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Based on 17 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 25
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    Hoodlum is an overlong gangster movie, a bloated and often laughable attempt at an epic. show more

  • 75
    Susan Wloszczyna USA Today

    The Sting-like ending with its crosses and double-crosses could have been better handled, but there are plenty of other payoffs in Hoodlum. [27Aug1995 Pg02.D] show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Duke and his screenwriter, Chris Brancato, don't make Hoodlum into a violent action film, though it has its bloody shoot-outs, but into more of a character study. show more

  • 75
    Barbara Shulgasser San Francisco Examiner

    It is familiarly old-fashioned, complete with montages of newspaper clippings fluttering past and calendar days slipping by. The sets, costumes, old cars and general atmosphere all beautifully recall moviemaking of a bygone era. And for that, hats off to Duke. show more

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    While Chris Brancato's script doesn't reveal anything new or surprising (students of history and fans of "The Cotton Club" already know how this film ends), it's a competent piece of storytelling that incorporates elements of human interest with the threat of escalating violence. show more

  • 63
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Duke rarely operates at more than a TV movie-of-the-week level of originality, but Hoodlum is still an easy movie to enjoy. show more

  • 50
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    Laurence Fishburne and Tim Roth play the main characters with conviction, but Bill Duke's punchy filmmaking style banishes any hope of storytelling subtlety or psychological nuance. show more

  • 40
    TV Guide

    Uneven and inaccurate as it may be, it's hard to wash out entirely with a movie that explores as neglected an aspect of classic gangster mythology as this one; at the same time, you can't help but wish it did so more successfully. show more

  • 40
    Marc Savlov Austin Chronicle

    At the very least, Hoodlum might have been better off had it been filmed in monochromatic black-and-white instead of the garish color palette (and plenty of gore) that Duke opted for because they, unfortunately, only reinforce the hamminess of the picture. show more

  • 75
    Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

    The director, Bill Duke ("A Rage in Harlem"), stages all of this with proficient confidence, yet he never truly summons the operatic power of the genre -- the pulp tragedy of ambition built on (and drowned in) blood. show more

similar movies

  • A Rage in Harlem (1991)

  • Harlem Nights (1989)

  • Honeydripper (2007)

  • Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

  • Rush (2013)

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