 2015
Slow moving but engaging gangster flick with a fine cast.The ending does borrow from the Sting but nice little crime drama.
½ April 19, 2015
A mixed bag of a gangster film. There is much to enjoy about this story of Bumpy Johnson, Dutch Schultz and Lucky Luciano battling for control of the numbers racket. The film has a dynamite cast with Laurence Fishburne as Johnson, Andy Garcia as Luciano and Tim Roth, who steals every scene he's in, as the hot headed Dutch Schultz. Roth seethes with rage and practically froths at the mouth in most of his scenes and it absolutely works. The film also has great costumes, solid production value and production design and a nice score by Elmer Berstein. Director Bill Duke crafts some tight little action sequences and even brings some nice nods to old Warner Bros crime pictures. On the downside, the film is overlong, the script seems to to wander, characters are fairly surface level and the film really needed some moodier photography, ALA "The Untouchables." Still, despite these weaknesses the film is very much worth watching for fans of gangster pictures and the films strong cast, which also includes Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson, Chi McBride, Clarence Williams III, William Atherton, Queen Latifah, Mike Starr and Ed O'Ross. I also liked the films subtext about appropriation by white interests of black owned interests if there's money money to be made. Overall, the film wants to be "The Godfather" but falls WAY short, but it's a smart film that does offer a lot of good entertainment if you can get through the dull patches.
½ December 29, 2014
This movie was a little goofy at times, with some "tense" moments almost being laughable. But it was entertaining, easy to enjoy and all around an interesting watch. Tim Roth, as usual, steals the show and creates an appealing evil yet awesome bad guy.
Watch this if you're into casual gangster flicks.
March 17, 2014
Despite top notch actors and a score by Elmer Bernstein that can be jazzy, exciting and unnerving in equal measure, Bill Duke's gangster drama ultimately feels pedestrian and televisual. This is due to flat directing and cinematography that do no justice to the great sets and costumes. Mix in dull & thin characters, and a patchwork story that covers too much time in far too little detail as we observe this gangwar.
January 16, 2014
A bit too long. That's a shame, because it means that an actual good film drags out. The flow becomes unstructured and suddenly it just becomes boring. Some good performances.
September 14, 2013
Highly derivative of The Godfather trilogy but entertaining nonetheless.
August 26, 2013
Really wanted to like this one. Laurence Fishburne plays a real life gangster having just gotten out of prison. He returns to work in the numbers game as the mob wants in on it and he tries to protect his turf. I feel this story could have been great, but the movie felt very "cheap", can't really put my finger on it, but for a late nineties movie, it felt like a film shot 20 years before that without any charm of that era. Really hard to watch and drags on way too long to be enjoyable.
August 22, 2013
What a convoluted mess. Hoodlum tries to bring it all together at the end and give that ah, clever moment, but it's simply too late. Little character development for anyone but Fishburn's character and even that is forced during the last part of the movie. I didn't find myself caring about any of the characters or even being entertained but stayed to the end to give it a fair chance. I love the genre, the time period and the acting talent in this movie but it's simply not good cinema. Watch Road to Perdition or The Untouchables if you want a good movie set in this time period. Even Mobsters is better than this as its at least entertaining and has likable characters.
June 22, 2013
So corny & bad that's it's entertaining.
May 28, 2013
Its okay film with some nice shoot outs and the story plot makes sense but I feel this film is missing something
April 29, 2013
Possibly Tim Roth's greatest performance. The movie would have benefited from his character having more screen time.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2013
People who have seen American Gangster or are regular viewers of the TV show, Mobsters, will know who Bumpy Johnson was and know the story behind Hoodlum. For those of you who don't, Johnson was a member of an organized crime group, in Harlem, during the 1930's. He was also the man who mentored and inspired Denzel Washington's character of Frank Lucas in American Gangster. Long before that film, the story of Bumpy Johnson was told in Hoodlum. This was one of those little told stories about the mafia that started out very strong. Unfortunately, I felt that the writers went into far too much detail at certain points in the film and by the end it was definitely dragging on. Laurence Fishburne stars as Johnson and did an adequate job, my problem with his has always been he lacks emotion in his acting. In my humble opinion this should automatically disqualify him from certain things and this probably should have been one of those things. Tim Roth is Dutch Schultz and while Schultz had a reputation for being a character, Roth went a little over the top with it, but was still very entertaining. My favorite performance was of course the one by Andy Garcia as Lucky Luciano, but he really wasn't in the film much and that's a shame, because nobody plays a crime boss better than hen does. Hoodlum is a wild ride about an incredible true story, but as a film, it was a mix of terrific scenes and some slower unnecessary elements. As a film it's not the best, but it's worth watching just for the amazing story that is being told.
February 5, 2013
Sorry to say, this does not rank as a gangster film. with lines like: "you mus be crazzzzy...nooo ooone points a gun aaaat myyy QUEEEEEEEEEEN." and gangsters can use other words beyond the "f" word, Tim Roth.....
December 12, 2012
i love this gangsta movie.
September 27, 2012
Great acting by Tim Roth !
August 11, 2012
I wanted this to be better.
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