Notorious (2009)

"Notorious" centers on the life of murdered rapper Notorious B.I.G, from his beginnings as a Brooklyn crack dealer to East Coast hip-hop sensation.

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 51% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A biopic that lacks the luster of its subject, Notorious is generic rise-and-fall fare that still functions as a primer for those less familiar with the work and life of the hip hop icon.

Tom Huddlestone
Time Out

As mainstream hip hop becomes ever more predictable, so do the biopics about its stars.

Full review…
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies

If Milk set the standard for biopics in 2008, then 2009 is off to a strong start with Notorious.

Joanna Hunkin
New Zealand Herald

Newcomer Jamal Woolard is a natural as the mammoth rapper, easily adopting Biggie's cheeky swagger and rasping speech... [But] the story suffers as it tries to capture every last moment of the rapper's life.

Full review…
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture

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.

Full review…
Ben Lyons
At the Movies

For a hardcore fan of his music and his life, it rings true.

Full review…
Simon Miraudo

This film knows the lyrics, but not the music.

Full review…
David Denby
New Yorker

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.

Full review…
Claudia Puig
USA Today

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.

Full review…
Pete Vonder Haar
Film Threat

Absent the actual music, Notorious would be a lot worse.

Full review…
More reviews for Notorious

Flixster Audience Score: 65% Flixster User Reviews
Lenny Muggsy
Biopics are difficult to make and typically flawed, rushing through stages of the person's life and focusing on pointless incidents at times. Notorious… More
Nani Vang
I really liked it! I remember being 12 or 13 at the time of the deaths of Biggie and Tupac, I just didn't really know what went down, but watching this… More
Morgan Salem
Along the lines of 8 mile. this movie tells a story while it connects you with the main character. Even tho you know whats going to happen to him in the… More
Martin Bishop
It's hard to look at this film objectively. Maybe I'd enjoy it more if I didn't think the music was all complete crap. Maybe I'd enjoy it… More
Curtis Lilly
I don't care too much for rap, but a good biop is always fun. B.I.G. seemed like a pretty big douche, but it made for an interesting story.
Frisby 2007
Sure it has many historical inaccuracies, but even then I enjoyed the movie. A movie about one of my all time favorite hip-hop rappers who I met once at the age… More