The road to redemption is covered in blood. When a drug deal goes bad, three friends make a fatal judgement that puts one behind bars for a crime he did not commit. When he's finally paroled, he finds himself back in his o... more »ld neighborhood, where grudges are held, battles are fought and drugs provide the only escape. Certain that there has to be a better way, he tries to turn his life around--one truth, one friend, one punch at a time. But old grudges die hard, and his past still has the final say over his future. Academy Award-winner Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted), Mekhi Phifer (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer) and Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction) star in this gritty take on life in the fire of Hell's Kitchen.« less
Pretty Bad: For Jolie Fans Only - And Then That's Pushing It
turtlex | PA USA | 04/21/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm an Angelina Jolie fan - have been for years, however...this movie is pretty bad. And not a good kind of bad, but plain old bad. Bad story, bad writing, bad acting, bad lighting, bad looping, bad editing. Get the idea? What it comes down to is - The story stumbles around all over itself and unfortunately, Angelina isn't that good in it. She pouts a lot and tries real hard to project angst, but that's not worth the cost of a purchase. Your local video store probably has a couple of copies of this in stock - I suggest you rent it before you consider buying it - even for the die hard Jolie fan. If you're a completist - and just need to own/have everything Angelina Jolie has been in - okay, then it's a must have, otherwise - pass on it.Best Regards, turtlex"
Life beats you down, but you gotta get up again.
godlessgrl | Maryland, USA | 06/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After a robbery goes bad, Gloria's(Jolie) brother dies and Johnny(Phifer) is taken to prision for 5 years.When he is released, Gloria seeks the skills of her chaotic boyfriend Boyle(Whitworth) to kill Johnny. Boyle knows the truth about her brother's dealth and doesn't have the nerve to kill Johnny. Johnny tries turning his life around and becomes a very sucessful boxer.This movie does an excellent job of showing how people ending up handling those tragic events that most of us hear about on the news. The death of a friend rehabilitates some, while driving others deeper into obscurity. There are some cool sound effects in certain parts of the movie that help you to feel the craziness experienced by each character. The ending was a bit too "Hollywood everything's great now", fortunately it didn't ruin the movie."
Is life good or is life hell?
Mom Pressfour | 07/23/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"*Hell's Kitchen NYC* is a 1997 film directed by Tony Cinceripini. It stars Rosanna Arquette as Liz, William Forsyth as Lou, Angelina Jolie as Gloria, Mekhi Phifer as Johnny, and Johnny Whitworth as Patty. Ms Jolie's brother James Haven Voight has a brief appearance as a bartender. The soundtrack features recordings by singer Joseph Arthur and rapper Mekhi Phifer.
Hell's Kitchen is a neighborhood of New York City that has a long history of crime and violence. In recent years the area's name was changed to Clinton, apparently as part of a makeover of its notoriety. I'm told that only newcomers call it that; for those born there it's still "Hell's Kitchen" or "The Kitchen."
The movie *Hell's Kitchen NYC* aspires to be counted in the genre of what I'll term "New York City street movies." The genre can be traced back to the late '40's when *The Naked City* (1948) was made. *The Cool World* (1964) is a legendary example. *Fort Apache: The Bronx* (1981) is a more recent one.
NYC street movies are not filmed on studio sound stages but on the streets of New York. While they are scripted and played like other dramatic films, they make a fetish of realism and so have a raw documentary feel. Professional actors share the screen with everyday city people who more or less just play themselves. The camera takes us into low-income neighborhoods where we're confronted with the struggle of common men and women against economic hardship and the temptation/threat of crime. We share the daily joys and woes of these hardy people. We get to know worried parents and aimless youth, hoodlums and cops, drug dealers and addicts, pimps and prostitutes. We discover that they are human just like the rest of us.
*Hell's Kitchen NYC* embraces all the trappings of the genre but is a dramatic flop. My feeling is that writer, producer and director Tony Cinceripini lost hold of his own material. The film tries hard to bring us close to its five messed-up main protagonists: Liz, a drug-addicted nightclub singer; Patty, the young owner of the nightclub who is tormented by private guilt; Gloria, Liz's daughter and Patty's girlfriend who is consumed by rage over the shooting death of her brother; Johnny, a young boxer just released from five years in prison; and Lou, a somewhat brain-damaged ex-champion boxer who gives Johnny a job.
