Directed by: Craig Brewer
Premise: A small time pimp (Terrence Howard) has a midlife crisis and begins to record a rap album and redefine his life.
What Works: This is actually a very interesting film because of some well-drawn and original characters. Most interesting is Terrence Howard as DJay. His performance and the screenplay take a character that could easily have been over the top and really makes him human by exploring the frail side of the character. There are some very strong performances in the supporting cast, such as Taryn Manning as Nola, one of DJay’s prostitutes, and Anthony Anderson as Clyde, the self made music producer.
What Doesn’t: In the middle of the story, things come a little too easily to Howard’s character and the ending leaves something to be desired because it wraps up some ends too neatly and leave some others resolved.
Bottom Line: Hustle and Flow is an original film that deserves to be seen. It is not perfect but it is gritty and has a lot more reality to it than many other hip-hop films. Fans of 8-Mile ought to check it out.
Episode: #74 (November 6, 2005)