The Hip Hop Project - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hip Hop Project Reviews

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Tom Meek
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
Rolle's passion and perseverance power the film, and along the way he gets a boost from rap mogul Russell Simmons and Bruce Willis.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Variety
July 22, 2008
It makes the viewer uncomfortable, too -- but it's unquestionably honest, like so much of Hip-Hop.
Christopher Campbell
Cinematical
September 18, 2007
[A] powerful and, if we're lucky, influential documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine
August 30, 2007
Based on what we hear, though, it's hard to assess whether anyone has any breakthrough potential. Likewise, there's nothing remarkable about the filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
May 23, 2007
Even if you don't particulary care for rap, The Hip Hop Project may persuade you that there's something to be said for it, after all.
Full Review | Original Score: B

Hollywood.com
May 19, 2007
Unfortunately, this is a Hallmark version of hip-hop-and it really hurts to knock this film.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
May 12, 2007
A big, wet, sloppy valentine to hip-hop's power to give voice to the voiceless.
Full Review | Original Score: b
May 11, 2007
The story is compelling enough that even glib phrases like 'healing through hip-hop' can't drag it down.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
May 11, 2007
First-time director Matt Ruskin is a skilled documentarian; he releases information gradually so the narrative develops in an organic fashion that is consistently engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 11, 2007
The film meanders, sidetracks, and frustrates -- few of the rap songs, some of them boasting wildly inspired couplets, are shown and heard in their entirety.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 11, 2007
Dramatically, the movie lacks motion -- the kids don't seem a lot better off at the end -- and the point of the program escapes me. These kids badly need an education.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
May 11, 2007
[Director] Ruskin is so awed by his subject that he never gains the distance needed to create a bigger, more powerful picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
May 11, 2007
Will the music of The Hip Hop Project album change your life? Likely, no. Did the process of making it change the lives of those involved in its creation? Undoubtedly. And that, perhaps, is inspiration enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
May 11, 2007
Net profits from the theatrical release of The Hip Hop Project will be donated to youth organizations, so you can feel doubly good about attending this modestly moving tribute to a small but significant kind of inner-city success.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Adam Graham
Detroit News
May 11, 2007
There is some inspired camera work during some of the performance sequences, but none of the performances themselves stick. It's a shame when a film about the power of music doesn't contain one memorable song.
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
May 11, 2007
The live performances sizzle. Expect genuine passion behind the music, even when you wonder, as an MTV interviewer does during the film, whether these kids are that much more captivating than a million other hip-hop hopefuls.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jim DeRogatis
Chicago Sun-Times
May 11, 2007
All of this is related in a well-meaning, would-be uplifting but ultimately ham-handed manner somewhere between a PBS documentary and a TV movie of the week.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michelle Kung
Boston Globe
May 11, 2007
In fact, it is the tyro director's slapdash structure and pacing that distract from the film's content. A rather haphazard architect of his own material, Ruskin tends to rush certain crucial developments while lingering on more lackluster details.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Carolyn Arends
Christianity Today
May 11, 2007
Its most compelling message is about the importance and power of community.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bill White
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
May 10, 2007
Scenes that should be revelatory, such as a lyric-writing session, are sketchy and fail to give a sense of the work being done.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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