Life Is Hot in Cracktown (2009)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
R (for strong violence, rape, drug content throughout, graphic sexuality, nudity and pervasive language)
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Kerry Washington
as Marybeth
Evan Ross
as Romeo
Brandon Routh
as Sizemore
Shannyn Sossamon
as Concetta
Lara Flynn Boyle
as Betty McBain
The Rza
as Sammy
Thomas Ian Nicholas
as Chad Wesley
Carly Pope
as Stacy
Maurice Blake
as Brazil
Omar Regan
as Cremont
Ten Travis
as Ceasar
Marci Canipe
as Melody's Mom
Richard Portnow
as Guy From 4K
Shawn McGill
as Tiny Pinta
Zooka Jonathan Silva
as Kenny Carter
Mark Webber
as Ridley
Jeremy West
as Mr. Rutherford
Hope Olaide Wilson
as Girl in Closet
as Terrance
Paul Mabon
as Marybeth's Father
Bryan Becker
as Pepperton
Luke LaFontaine
as The Beret
Joseph Rye
as Dr. Clark
Jamie Rae
as Pregnant Woman at Party
Pierson Blaetz
as Customer
as Sammy
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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.

Full Review… | July 1, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 25, 2009
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | July 2, 2009

One part Crash and one part Menace II Society.

Full Review… | June 26, 2009
Boxoffice Magazine

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.

Full Review… | June 25, 2009

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.

Full Review… | June 25, 2009

Audience Reviews for Life Is Hot in Cracktown

This movie is beyond bad. No, I'm not one of those people who requires a Hollywood ending or a movie to shed some positive light at the end of films to show some amount of hope. The one (and ONLY) thing redeeming about this movie is that there isn't an ounce of hope in it. Sometimes life just sucks, and this movie shows the worst of life. Unfortunately it also shows some of the worst performances and directing I've ever seen. The movie is just plain bad.

Jeffrey Newman
Jeffrey Newman

This was an awful movie. Every individual story is dark and depressing. The cast was amazing, but it wasn't a movie that I would recommend to anyone.

Heather Metzger
Heather Metzger

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 Calvin
Jason Calvin

Super Reviewer

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