Scratch (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Scratch (2002)

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Critic Consensus: Whether you know anything about turntablism or not, Scratch makes for fun and informative viewing.

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Movie Info

While rappers may be the most visible musical exponents of hip-hop culture, it's the DJs (or "turntablists," as some prefer to be called) who generate the funky beats and cut-and-paste musical structures that have made hip-hop the dominant musical phenomena of the past 20 years. Scratch is a documentary that examines the role of the DJ in hip-hop music, from the pioneering work of old school hip-hop artists like Afrika Bambaata and Jazzy Jay to contemporary masters like noted trip-hop musician DJ Shadow and award-winning turntablist group Invisibl Skratch Piklz. The film also explores how DJs turned the turntable into a musical instrument, the increasingly elaborate techniques involved in "scratching" (manipulating vinyl discs, turntables, and tone arms to produce different sonic effects), and how different turntablists dig up the rare and elusive LPs from which they draw the samples that they craft into new songs. Scratch was directed by Doug Pray, who previously examined a different musical phenomenon -- the Seattle rock scene that spawned the grunge explosion -- in his film Hype!.

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Critic Reviews for Scratch

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (15)

Engaging documentary.

October 11, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Pray's subjects can wander off into arcane Dennis Miller-esque rants, but he manages to hit the high points and most of the major personalities.

July 20, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

It's all stitched together with energy, intelligence and verve, enhanced by a surplus of vintage archive footage.

May 30, 2002 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Illuminating if overly talky documentary.

May 16, 2002 | Rating: 3/4
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Should appeal to more than just hardcore hip-hop fans.

April 26, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/5
Washington Post
Top Critic

An engrossing and infectiously enthusiastic documentary.

April 26, 2002 | Rating: 4/5
Washington Post
Top Critic

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