Slam (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

SLAM centers on Raymond Joshua, a gifted rapper/poet in Washington D.C. who is arrested on a petty drug charge and is swallowed up by the capital's criminal justice system. In prison, he meets Lauren Bell, a beautiful writing teacher who recognizes Raymond's unique talents and inspires him to use his unique power of creative expression.

Rating: R (for pervasive language, a sex scene and brief violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Marc Levin, Sonja Sohn, Richard Stratton, Saul Williams
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 23, 1999


as Ray Joshua

as Lauren Bell

as Hopha

as Jimmy Huang
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Critic Reviews for Slam

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (16)

Part gritty prison drama, part inner-city chronicle, the energetic Slam defies easy categorization, serving as a compelling plea for black males of how to survive in oppressive society. The film won the 1998 Sundance Jury Award for Best Drama.

Full Review… | December 1, 2006
Top Critic

Full Review… | July 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
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January 1, 2000
USA Today
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Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
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Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
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Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
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Audience Reviews for Slam

A brilliant masterpiece of independent black cimema. This was a film that had a strong cast(real-life poet Saul Williams and also Sonja Sohn of HBO's The Wire) with compelling subject matter complete with a killer soundtrack(featuring the sounds of the DC "go-go" and other artists)not to mention some of the most capitvating over-the-top rap poetry ever witnessed.
All set within the most corrupt city in America--our nation's capital.

Mister Caple

Super Reviewer


The fiction element of the film, instead of driving Levin to deeper truths, delivers him toward triteness and manipulation.

I was impressed by both the grittiness and depth of this movie. The jail scenes felt very real and you could sense Ray's pain in being somewhere where he didn't quite belong. Overly preachy at times, but eye-opening nonetheless.

Jeff B

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