Baadasssss!

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Mario Van Peebles
Released:
2004
Rating:
R
Critics and audiences alike have gotten behind Mario Van Peebles' candid portrait of his father Melvin's struggle as a young, black director during the society-shifting early '70s. Determined to make a film that matters, Melvin (played by son Mario) deals with two-faced backers, a rag tag crew, threatening creditors and various shades of Hollywood hypocrisy. Obsessed and with everything on the line, including his failing eyesight and family, his only choice is to stick to his guns and do whatever it takes to get his neo-blaxploitation epic Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song to the audience for which it was envisioned. The real-life father and son dynamic brings an intimacy to this inspiring and often hilarious tribute to the father of black cinema. The result is a seamless layering of entertaining drama and poignant documentary that mirrors itself from every angle and never loses itsedge.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What's fascinating is the way Mario, working from his father's autobiography and his own memories, has somehow used his first-hand experience without being cornered by it.

  • 70

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    Mario Van Peebles, of course, inhabits a very different world from that of his father: a world that his father, in some small way, helped to create. It is his awareness of this par...

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    In its spirit and execution, Baadasssss! lives up to its forebear.

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    Drama

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