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 Hustle & Flow 

What grade would you give this film?
A 50%  50%  [ 7 ]
B 43%  43%  [ 6 ]
C 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
D 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
F 7%  7%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 14

 Hustle & Flow 
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College Boy Z

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Post Hustle & Flow
Hustle & Flow

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Hustle & Flow is a 2005 independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer and produced by John Singleton. Terrence Howard stars as a Memphis hustler who faces his aspiration to become a rapper. The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp." Howard was nominated for Best Actor.


Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:38 pm
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What a surprise. I liked it a lot, fine performance from Howard.

- B+


Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:45 pm
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Surprised to see such lackluster response and after a week!

I went and saw Hustle and Flow today and I was in awe. It was a magnificent piece of film-making. It was definitely ambitious enough and on the right track to be a truly great film, but whay we saw was good enough. I was hit strong emotionally during this film and more than once! It offered fine and amazing performances all around, truly surpassing any expectations I had. It was the strongest ensemble piece (along with CRASH) in almost a year!

The only factor preventing me from giving this film a solid A was the last act which I felt needed the biggest emotional punch. The film kept building and climbing this emotional mountain and yet, while I liked and would not have changed the direction of the concluding scenes, I wish it hit harder than it did. For a film that built up so much heart and invested a great deal in maintaining our emotional momentum, the credits came almost too abruptly. I wish they summed up or concluded all the story and character lines a bit better (I don't mean neater or tying up all the loose ends, but just a more definite conclusion even if it was left up in the air). The most important scene towards the end felt like the halfway point of the movie, they needed to focus and shape that part up much better to flow and connect the ending with the rest of the film better.

Nontheless, it's only minor complaints because all around it was a great end-product.

A-, secon this year only to Crash (irnoicall another Howard starring film)

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Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:50 am
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All his life, DJay (Terrence Howard) has been yearning for something more. Growing up in a poor neighborhood with no benefits, he is now living out his life as a pimp in the Memphis area. His attitude seems cold from the bitter hand that life dealt him and he isn't happy with his current situation. His only confidantes, however, are the girls he employs. They are the only ones who understand his troubles. Nola (Taryn Manning) is a young Southerner who remains loyal to DJay despite the position she holds. Shug (Taraji P. Henson) is both sympathetic and homely, living with the others while nuturing her unborn child. Finally, Lexus (Paula Jai Parker) is a harsh and angry woman trying to raise her young son.

Things seem to be going downhill for DJay. After an arguement with Lexus, he throws her out of the house and out of his life. His only support comes in the form of Nola and Shug. That is until he encounters an old friend named Key (Anthony Anderson), a sound engineer with dreams of owning a record label. It is then that DJay decides to pursue his lifelong dream - expressing himself through music. With unparalled freestyling abilities, it is immediately obvious that he has some raw talent. Together, DJay and Key decide to record a rap album. They eventually enlist the help of Shelby (DJ Qualls), a white church musician with a beat machine and unlimited equipment. Hoping to pass along a demo tape to multiplatinum rap star Skinny Black (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), this group of unlikely partners must work their best at making their dreams come true.

Produced on a paltry budget of $2.8 million, HUSTLE & FLOW was filmed in 30 days out on the hot streets of Memphis, Tennessee. It was financed completely by producer John Singleton. No one expected it to do the impossible, but that's just what happened. After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the film was met with huge critical acclaim and multiple award victories, including the coveted Audience Award. Soon after, a bidding war ensued for the rights to distribute the film theatrically. Eventually, Paramount Classics and MTV Films bought the rights for over $9 million, a festival record. After viewing the film, it is quite evident why it recieved so much acclaim. It is not just another stereotypical urban film. In fact, it's one of the best of the year so far.

The performances here are outstanding and really make the movie shine. All of the actors here were faced with the challenge of playing flawed characters, and all succeed with flying colors. Terrence Howard is fantastic as DJay and gives one of the best male performances of the year. He makes the character sympathetic despite the whole situation he is in, and the audience really roots for him despite his flaws. The supporting cast is also quite good as well. Anthony Anderson is one of my least favorite actors working today, but he does a good job here and gives a better-than-average performance. The real standouts are Taryn Manning and Taraji P. Henson, however, who play Nola and Shug. Manning, who is no stranger to the music genre after supporting turns in 8 MILE and CROSSROADS, gives one of the best supporting female performances this year. She is a fierce and fiery screen presence who the audience really feels for. Henson is also fantastic as Shug, one of the only sympathetic characters in the film. She gives the movie its much-needed heart and is really believable in her role. The audience will find themselves rooting for her as well.

The weak links in the cast are very minor. Paula Jai Parker gives a mediocre performance but her character is so unlikable that it doesn't really matter anyways. She does do a solid job in her final scene though. After a solid turn in the brilliant CRASH, Ludacris seems to be slumming it here. He basically plays a variation of himself and his character is very stereotypical. Elise Neal and Isaac Hayes aren't really given enough screentime to make a real impression.

The direction of the film is excellent. Craig Brewer doesn't shy away from anything and makes the film as realistic as possible. This is no fairy tale. He isn't afraid to expose the harsh realities and the gritty atmosphere that people in this profession encounter daily. Cinematographer Amy Vincent could also be credited for this, doing a brilliant job with all aspects of the camerawork. Brewer, who also wrote the film, gives it a fast pace and creates a real atmosphere that the audience becomes absorbed in.

Another reason the film is so successful is because it is quite inspiring. Despite its tough exterior, it is truly a story about following your dreams and doing whatever it takes to make them come true. You get so involved in the characters and their struggles that by the end you will practically be singing along with them. Some may view the ending as downbeat, but others may cheer because the dream is finally realized.

