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starring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Terrence Howard, Joy Bryant, Bill Duke
screenplay by Terence Winter
directed by Jim Sheridan
by Walter Chaw Another in the recent cycle of slick biopics overseen in whole or part by either the subjects themselves or relatives of the same, Jim Sheridan's Get Rich or Die Tryin', the peculiarly flaccid hagiography of two-bit rapper 50 Cent, is an overlong, overly-familiar, wholly sentimental look at a nobody who became a somebody primarily known for getting shot a few times. It's a companion piece of sorts to the also-white-guy-directed Hustle & Flow, a means through which the majority culture tries to reconfigure the minority culture into comfortable terms (minstrel/criminal) that are so entrenched they've been assimilated by the offended. Assimilated to the point, in fact, that it's hard to know if these images, words, and messages are even offensive anymore. Bill Cosby has taken a lot of heat over the past couple of years for his comments about African-American culture losing its mind, but, shocker, he's right. For that matter, arguably no one in popular culture has earned the right to speak out about blacks in the American mainstream more than Cosby.