Life Is Hot in Cracktown


Life Is Hot in Cracktown

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,143
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Movie Info

Based on writer/director Buddy Giovinazzo's novel of the same name, Life Is Hot in Cracktown explores how crack cocaine infiltrated the streets of urban America by following the journeys of four people whose lives are on a tragic collision course. Pre-op transsexual Marybeth (Kerry Washington) is working as a prostitute in order to save enough money to make her transformation complete. She lives with her lover, Benny, a small-time burglar, whom she hopes to marry after her final operation. Meanwhile, Manny (Victor Rasuk) is busy pulling double shifts while his wife, Concetta (Shannyn Sossamon), cares for their sickly infant son in their run-down apartment. By night Manny works at a 24-hour bodega frequented by junkies, drug dealers, and prostitutes, and by day keeps the peace as a security guard at a welfare hotel. One of the residents at that hotel is Willy, a ten-year-old boy who lives with his mother (Illeana Douglas) and her abusive boyfriend. Willy begs for money on the street so he and Susie can get some fast food. But it's dangerous out there, because volatile gangster Romeo (Evan Ross) is still searching the streets for his brother's killer, and he won't hesitate to terrorize anyone unfortunate enough to cross his warpath. Lara Flynn Boyle, Brandon Routh, Desmond Harrington, and RZA co-star.

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Critic Reviews for Life Is Hot in Cracktown

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

  • While Giovinazzo's crude approach undercuts his occasional stab at gravitas, Cracktown's cast keeps things in the ballpark of relatable humanity.

    Jul 1, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Life goes far past the boiling point for most of the characters in this hilariously overwrought ghetto soap opera from cult writer-director Buddy Giovinazzo.

    Jun 25, 2009 | Full Review…
  • There are no positive characters in Cracktown. No voice of reason; just the reality of dire circumstances, which cannot be tied up in a pretty Hollywood bow.

    Jul 2, 2009 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • One part Crash and one part Menace II Society.

    Jun 26, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Aside from tremendous performances given by Washington and Rasuk, the bleakness in 'Cracktown' doesn't offer a solution that leaves a positive outlook on life.

    Jun 26, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • About as credible as a middle school production of Death of a Salesman. The unspectacular storylines plod along, dragged down by lackluster performances and sloppy direction.

    Jun 25, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Life Is Hot in Cracktown

  • Aug 29, 2011
    This is garbage. There's no reason to follow the lives of a single character involved, they're all one-dimensional losers. The writer doesn't convey anything more than an outsider's glimpse into the subject matter. This movie relies on nothing more than shock value, and it's about as subtle as a sledgehammer. All that's on display is a bunch of idiots abusing themselves, children, women, and the elderly. This is void of any artistic value, avoid.
    Jason C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2010
    If theres an area like Cracktown, I hope to never see it.
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2009
    Buddy G is back, and he's as downbeat as ever. The opening scene tells you, right off the bat, that this is gonna be ugly, and it doesn't disappoint. People looking for some kind of positive, hopeful message best steer clear. There's no hope to be found in this one. Don't let the "beautiful" cast throw you off. This movie is about as gritty as urban dramas can get.
    Shane D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2009
    The great Buddy Giovinazzo returns after a painfully long hiatus with this fantastically titled masterpiece. It's as if Abel Ferrara and Robert Altman joined forces, only with that nihilistic Buddy touch. Each separate story is compelling with great performances all around (I especially like that Desmond Harrington kid. Great actor). The audience really cares about most of the characters, and knowing Buddy is writing their stories, truly fears for their safety. Highly recommended for those who love gritty, depressing and downbeat stories.
    Christopher B Super Reviewer

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