Hustle & Flow - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hustle & Flow Reviews

July 25, 2005
It's kind of a conventional story, but it's told in such a unique way and the locations in Memphis all feel very authentic.
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow suspends you in its spell of mood, of feeling, of climate. It's a pop picture that finds its richness in peeling down to the essentials of good storytelling.
July 22, 2005
Watching as a pimp, a pothead and a pregnant hooker play and sing in a makeshift bedroom recording studio, and becoming increasingly caught up in their determination and hope, it's impossible not to think that this is a part of the American Dream, too.
July 22, 2005
Every now and then, Brewer pulls off a near-miracle with his flinty characters: He lets us, for a moment, slip into their lives -- and sing their song.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 22, 2005
Unlikely as this may sound, Hustle & Flow -- about a low-down Memphis pimp who wants to be a rapper -- is the feel-good movie of the summer.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 22, 2005
What makes the picture sail past its flaws is its earnest understanding of the desperation that drives people to regain control of their lives -- and the profound courage required to attempt it.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
July 22, 2005
Of course it manipulates us; most movies do. But it does so with such sincere, funky confidence that I loved just about every minute of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow has a heart that beats as loudly as the bass line on one of DJay's tracks.
Read More | Original Score: A-
July 22, 2005
So much love went into Hustle & Flow that it almost glows with it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 22, 2005
What's missing in this self-proclaimed story of redemption, though, is something other than a fairy-tale finale. It's the sense that the filmmaker understands the consequences of exploiting women even if his protagonist doesn't.
July 22, 2005
While the plot avoids the most obvious happy-ending clichés, it stays unnecessarily close to the pimps 'n hos mythology of crunk hits, and that's particularly discomfiting if you happen to believe that women are people, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow is a celebration of crude aspirations, of raw art, of raunch and street and yearning and, beneath it all, family values.
Read More | Original Score: A
July 22, 2005
This is Howard's show. His DJay is intense, with blue sky dreams other than pimping and living in Memphis.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 22, 2005
Hustle & Flow promises gritty street drama but delivers Pretty Woman with crunk instead of Roxette.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 22, 2005
As the film's anti-hero hero, though, Howard never compromises at all.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
July 22, 2005
The movie is too corny to be edgy, and too hard-core to be uplifting.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
July 22, 2005
It's all good. The story, the characters, the music, acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 22, 2005
Some will rightly find it corny, absurd, and an insultingly limited presentation of options for the most disenfranchised African-Americans: I'm still waiting for the movie fantasy about the pimp who wants to get his GED.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
July 21, 2005
Howard takes a character that might have been a caricature and makes him real -- sometimes icy, sometimes fiery, sometimes slick, sometimes passionate.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 21, 2005
A surprisingly charming story that -- in certain sections -- almost crystallizes into the sweetness of a Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland musical.
July 21, 2005
A sort of Rocky for ambitious street hustlers, Hustle & Flow traffics in the risky business of making prostitution seem not quite as bad as the hip-hop world, and it conjures a sticky mix of urban grit and Hollywood schmaltz.
Full Review | Original Score: B
July 21, 2005
Hustle & Flow unfolds in the satisfying fashion of classic Hollywood movies that strike a balance between grit and heart, capturing the hard edge of poverty and lack of opportunity but also offering a ray of hope for a better life.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
July 21, 2005
Hustle & Flow uses its street smarts to show that dreams come in all shapes and sizes and that their realization sometimes is preceded by nightmares.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 21, 2005
Terrence Howard modulates Djay with great love and consideration for the character. He never cheapens him, or condescends. He builds him inside-out.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 21, 2005
Craig Brewer's first feature film is a volatile mixture of slickness and sincerity, hard-edged naturalism and sheer show-business hokum.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
July 21, 2005
Happily for all involved, it's still pretty good, with a leading performance by Terrence Howard that is that good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 21, 2005
Hustle & Flow is a weird fusion of blaxploitation and American indie, built on a template of old-style, follow-your-dream Hollywood drama. But it works -- sometimes magnificently.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
July 21, 2005
The film's supporting characters are as rich as the lead, each one of them chasing an unlikely dream.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
July 21, 2005
Brewer hasn't sugarcoated his pimp, and Howard's performance locates all the shadings of fury and desperation that drive him.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 21, 2005
Dolemite and Super Fly weren't exactly ennobling role models, but they were fighting a good fight against an oppressive system, whereas DJay is resisting what exactly? Getting a real job?
July 21, 2005
Howard's been knocking on stardom's door for some time now, and Hustle & Flow should seal the deal.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
July 21, 2005
One of those terrific out-of-the-blue movies that come along every so often.
Read More | Original Score: A-
July 20, 2005
We're drawn to the exotic inside portrait of a flyweight urban hustler who knows how to cast a spell.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
July 19, 2005
There's something wrong with Hustle. A bad aftertaste, and not just the dry grit of Memphis dust, but something meaner. A feeling that Brewer's sensibility is way off.
July 18, 2005
It celebrates art, hope, and dreams, and you don't have to like hip-hop to appreciate the message or the way in which it is delivered.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 14, 2005
... explosive entertainment.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
July 5, 2005
When Brewer, Howard, and Ludacris stick to the bitter texture of South Memphis failure and success they produce a modest regional portrait that could become a classic of its kind.
June 29, 2005
It boasts a seductive lead performance and the best ensemble cast since Ray.
April 2, 2005
Exhibits an undeniable confidence that permeates its every aspect.
February 5, 2005
Screenwriter-director Brewer transcends his generic story, laying out his beat from each character's heart. We come to know their inner fears and demons, including those of some particularly well-drawn supporting characters.