Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (2011)

A documentary film directed by Michael Rapaport about one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop history. Having released five gold and platinum selling albums within eight years, A Tribe Called Quest has been… More

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Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: July 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: This documentary focuses less on the music and more on the personality clashes and in-group tensions to great, compelling effect.

Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader

This authorized documentary is more of a celebration of the legendary Queens quartet than a serious exploration of their art. But considering how brilliant they were at their peak, it's hard to disagree with the general sentiment.

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Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail

A combination of timing, access, a visual aesthetic that reflects ATCQ's Afrocentric "surface philosophy" (as the crew's look is described) and, most importantly, story-conscious editing elevates the doc above the norm.

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Glenn Dunks

[I]t might have been nice if the documentary had worked a bit harder to find a real internal narrative.

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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

Rapaport gets at the dynamics of a group that struggles even now to get along well enough to get paid - again.

Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic

Thanks to a particularly even-handed job by director Michael Rapaport, the story emerges as compelling, even for non-fans in the audience.

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Chase Whale
Gordon and the Whale

While it's uncertain if A Tribe Called Quest will ever get back together and play again, it's quite certain fans will love and appreciate BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST as their final encore.

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Kevin C. Johnson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Despite accusations of nearly succumbing to spotlighting beefs over beats, the film comes off as an honest representation of a great group that's not to be forgotten.

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Adam Graham
Detroit News

The movie gets the beats and rhymes down pat, but the life part is a little messy. Oh well, two out of three ain't bad.

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Eric Melin

Rappaport covers a huge spectrum of voices and opinions, and the themes he explores get into personal relationships -- something everyone can relate to.

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Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Letitia Lew
If you're a huge fan of Tribe you will wet your pants watching this. If you're just a regular hip-hop fan like me it's aight, fun enough. You… More
Michael Gildea
Music documentaries generally make cringe because they always seem to diminish any regard for the band in question. Beats, Rhymes and Life had the opposite… More
Idrees Khan
A well-rounded, even documentary that provides the viewer with some insight to how people sometimes spawn dissension from what seems like nothing. There's… More
Aaron Neuwirth
I really dug this film a lot. It helps, of course, that I am a huge fan of A Tribe Called Quest, so getting the chance to watch a music documentary about the… More
Sunny Dogra
'Beats, Rhymes and Life' does a great job of not only explaining the origins and history of A Tribe Called Quest, but also the influence that they had… More
Alec Barniskis
What I liked most was that rather than spend most of the film having other artists and critics talk about their work and why it was so influential and important… More