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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As mainstream hip hop becomes ever more predictable, so do the biopics about its stars."
‑ Tom Huddlestone, Time Out
"If Milk set the standard for biopics in 2008, then 2009 is off to a strong start with Notorious."
‑ Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies
"This film knows the lyrics, but not the music."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"Notorious is a tribute the rapper's contribution to pop culture."
‑ Clay Cane,
"[An] intermittently entertaining but thoroughly conventional Biggie biopic."
‑ Robert Levin, Critic's Notebook
"Even if we miss the thinking that went into the creation of Wallace's B.I.G.-ger-than-life alter ego, the movie's performances are exultant."
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"For a hardcore fan of his music and his life, it rings true."
‑ Ben Lyons, At the Movies
"Absent the actual music, Notorious would be a lot worse."
‑ Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat
"You've heard of laundering money? Well, this film biography of rapper Notorious B.I.G. has all the earmarks of--not monetary but morality cleansing."
‑ Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals
"What might have been an African-American gangland epic with a killer soundtrack treads safely as a run-of-the-mill biopic."
‑ Jason Di Rosso, MovieTime, ABC Radio National
"The movie leaves us with the sense that, twelve years after Biggie Smalls's death, a lot of people are trying to extract whatever profit or pride they can from the chaotic life of a young man who was, as he well knew, a work in progress."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Notorious is like a piece of well-crafted bling. It looks good, and facets of it shine, but behind the gilded facade there's not much there."
‑ Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Though it never quite devolves into pure hagiography, the film's central tale of crack dealer made good is sometimes a little too hokey for its own good."
‑ Sonny Bunch, Washington Times
"While it's now less a case of race than class in black film, Notorious seems to still be taking tabloid cues more from alien ghetto underclass drama and what's come before, rather than bringing new and improved insight to the table beyond the cool music."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Notorious is a pretty standard biopic, and is probably largely compromised. If you've never seen Nick Broomfield's excellent 2002 doco Biggie And Tupac, you'd be better served hunting that down instead."
‑ Mark Demetrius, FILMINK (Australia)
More reviews for Notorious on Rotten Tomatoes