Beat Street (1984)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Beat Street Videos

Beat Street Photos

Movie Info

Jon Chardiet plays a Puerto Rican youth who targets subway walls for his graffiti renderings. For a while, it looks as though Chardiet's problems will carry the plotline, but before long the film's true raison d'etre comes to the surface. Rap-music deejay Guy Davis, in tandem with such like-minded individuals as music student Rae Dawn Chong, endeavor to stage a huge breakdancing presentation, featuring several musical artistes of the period. Harry Belafonte served as coproducer.
Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Rae Dawn Chong
as Tracy Carlson
Guy Davis
as Kenny 'Double K' Kirkland
Afrika Bambaataa
as Soul Sonic Force/Shango
Leon W. Grant
as Chollie
Mary Alice
as Cora
Shawn Elliott
as Domingo
Tonya Pinkins
as Angela
Antonia Rey
as Flora
Duane Jones
as Robert
Hope Clarke
as Dancing Instructor
Billy Anagnos
as Stunts
Kool Herc
as Himself
Gina Belafonte
as Elizabeth
Kimry Smith
as Erika
Douglas Davis
as Douggie Fresh
Leon Stephenson
as Monte's Bouncer
Kadeem Hardson
as High School Student
Lorenzo Soto
as Bronx Rocker
Vic Magnotta
as Stunts
Dadi Pinero
as Young Writer
Joseph Verhauz
as Transit Policeman
Susan Roffer
as Monte's Assistant
Paul Pesco
as The System
Lisa Lee
as Us Girl
Kool Moe Dee
as The Treacherous Trio
Tom Wright
as Stunts
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Beat Street

All Critics (6)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Holds up pretty well as one of the few hip hop musicals and a neat time capsule when hip hop was growing and still on the fringes of the mainstream.

Full Review… | February 27, 2016
Cinema Crazed

Like the best films of its kind, Beat Street isn't simply a glorified music video, but rather a celebration of the bond between artists and an examination of a culture that goes unappreciated and misrepresented.

Full Review… | September 8, 2013

No excerpt available.

August 30, 2005

No excerpt available.

December 26, 2004
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for Beat Street

Beat Street is about a group of teens who are trying to find their way in the big city. While the tribulations of a graffiti artist (John Chardiet) are more poignant than one would assume, the real point of this film is to serve as a showcase for New York's thriving hip hop scene. The movie is well seasoned with cameos and musical numbers by old school luminaries such as Grandmaster Melle Mel, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Doug E. Fresh, The Treacherous Three, Jazzy Jay, and The Rock Steady Crew. The storytelling in this film isn't really all that remarkable, but Beat Street is still a must-see for any fan of rap music.

Ryan Valentine
Ryan Valentine

I don't think I would want to watch this again. The club was nice, the dancing was mediiocre, I thought it has a better storyline than Breakin.

Veronica Balli
Veronica Balli

Without doubt Beat Street is the best film about the breakin scene. Everything about it is spot on,the clothes (puma),the music and most importantly the dancing! The storyline is basic,but hey whats there to tell a story about? The whole point of the film is to show what kids of that moment in time were doing,what mattered to them. It shows that teenagers in general are good,all that mattered to these everyday kids was music,dancing and friendship. Having watched the DVD recently i was plesantly surprised how well it had stood the test of time! The clothes didn't look dated (possibly because Puma is now having a massive comeback),the music still sounds fresh,and the dancing is still captivating to watch. A film anyone 10-25 years of age should see as part of their youth culture.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Discussion Forum

Discuss Beat Street on our Movie forum!

News & Features