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The Original Kings of Comedy

Director Spike Lee documents the final night of the popular comedy tour featuring four black funnymen -- Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and Bernie Mac -- who do their part to revive stand-up comedy's glory days.
Netflix Rating: 3.7
NYT Critics' Pick
Black comedians, via Spike Lee. Hilarious concert film. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 86%
Critics' score: 86   Audience score: 80   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Footage shot from over their shoulders reveals a sea of faces out of which individuals quickly emerge, as the comedians -- especially emcee Harvey -- enthrall and provoke audience members. full review

Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader

A consistently hilarious assemblage of highlights from the hit concert tour of the same name. full review

Scott Foundas, Variety

Seeing the film in a crowded theater is a lot more fun than watching it on TV would be, and the crappy, grainy look does create a sort of you-are-there immediacy. full review

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com

You can almost feel the electric charge between the huge, packed auditorium in Charlotte, N.C., where the film was shot, and the four comic originals on stage. full review

Susan Stark, Detroit News

Under Spike Lee's direction it's one of the liveliest concert films in years. full review

Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

What comes out of these comedians' hearts hits the most powerful chord, and the audience wants more of it. full review

Elvis Mitchell, New York Times

While that vulgarity eventually gets wearing, parts of their acts are so funny your cheeks hurt.

Jonathan Foreman, New York Post

Boasts the highest laughs-per-minute ratio of any in this season's hilarity.

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

Ranks right up there with Pryor's Live on Sunset Strip, Eddie Murphy's Raw and Martin Lawrence's You So Crazy. full review

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Harvey is a master of timing and tone. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Live comedy ... is a singularly difficult experience to capture on film, but Lee's done his level best here.

Gemma Files, Film.com

Some of the humor on display in the movie is very funny, but much of it is offensive and demeaning. full review

Houston Chronicle, Houston Chronicle

Time and again, we're transported by the outpouring of liberating humor from four men who know the territory.

Jay Carr, Boston Globe

This often hilarious quartet use the foul-ups, aggravations and muddles of everyday life to produce more laughs than most movies you'll see this year.

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Mac fires his comic salvos with the authoritative ease of a champion boxer.

Gene Seymour, Newsday

These kings ... eventually walk off the stage without the viewer knowing any more about them than when the film began. full review

What makes the film an almost nonstop ride of hilarity is the poetry in each comedian's profanity.

Ernest Hardy, Film.com

Contains an honest handful of sly and hilarious moments. full review

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

All these men ... have their mirthful moments.

Kevin Maynard, Mr. Showbiz
full review by Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2000
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Runtime: 115 min
  • Available From: Jan 02, 2013
  • Queued by: 344 people
Directed By
Spike Lee
Cast
Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac
Genres

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