Idlewild - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Idlewild Reviews

Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
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David Jenkins
Time Out
October 14, 2006
For a band whose music is suffused with such delicate irony, you'd expect at the very least for there to be a few laughs along the way? There are none. Nothing. Zero.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 28, 2006
You don't have to have a stylistic device in every single shot.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 26, 2006
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Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
August 25, 2006
Shakespeare has been quoted many, many times over the past 400 or so years, but never to such empty purpose as in the inchoate, self-indulgent musical drama Idlewild
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 25, 2006
By jumbling genres, fashions, music and locales, and riddling bullets through much of it, Idlewild ends up feeling disjointed and disquieting.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 25, 2006
A series of pretty-good pop videos wrapped around a confusing tale of Chitlin' Circuit striving and conniving.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ted Fry
Seattle Times
August 25, 2006
Comic, dramatic, highly conceptual and all great fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Neva Chonin
San Francisco Chronicle
August 25, 2006
Idlewild comes alive only during the production numbers, which look and feel more like music videos than music as storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 25, 2006
[The Outkast duo] are, as might be expected, terrific in the musical numbers and painfully self-conscious in the dramatic sequences.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 25, 2006
A misguided period-piece musical about gangsters, illegal 'hooch,' 'floozies' and music that is almost entirely unlike jazz.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
August 25, 2006
The OutKast epic Idlewild is an amazingly misguided film, a muddled attempt to create an old school Hollywood musical showcasing the unique hip-hop duo.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 25, 2006
It's basically a series of music videos -- a few quite good -- strung together over two long hours and loosely connected by a weak story line loaded with anachronisms.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
August 25, 2006
The first film from OutKast iconoclasts André Benjamin (André 3000) and Antwan A. Patton (Big Boi) has all the wit and creativity of their music videos. And here's the bad news: That makes it at least an hour too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 25, 2006
Idlewild doesn't exactly hang together, but its parts are something to behold.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
August 25, 2006
OutKast's much-ballyhooed Prohibition-era musical is a dense, confusing jumble of old-school and new-school, gangster and gangsta, that never pauses long enough to tell a cogent story.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
August 25, 2006
Idlewild is so eccentric it remains compellingly watchable.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 25, 2006
Those who do not succumb to the movie's fantasy will dismiss it as an extended music video. That's not an unfair criticism, but it doesn't make the film any less enjoyable.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 25, 2006
Idlewild left me wanting to see more from everyone involved.
| Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 25, 2006
Welcome to Church, the speakeasy in the often vivacious, sometimes silly, musical Idlewild.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
August 25, 2006
Despite some visual sparkle and musical razzle-dazzle, Idlewild is a messy movie.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Jim DeRogatis
Chicago Sun-Times
August 25, 2006
In the end, the saddest thing about Idlewild is that all of the pieces were present for a very good film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 25, 2006
A sludgy, badly photographed, poorly edited bungle whose musical numbers never pop.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
August 25, 2006
Between the gangsters and the showgirls, the gorgeous costumes and the wowser production numbers, Idlewild has just about everything a popular entertainment can offer. It also has a soul, and that comes free with the price of a ticket.
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
August 25, 2006
It's a vehicle for OutKast's music and personality in which the music and lead roles feel like afterthoughts.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
August 24, 2006
The joint doesn't jump in the OutKast musical Idlewild; it just twitches and stumbles.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
August 24, 2006
Idlewild is an engaging, original movie musical. It turns all sorts of pop cultural icons on their heads and delivers a smart commentary on race and class in 20th Century America.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 24, 2006
A movie so oblivious to convention and structure that it seems like a Jackson Pollock splatter-painting, without the crucial 'genius' part.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
August 24, 2006
If, like me, you like OutKast just fine but staggered out of Moulin Rouge reeling from the quick-cut-induced nausea, you'll leave Idlewild tapping your toe and scratching your head at the same time.
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
August 24, 2006
There are enough qualities in Idlewild to make you believe not only in [director] Barber's potential, but in a fruitful marriage of hip-hop sensibility with the movie musical genre.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ann Powers
Los Angeles Times
August 24, 2006
In its best moments Idlewild connects with OutKast's weirdness. At its worst, the film trades in the very clichés about romance, redemption and music that listeners run to OutKast to avoid.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post
August 24, 2006
For all its shortcomings, Idlewild also has something that few films can pull off: Moments of such pure cinematic fabulousness, breathtaking dance sequences and idiosyncratic flourishes that we are more than willing to forgive it for all its sins.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 24, 2006
There's nothing compelling about the characters or story, and that maroons Idlewild within the category of disposable entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Chris Riemenschneider
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 24, 2006
As unlikely as it seems that the music segments would be the weakest parts of Idlewild, however, it's just as surprising that the rest of the movie stands up pretty well.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
August 24, 2006
Director Bryan Barber (known for his music videos) and his cast display so much gusto that it's hard to keep up your resistance -- I wound up finding this more enjoyable than the Oscar-bestrewn Chicago.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 24, 2006
Idlewild is what it is, though you may never be quite sure what that 'is' is. Still, it's a professional-looking picture, filled with talented, likable performers who give it their best.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
August 24, 2006
The film only rarely harnesses the power of the anachronistic, funk-driven, beat-heavy rap music that swells its soundtrack.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 23, 2006
Idlewild is a romp, a ticket to rowdy good times.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
August 22, 2006
Idlewild has a sober, loving respect for history and the old South, and thereby grants itself a measure of distinction.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
August 21, 2006
Odd but entertaining musical with a distinctly OutKast overcast.
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John Anderson
Variety
August 21, 2006
[Idlewild] achieves magic -- something sorely missing from so many movies these days -- and does so via a philosophy of respect, but not reverence, for what's come before it; it never recycles, it just reimagines.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 4, 2006
Idlewild can't decide if it's about bullets, booze, broads or the sound of hip-hop that the film strenuously tries to marry to the 1930s.
| Original Score: 2/4