50 Cent sounds articulate in his raps, but as a lead actor, he talks like his mouth is filled with food. Get Rich or Die Tryin', named after one of 50's albums, seems to have begun life primarily as a marketing tool: Like Eminem's 8 Mile and Howard Stern's Private Parts, it's consciously styled to show the more sensitive side of a guy known primarily for macho swagger, and in the process expand his audience to women and older folks who may have been otherwise put off. But it's also designed to give director Jim Sheridan some hipster points with the kids, as 8 Mile did for Curtis Hanson. Loosely based on 50 Cent's real life, it's a reasonably entertaining story, and would be better if it had a reasonably entertaining actor at its heart. Is this a thriller? A social statement? Oscar bait? It's not really any one of those. Get Rich never seems to come out and condemn the violence it depicts, but neither is it willing to revel in it.
Director: Jim Sheridan
Writer: Terence Winter
Producer: Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Chris Lighty, Heather Perry and Paul Rosenberg
Cast: Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Joy Bryant, Viola Davis, Terrence Dashon Howard, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Bill Duke, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Omar Benson Miller, Tory Kittles and Ashley Walters