Bottom Line: Comedian Chris Rock reinvents the zeal in this comedically poignant, believably heartfelt and ruggedly bittersweet romantic comedy – a movie that efficiently examines the pleasures and pains of the entertainment industry. As writer, director and star here, he’s surrounded himself with brilliant talent and effectively tidied up his on-stage persona for big screen audience consumption. Masterfully jumping between past incidents and current predicaments, his ambitious efforts on both sides of the camera are a joy to watch as he navigates the Big Apple’s love/hate relationship with the Hollywood elite. The dialogue is whip smart and the turbulent scenarios anxiously believable. In this way, his rom/dram/com work is somewhat reminiscent of an urbanized Woody Allen (HOODy Allen?). Mixed with the right amounts of cynicism and whimsy, TOP FIVE is easily one of the most intelligent, insightful and entertaining movies of the year. Chris Rock…truly does do whatever another word for ‘kicks butt’ is.
Starring: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, Cedric the Entertainer, Sherri Shepherd and Kevin Hart
Directed by: Chris Rock
Running time: 101 minutes
Studio description: Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, TOP FIVE tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront the comedy career-and the past-that he's left behind. (C) Paramount
Official site: www.topfivemovie.com