The Original Kings of Comedy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Original Kings of Comedy Reviews

Top Critic
Lisa Alspector
Chicago Reader
September 23, 2008
Footage shot from over their shoulders reveals a sea of faces out of which individuals quickly emerge, as the comedians -- especially emcee Harvey -- enthrall and provoke audience members.
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Scott Foundas
Variety
June 6, 2008
A consistently hilarious assemblage of highlights from the hit concert tour of the same name.
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Time Out
January 26, 2006
This is comedy with a sense of showmanship, and Lee cuts shrewdly to the rhythm of the jokes.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
August 9, 2001
Seeing the film in a crowded theater is a lot more fun than watching it on TV would be, and the crappy, grainy look does create a sort of you-are-there immediacy.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
January 1, 2000
| Original Score: B
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Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 1, 2000
Under Spike Lee's direction it's one of the liveliest concert films in years.
| Original Score: A-
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
January 1, 2000
What comes out of these comedians' hearts hits the most powerful chord, and the audience wants more of it.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
January 1, 2000
While that vulgarity eventually gets wearing, parts of their acts are so funny your cheeks hurt.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 1, 2000
Boasts the highest laughs-per-minute ratio of any in this season's hilarity.
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Candice Y. Rigon
Associated Press
January 1, 2000
The jokes fly so quickly and hard that you may find yourself laughing through many of the punch lines.
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
January 1, 2000
Ranks right up there with Pryor's Live on Sunset Strip, Eddie Murphy's Raw and Martin Lawrence's You So Crazy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
There's nothing stodgy about these court jesters or their humor, even though their act is a decidedly grown-up affair.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Harvey is a master of timing and tone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kevin Maynard
Mr. Showbiz
January 1, 2000
All these men ... have their mirthful moments.
| Original Score: 65/100
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 1, 2000
At times the material grows as repetitive as it is profane.
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January 1, 2000
These kings ... eventually walk off the stage without the viewer knowing any more about them than when the film began.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
The key to such a movie's success is its ability to capture the 'you are there' feeling -- a task that The Original Kings of Comedy is largely effective at.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Erik Lundegaard
Seattle Times
January 1, 2000
The Original Kings of Comedy, with its 10 cameras and backstage footage, may be the most innovatively directed stand-up concert film ever made.
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Ernest Hardy
Film.com
January 1, 2000
What makes the film an almost nonstop ride of hilarity is the poetry in each comedian's profanity.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 1, 2000
Contains an honest handful of sly and hilarious moments.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Gemma Files
Film.com
January 1, 2000
Live comedy ... is a singularly difficult experience to capture on film, but Lee's done his level best here.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
January 1, 2000
It may be the clearest and most accurate cinematic expression of what it means to be black and American in the first year of the new millennium.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 1, 2000
If they're not yet kings, they're pretty strong contenders to the throne.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
January 1, 2000
They form a hilarious and even poignant conscience for a brand of black humor much deeper and wiser than what we've seen on screen this year.
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Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
January 1, 2000
The Original Kings of Comedy can make a person sick in two ways at once -- through its lowdown raunch and through the spasms of laughter that use stomach muscles one might not have known existed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gary Dauphin
Village Voice
January 1, 2000
As there can only be one king, the crown goes to Bernie Mac, a goggle-eyed marvel of old-school Chicago weirdness.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 1, 2000
This often hilarious quartet use the foul-ups, aggravations and muddles of everyday life to produce more laughs than most movies you'll see this year.
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Jay Carr
Boston Globe
January 1, 2000
Time and again, we're transported by the outpouring of liberating humor from four men who know the territory.
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Houston Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Some of the humor on display in the movie is very funny, but much of it is offensive and demeaning.
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
January 1, 2000
Mac fires his comic salvos with the authoritative ease of a champion boxer.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 1, 2000
The movie has the feel of a joyous blow-out party, and it's hard not to get swept up by its upbeat energy.
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
January 1, 2000
You can almost feel the electric charge between the huge, packed auditorium in Charlotte, N.C., where the film was shot, and the four comic originals on stage.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Miki Turner
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
January 1, 2000
Inventive, raunchy, brilliant, savvy, intoxicating and politically incorrect comics whose humor not only cracks you up, but also challenges the way you think.