But the closer we get to these people the more dispiriting the experience becomes. Cinceripini wants us to feel their hurt, and that we do...but we never recover from it. The mood of the film is just too depressing. The long interludes of somber, repetitive music have a lot to do with that. As does the plodding story riddled with predictable cliches. And the lifelessly dark, washed-out, or gray tones of the cinematography. And the camera tricks (odd angles and slomo) that just bump us right out of the movie.
Cinceripini tries to show us a happy end: Lou gets past his hangups to take charge of Johnny's boxing career, and Johnny wins the championship; Gloria lets go of her loss, which permits her and Johnny to revive their love that went to hell five years before; Lia and Gloria reconcile and hug each other; Johnny and Patty reconcile and hug each other... But we don't care. We've been deadened. This movie is a total downer.
As an Angelina Jolie fan I endured *Hell's Kitchen NYC* three times just to study her performance. She has a large part in the film, which is nice simply because I always enjoy her presence on the screen. But Ms Jolie smiles only two or three times in the whole movie, and these are very short and wan smiles. Her regular expression is like that of a woman who's been told by her doctor she has a terminal disease. Sometimes she cries. Sometimes she's angry. But never once does she look happy, even when she's telling Johnny that she's pregnant and thus feels alive again. As a performance of misery it's effective. But after watching it thrice over the past several months I doubt if I'll watch it again.
Oh, I should mention that in this movie Ms Jolie speaks with a creditable New York accent. This is worth noting because in her big hit two years later, *The Bone Collector*, she starts off with the same accent (see her first scene, the before-work conversation with her boyfriend). But as *The Bone COllector* develops she reverts to her laid-back Los Angeles way of speaking. I suppose if you're not very familiar with regional American speech patterns you won't notice it. Anyway, in *Hell's Kitchen NYC* she manages to maintain the "Noo Yawk" idiom throughout. Some of her best lines (not for the easily offended)--
(Gloria to Patty, her boyfriend:) "You (...) my muddah?"
(Gloria to Liz:) "Ma, you're a (...)."
(As Gloria tosses cash to the hoodlum who sells her a revolver, but who prefers her to pay him in sex instead of money, she says:) "Go pay for some p*ssy."
Another thing I should mention is that in this movie Ms Jolie is a blonde. And in that hair color, this represents her best appearance! In *Life or Something Like It* her blonde hairdo was a caricature of Marilyn Monroe's. I couldn't take it seriously. In *Girl Interrupted* she was OK as a blonde, but her hair was hippie-ish and not well cared for. In *Hell's Kitchen NYC* her blonde hairstyle looks attractive and completely natural.
At the end of the final credits of *Hell's Kitchen NYC* a message scrolls up from "M.P." (Mekhi Phifer I guess). "Life is Good." If the good life means the one depicted in *Hell's Kitchen NYC*, then in M.P.'s dictionary "good" must mean "hell."
I'd recomment *Hell's Kitchen NYC* to the anti-terrorist police as a psychological instrument for breaking down suspects. Just lock your alleged terrorists in a room with a big video screen on the wall. Play this movie over and over nonstop. After a couple of days your guys will be pounding the door to confess everything they know.
Do Not Buy This Movie..!!!
IntrepidVoyager | Europe | 04/15/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It is one of the worst movies I have seen, I want to quote from a previous reviewer "And not a good kind of bad, but plain old bad. Bad story, bad writing, bad acting, bad lighting, bad looping, bad editing." The only thing the previous reviewer forgot to mention was the "bad sound track and the REALLY bad music". I am a big Angelina Jolie fan, but I would not recommend it to Angela fans at all. There is nothing to redeem this movie. Fortunately this was the 1st bad Angelina Jolie movie I have seen."
Almost impossible-not to see!
Shelly Munoz | Jenks, OK USA | 04/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is dark at times-but it lightens up at the end. It has a somewhat street smart, and disturbing messege to it, and it shows how one mistake can effect everyone's life. The characters are all basically confused on what to do next, after what happend-but it shows how their life was crushed, and they try to rebuild their future-in the dark world they live in. Some suceed-others don't. You obviouly know Angelina Jolie is featured in this film, and in my point of view-shines in her roll as the recovering sister to the whole incedent of tragedy. This film is well directed, and the storyline is enriched with color-even though its all dark."