A Rage in Harlem

Critics Consensus

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65%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,255

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Movie Info

After her gangster boyfriend, Slim (Badja Djola), has a shootout with the police, Imabelle (Robin Givens) flees Natchez, Miss., with his stolen gold. She ends up New York with Slim's gang in pursuit. In Harlem, she latches on to an innocent undertaker named Jackson (Forest Whitaker), who takes her in and falls in love with her. When the Mississippi mobsters finally show up, Jackson must enlist the help of his streetwise brother, Goldy (Gregory Hines), to save the girl.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for A Rage in Harlem

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (12)

  • Duke keeps this tangled tale of lust and larceny bouncing with a disreputable, funloving B-movie energy that's hard to resist.

    February 6, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • With its snazzy Elmer Bernstein score, its snappy period flavor and its all-star cast doing something completely different, A Rage in Harlem should have been much more fun than it is.

    July 1, 2013 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Jazzy and jauntily funny.

    July 1, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • As the movie becomes increasingly violent and unpleasant, the characters chase around after each other in a threadbare gangster plot about a trunk of gold.

    July 1, 2013 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • [A] flamboyant, engaging action comedy.

    July 1, 2013
  • Duke and company have been true to Himes' brash, blaspheming spirit, and that is no small thing.

    July 1, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Rage in Harlem

  • Oct 16, 2009
    (Includes one minor spoiler, but it's unrelated to the plot and really more of a recommendation.) Surprised to see so few votes and comments for A Rage in Harlem - it was a modest commercial hit in Britain, so perhaps the all-black casting and setting just didn't play Peoria. The tone of this stylish, good-looking period crime adventure swings wildly between brutal, raunchy, tragic and comic, but a clever, funny script and likeable characters - especially Gregory Hines's big-hearted wiseguy Goldy, but also several delightfully written minor roles - maintain attention and sympathy throughout what could otherwise have been a bumpy ride. It's an emotionally engaging film, much more character-driven than the average urban thriller of the 1990s. Its purely incidental pleasures are many, topped by a splendid musical treat in the shape of cult R 'n' B hero Screamin' Jay Hawkins, giving a no-holds-barred performance of his voodoo classic I Put a Spell on You at the Harlem Undertakers' Ball. If you have a taste for the old school of black show business, this sequence will have you holding up the rest of the picture until you've given Screamin' Jay an encore. Thrills, laughs, and pathos, dished up with verve and heart, make a film that many of us still remember very affectionately.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 07, 2006
    Average comic thriller interesting only for it's unusual adaptation of the book upon it was based, as it concentrates on the crooks rather than the cops.
    xGary X Super Reviewer

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