Bomb the System (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bomb the System (2003)



Critic Consensus: Given the movie's premise, one would assume it's gritty and street-smart, but in reality it's a slave to stale cliches and formula.

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Movie Info

A young man with a troubled past expresses himself through street art in this independent drama. Anthony (Mark Webber) is a 19-year-old kid living in New York City who was introduced to "bombing" -- graffiti art sprayed on public walls when the cops aren't looking -- by his older brother. When his brother died, Anthony took up bombing himself, and with the help of his pals Justin (Gano Grills) and Kevin (Jade Yorker) he does murals under the street name "Blest," while struggling to avoid the NYPD's anti-graffiti Vandal Squad. Anthony's mother (Donna Mitchell) is after him to quit bombing and attend art school, while his girlfriend (Jaclyn DeSantis) wants to get out of New York, and would like him to join her. However, it takes a run-in with Bobby Cox (Al Sapienza), a Vandal Squad cop with a hair-trigger temper, to push Anthony into making a decision about his life. Bomb the System was the first feature film from writer and director Adam Bhala Lough, who was only 23 years old when the picture was made.

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Mark Webber
as Anthony `Blest' Campo
Gano Grills
as Justin `Buk 50' Broady
Jade Yorker
as Kevin `Lune' Broady
Jaclyn DeSantis
as Alexandra
Al Sapienza
as Officer Bobby Cox
Bonz Malone
as Officer Nole Shorts
Donna Mitchell
as Diane Campo
Kumar Pallana
as Kumar Baba
Dylan Mikson
as Gabriel
Joshua Gustin
as Young Blest
as Knife
Lee Quinones
as Himself
as Hazar's Girlfriend No. 1
Trina Grant
as Hazar's Girlfriend No. 2
Ned Stresen-Reuter
as Brendan Pricely
David Ley
as Randolph
Peter Linari
as Custodial Boss
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Critic Reviews for Bomb the System

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (11)

Visually dazzling and dramatically trite -- it's virtuoso piffle.

Full Review… | August 26, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Thoroughly fails to convince that its handful of New York characters known as 'bombers,' graffiti mongers futilely yearning for immortality via nightly despoiling of public and private property, is of any tragic interest.

June 24, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Notable mainly for its hallucinatory, tripped visuals, which go a long way toward compensating for a less-than-riveting narrative.

June 17, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A richly textured drama with an angry poetic edge that gets inside the obsessive subculture of New York graffiti artists.

Full Review… | June 2, 2005
Top Critic

Preachy and single-minded, populated by a world of sympathetic heroes and hissable villains.

Full Review… | May 27, 2005
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A mild, slow-moving drama that belatedly tries to argue that graffiti writers are political artists, not an urban blight.

May 27, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bomb the System


Underrated movie with a good plot and interesting story, as well as comedic elements and intellectual tidbits that allow me to see graffiti from a different perspective. Great movie, one of my favorites of all time. Recommend it to anyone, even people who don't have much of an interest in graffiti (I don't, yet I still enjoyed it).

Nico A
Nico A

Ignore what you've heard bad about this movie. Some writers might be upset that the movie doesn't go too into detail about actually putting graffiti up or saying that it's using incorrect terminology but those people completely missed what's good about the movie. First off, the actual presentation, filming, camera movement, effects, etc. are all extremely artistic and original. The entire movie just makes you feel empathetic for the characters. The atmosphere, the scenery, all of it. Interludes between scenes of the main character always running, just running away. The music is good too. It's all done by El-P, for anyone familiar with Def-Jux. The whole movie though, it's just amazing... So many people overlooked this. Everything is just done so brutally realistic, how the way characters react and think, how life really can just be ****ed up. It's a powerful movie and the ending is the best part. (be warned though... it's sad...)

Kaylee Shepherd
Kaylee Shepherd

Great film about the grafitti underground centering around the top rising artists and their dangerous cat-and-mouse games with the law.

MARS Del Toro
MARS Del Toro

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