Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema

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Released 2010

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Movie Summary

Director:
Unknown
Released:
2010
Rating:
R
Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema, inspired by a true story, is an unflinching look into the crime, corruption and the transgressions of those looking to survive in the most crime-infested district of Johannesburg. Starting off with simple smash and grabs, and petty crime, Lucky Kunene quickly graduates to more aggressive heists such as armed robbery and carjacking. Kunene hatches an elaborate and violent plan to make his fortune - hijacking buildings from landlords of Johannesburg tenements by winning the favor of the tenants and then holding their rent hostage from the landowners. His high-profile real estate acquisitions attract the attention of the local police force who have no qualms about using unprovoked brutality to bring him down. His trouble with the law, coupled with an escalating war between a local drug lord, creates a tense standoff: both sides are closing in, and Kunene must stay one step ahead-or his empire, and his life, will come crashing down.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The results are startlingly original, if occasionally overambitious. This is "Tsotsi" without the feel-good glow, a tale of entrepreneurship's perils and boundless pleasures.

  • 70

    The New York Times Mike Hale

    Between Mr. Ziman's music-video skills and his close approximation of the kinetic style of Michael Mann (a scene from Mr. Mann's "Heat" has a key role in the plot), it's easy to ov...

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Robert Abele

    The whole effort is undermined by an abundance of mob-movie cliches.

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Themes

Classics, Crime