Overall, HUSTLE & FLOW is a fantastic film that deserved all the advance acclaim it recieved. It will surprise many with its excellent acting, well-told storyline and genuinely inspiring message. Highly recommended. One of the best films of the year.

9/10 (A-)


Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:02 am
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The movie was pretty good, no 8Mile imo though Howard is a great actor, he's gonna be big, everything i've seen him in so far he's just quality all around. One thing I liked about the movie is everytime you think it's going good for DJay he just gets shot down for some reason, the plot sorta repeats quite alot though which I wasnt fond for and I really could care less if some pimp made it as a rapper, it's not someone you would really cheer for but there was some great performances, it was much funnier then I thought it would be, and it was pretty well rounded.

Grade - B

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Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:29 am
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A cinematic masterpiece bursting with brutal honesty, an excellent soundtrack, and engaging performances that make you feel as if you're right there. Terrence Howard deserves an Oscar nomination for his outstanding work; by far the best male performance of the year. Taryn Manning, Paula Jai Parker, and Taraji P. Henson are equally great as his girls, and Anthony Anderson and DJ Qualls shine. One of the best movies of 2005, if not the best.

A+

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Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:02 pm
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Found this one to be very inspirational and very true - Hustle and Flow is a very accurate description of the life of a creative individual. This is a very well told tale on which I both groked and grooved...

4 out of 5.

(Note: I woulda given it 5 out of 5, but MovieDude's been on my case lately about givin' too many perfect scores...)


Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:55 am
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I forgot to mention the two great supporting actors - Anthony Anderson and DJ Qualls - they are always good and in Hustle & Flow they are both funny (as always) and also showing off some serious acting chops...


Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:51 am
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It's not the next 8 Mile (pfft, it's not even close!), but it was damn good.

Fantastic performance from Terrence Howard, with a great soundtrack to back the film up. I enjoyed it a lot.

B


Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:36 am
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It's much better than 8 Mile, but the thing that holds it back a bit is the very cliche last 20 minutes of the film. The moment D Jay pulls the gun this went down in my estimation.

Still pretty girl. I liked the girl who was pregnant. More later.

I really like when she gives him the necklace and she's all like "You made me someone" and then he runs in and kisses her. It's mushy but it worked.


Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:39 am
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andaroo wrote:

I really like when she gives him the necklace and she's all like "You made me someone" and then he runs in and kisses her. It's mushy but it worked.


I agree. That had me smiling.

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Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:16 am
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Howard's performance rises this above mediocrity. Actually, I thought all of the performances were very well done. My problem with the film though is that it becomes tedious during the final 30 minutes. You just know the downfall is coming, how long does it take to get there though? I also thought the scene in front of the house towards the end of the film was a little overdramatic. The performances give the film life, and that's why it's worth a look.

It's about on par with 8-Mile.

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Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:57 pm
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I have to get this in before 8PM tomorrow when the SAG awards are on.


Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:56 am
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The film is at its best during the scenes where you see the music coming to life. I must say, I'm not a fan of rap, but I think It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp is a great song. And seeing DJay & co. bring it to life sold me on it.

I do agree with the last act, though, which I found kind of lazy, and it's unfortunate because the scene right before DJay goes into the bathroom and he's talking with Ludacris's character is also one of the film's best. And on that, I thought Ludacris's sell-out rapper, 50-Cent-esque cliche of a character was just too predictable. And I didn't buy what becomes of DJay. Too overt of an attempt at an ambiguity.

Good film, though, and I do think its SAG ensemble nomination is well-deserved. Taryn Manning's good, and so is the pregnant girl. B+


Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:25 am
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A-

The biggest surprise of the year for me. An amazingly solid and strong film. The storyline, the interaction and chemistry between some of the characters, the direction/pacing, and of course the music, and the acting which was some of the best of the year. Terrance Howard gives the best male performance that I've seen in a long long time. I knew he was going to be good, but this still knocked me off my feet. IMO, it's the best male performance of the 00s thus far. It's brilliant beyond brilliant. Also good supporting turns by Taryn Manning(who looks 100% identical to a young Alicia Silverstone), as well as the pregnant girl, and angry stripper. Anderson was also very solid, for what he's done in the past. DJ Qualls was nothing to rave about, but he was a nice addition to the cast. Ludacris, yeah, he sucked. But what can you do, nothing's perfect.

Anyways, Terrance elevates this to a level that ranks it among the best films of the year.


Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:01 am
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B


I must say that the plot of the movie, the storyline, never really grabbed me or interested me much. The movie lived through its performance completely. Terrence Howard certainly delivered one of his year's best male performance and deserved his Oscar nomination. I see big things for the actor in the future. So far he has impressed me in every single movie I have seen him in.

Taraji P. Henson is another stand-out in the film and unfortunately her performance was apparently overlooked throughout the entire award season. She was not much worse than Howard. The scene between her and him, when she gives him the chain as a present and then he runs back and kisses her is one of the sweetest and touching scenes I have seen all year.

The movie itself is really pretty clichéd and does not distinguish itself much from other films of this genre. The performances elevate it above average, big time. Also, the screenplay is pretty well-written. The movie has so many just memorable scenes, thanks to the great acting and the fine interplay between the actors in the flick. The ending with Taryn Manning selling his record and getting it played had me smiling.

Overall a pretty good flick, with Oscar-worthy performances.

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Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:43 am
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What an incredible performance by Terrence Howard. Last year just had so many great male lead performances, and Howard's ranks right up there among the best of the best. And great ensemble as well. The script has hits and misses, as at some places I wanted to fast forward while other spots grabbed me pretty good. B+.

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Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:45 pm
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B+, great ensemble cast, with the exception of the "villain" characters.


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