Street Fight (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Street Fight2005

Street Fight (2005)



Critic Consensus: Street Fight takes an immersive ground-level look at a pivotal political race that proves illuminating, entertaining, and inspiring in equal measure.

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Movie Info

"Street Fight" chronicles the bare-knuckles race for Mayor of Newark, N.J. between Cory Booker, a 32-year-old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School grad, and Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent and undisputed champion of New Jersey politics. Fought in Newark's neighborhoods and housing projects, the battle pits Booker against an old style political machine that uses any means necessary to crush its opponents: city workers who do not support the mayor are demoted; "disloyal" businesses are targeted by code enforcement; a campaigner is detained and accused of terrorism; and disks of voter data are burglarized in the night. "Street Fight" tells a gripping story of the underbelly of democracy where elections are not about spin-doctors, media consultants, or photo ops. In Newark, we discover, elections are won and lost in the streets.

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Critic Reviews for Street Fight

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (11)

It's utterly fascinating, and if you don't follow New Jersey politics, you will be kept in the dark about the outcome of this 2002 race almost to the end.

April 21, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

[Marshall] Curry's picture is must-see fare for any and every observer of the curious world of American politics.

March 3, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4

The documentary is simple and strong and small. Its grit lifts it above its mechanical shortcomings.

March 3, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

If you didn't already realize that politics can be a dirty business, then Marshall Curry's Oscar-nominated documentary will set you straight.

March 2, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

In brief, Marshall Curry, the young director of Street Fight, has hit the documentary jackpot.

February 28, 2006

James is his own worst enemy in the documentary, behaving in public as a near caricature of Boss Tweed. But he won and is now serving out his fifth term.

February 24, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Street Fight

Great Documentary that takes you deep into the crazy world of New Jersey politics. NJ is one of the most corrupt states in the United States and has been for a long time. You probably can't mow your lawn without a permit in some towns. This film takes place in the largest and also its worst city, Newark, during the 2002 mayor race. The film focuses around Cory Booker's campaign. it really shows you all the ups and downs that he had to go through to get where he is today. To get a little politcal, Cory Booker has really turned around Newark and brought life back into a city that looked to never survive again. I love Obama, but later on history might show that Booker was really the chosen one. This would be a great time to make a Star Wars Reference, like Booker is Luke and Obama is.....well lets hope Obama doesn't turn to be that guy.

Keith Munley
Keith Munley

Super Reviewer

A well spun, if moralized and occasionally amateur, tale on the inequities of city-level politiking. The films subject matter is engaging, and is more than enough to carry the film, and this is lucky, because the actual skill behind the documentary is lackluster, however honest and diligent it may be.

Daniel Hetteix
Daniel Hetteix

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Street Fight" is an enlightening documentary about the 2002 Newark, New Jersey mayoral election between four-time incumbent Sharpe James and challenger Cory Booker, a first-term city councilman, originally from the suburbs, who moved to Newark to make a difference, living in the low-income housing project, Brick Towers. By focusing on this municipal election, the documentary shines a light on elections in general and asks some very important questions about democracy. For example, when Booker is not spending a good deal of time simply raising funds, he has to deflect some of the sillier attacks against him, including his being Jewish and Republican.(Both candidates are black and Democrats. Newark is predominantly black.) All of which leaves little time for Booker to address the serious issues of reform that drew him to Newark in the first place.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]The filmmaker is banned repeatedly from Sharpe James' campaign appearances while also being deeply ensonced in Cory Booker's campaign. So, "Street Fight" does come to side with Cory Booker and this does seem strange for a documentary about an election where some objectivity would be expected. Plus, the movie's New York City release date was rather close to the 2006 Newark mayoral election. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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