Critics Consensus

Whether you know anything about turntablism or not, Scratch makes for fun and informative viewing.



Reviews Counted: 46

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Reviews Count: 0
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Average Rating: 4.2/5

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Movie Info

While rappers may be the most visible musical exponents of hip-hop culture, it's the DJs (or "turntablists," as some prefer to be called) who generate the funky beats and cut-and-paste musical structures that have made hip-hop the dominant musical phenomena of the past 20 years. Scratch is a documentary that examines the role of the DJ in hip-hop music, from the pioneering work of old school hip-hop artists like Afrika Bambaata and Jazzy Jay to contemporary masters like noted trip-hop musician DJ Shadow and award-winning turntablist group Invisibl Skratch Piklz. The film also explores how DJs turned the turntable into a musical instrument, the increasingly elaborate techniques involved in "scratching" (manipulating vinyl discs, turntables, and tone arms to produce different sonic effects), and how different turntablists dig up the rare and elusive LPs from which they draw the samples that they craft into new songs. Scratch was directed by Doug Pray, who previously examined a different musical phenomenon -- the Seattle rock scene that spawned the grunge explosion -- in his film Hype!.

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Critic Reviews for Scratch

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (15)

Engaging documentary.

Oct 11, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Pray's subjects can wander off into arcane Dennis Miller-esque rants, but he manages to hit the high points and most of the major personalities.

Jul 20, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's all stitched together with energy, intelligence and verve, enhanced by a surplus of vintage archive footage.

May 30, 2002 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Illuminating if overly talky documentary.

May 16, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

Should appeal to more than just hardcore hip-hop fans.

Apr 26, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/5

An engrossing and infectiously enthusiastic documentary.

Apr 26, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

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