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A tightly knit group of working-class Atlanta teens spend their time bonding over hip-hop and roller skating while pondering life after high school in director Chris Robinson's coming-of-age comedy drama that draws inspirations from the real-life childhoods of Dallas Austin and Tionne Watkins. For a kid growing up on the south side of Atlanta, the Cascade roller-skating rink is the place to be seen, and it's the place where the orphaned high school senior Rashad (Tip Harris) and his little brother Ant (Evan Ross) go every weekend to forget their financial troubles, hang with their… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Too predictable."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"For a run-of-the-mill hip-hop drama, ATL has some engaging hooks that set it apart from the predictable formula of urban youth struggling to steer clear of crime and pull themselves up to a better life."
‑ Ted Fry, Seattle Times
"Amateur camera work and conspicuous plotting reduce the film's regional sensibilities to sleep-inducing pap."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"I liked ATL for its music and for its all-around good intentions and general amiability. But...."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"... a surprisingly strong coming-of-age movie with a great young cast. It pops with color and humor and pays attention to the details that situate it in a real location ..."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"It's something akin to the earlier films of Spike Lee -- She's Gotta Have It and Crooklyn come to mind -- in that the characters are cherished for their human qualities, not for how well they swagger onto the screen."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"The film's special appeal is that while the boys are poor and black, their stories transcend race and socio-economic matters."
‑ Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle
"A tip of the cap to Tip Harris and Lauren London for it is their chemistry and charm which allows one to believe in their tenderhearted romance in an atmosphere where women are regarded as objects and affectionately called 'bitches' and 'hos.'"
‑ Kam Williams,
"A contradictory approach ultimately muddles the film despite some heartfelt and evocative moments about youngsters growing up on the streets of Atlanta."
‑ Todd Jorgenson, Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
"Director Chris Robinson maintains a light touch, giving the colorful, energetic skating scenes the benefit of his music-video roots, but he doesn't neglect character, drawing sincere performances from his young cast."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"Warner Bros.' low-budget stab at capturing an urban niche audience is higher on stylistic dazzle than originality or coherence, making it an unlikely candidate to bust out of the box office ghetto."
‑ Justin Chang, Variety
"Making his feature-film debut, music-video director Chris Robinson expertly choreographs the skating sequences, which are exhilarating fun."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"A well-meaning and good-hearted urban melodrama -- that doesn't really seem to have anything new to say."
‑ Scott Weinberg, DVD Clinic
"The film that proves that all life's problems can be solved with a montage."
‑ Peter Sobczynski,
"A light urban coming-of-age dramedy where the veneer may be darkly intriguing, but the finish is pure homily, of the sort where lessons are learned and dreams do come true."
‑ Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for ATL on Rotten Tomatoes

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