Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)



Critic Consensus: Comprehensive yet brisk, Nas: Time Is Illmatic offers an absorbing look at a hip-hop classic and the life of the artist who made it.

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Synopsis: Twenty years after the release of Nas's groundbreaking debut album 'Illmatic,' NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC takes us into the heart of his creative process. Returning to his childhood home in Queensbridge, Nas shares stories of his upbringing, his influences - from the music of his jazz musician father Olu Dara to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City - and the obstacles he faced before his major label signing at age 20. Featuring interviews with his 'Illmatic' producers (Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier) and musical peers (including Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys), NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC is a thrilling account of Nas's evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC. (C) Tribeca
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Nas: Time Is Illmatic

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (14)

A well-made and well-shot companion piece to the album, telling the story of Nas' early life and the circumstances that led to his birth as a hip-hop legend.

Full Review… | October 10, 2014
Detroit News
Top Critic

Time Is Illmatic does a terrific job of weaving hip-hop history into a highly personal story.

Full Review… | October 10, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The movie is inspiring and tragic, and, directed by street artist One9, it's captured in an artful, emotional way that will speak to an audience beyond rap fans.

Full Review… | October 9, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

As both an origin story about a great artist and a distillation of '80s urban blight, it's as breathless and real as any street-corner rhyme.

Full Review… | October 3, 2014
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The album lives as a touchstone, and a turning point, in New York hip hop. The film may be far less significant, but it does bear witness to the music's greatness.

Full Review… | October 2, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Since many of the themes from "Illmatic" have become mere clichés in contemporary rap, this film serves as a reminder of the potential and the promise that hip-hop truly holds.

Full Review… | October 2, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nas: Time Is Illmatic

An informative and revealing documentary that takes a thrilling look at an artist's life and the many factors which motivated him to create that extremely influential album regarded ever since its birth as a seminal piece of artistic cry against social oppression.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Classic documentary that delves into the creation of the greatest hip hop album of all time as well as the humble beginnings of Nasir Jones, the undisputed GOAT.

Spermian Jones
Spermian Jones

meh, a great story with a confluence of social issues, and the coverage hardly ever transcends vh1 material...

Priyu Kulkarni
Priyu Kulkarni

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