“Great Music! Great Comedy! Excellent Idea For Dave To Give Back To The Community! And The Reformation Of The Fugees! What Could Be Better!”
Dave Chappelle's Block Party is perhaps the first concert movie since Stop Making Sense to give you a blissful buzz.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Dave Chappelle's exhilarating new film chronicles a free block party that was held in 2004 on a dead-end street in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Steve Rose - Guardian [UK]
You will wish you'd been invited to Dave Chappelle's Block Party, but watching the documentary about the September 2004 concert event is the next best thing.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
There's an innocent joy and a genial detachment, as if Chappelle's playing host to his own celebrity. He's Johnny Carson-ing his fame, as it were.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
It's a jubilant, civic-minded lollapalooza.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
This picture remains faithful to the underlying affability of both Chappelle and Gondry, orchestrating a feel-good homestyle vibe that, while peppered with moments of sly political commentary, never harshes its own, slightly bittersweet mellow.
Ed Halter - Village Voice
Once in a great while there's a movie that's so funny, infectious and welcoming - a movie that makes you feel so good about America and the people in it - you just want to climb inside the screen and live there.
Jami Bernard - New York Daily News
His racial jokes have an edge, but they are not as deadly as the Chappelle's Show skits.
Lana Berkowitz - Houston Chronicle
This is a concert film with real soul, message and emotion. Its coin is all too rare these days.
Matt Weitz - Dallas Morning News
It feels rangy but is also a work of expert timing.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Dave Chappelle's Block Party is a fairly disorganized film about a fairly disorganized concert, redeemed by the good feeling Chappelle sheds like a sunbeam on every scene.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
...an uplifting, funny and engaging star-studded affair.
Allison Benedikt - Chicago Tribune
No one enjoys the free festivities more than Chappelle, who wanders through the film like a kid on Christmas morning. A very funny kid.
David Hiltbrand - Philadelphia Inquirer
Dave Chappelle's Block Party confirms that he's not just instinctually funny, he has impeccable musical taste.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
...an off-the-wall celebration that mixes humor and music to amusing, if not life-changing, effect.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Block Party is an uproarious good time, part documentary, part concert film, part who knows what?
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
A heady spirit of spontaneity permeates the proceedings, suggesting the entire pic, much like the concert it documents, was conceived, planned and completed in a single burst of creative enthusiasm.
Joe Leydon - Variety
Strictly for fans of the musical acts and those who think everything Chappelle does is genius.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
It's intermittently funny, but it peaks too soon and runs far too long. And for all its length, Block Party doesn't tell us much about Chappelle that we haven't seen before.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
While unlikely to enter the annals of great concert filmmaking, Dave Chappelle's Block Party does capture the moment at hand with a breezy, offhanded and utterly user-friendly charm.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Gangly, disarming and slyly witty, Chappelle is at ease with people of all ages and races, and has a knack for finding humour without forcing it.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
It's a defiant act of optimistic patriotism. This is what Dave Chappelle's America looks like, and now that we get the idea, there's no reason we can't live in it too.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Dave Chappelle and hip-hop greats throw a party to remember.
Sheri Linden - Hollywood Reporter
'This is the best single day of my career,' Chappelle says at the film's end, sitting down for a quiet moment after the music and laughter have stopped. And you absolutely believe him.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Must fun of all, however, is basking in Chappelle's ability to be effortlessly funny.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Gives off an inclusive hum
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
Gondry brings a caught-on-the-fly style to the footage that nonetheless coheres into something that feels planned, or pre-ordained.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Michelle Thomas - Future Movies UK
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Dull and repetitive. Your own reaction to it will depend a lot on how well you like these particular artists performing in concert.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Easily overshadowed by the musical performers, particularly The Fugees, reunited to deliver a most-moving rendition of Killing Me Softly, it is easy to understand why Dave withdrew into his shell, after watching his lame stand-up act here.
Kam Williams - Upstage Magazine
It's no Last Waltz, but this crowd-pleasing concert film offers an entertaining mix of music and comedy.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
A concert film for people who don't like concert films, Dave Chappelle's Block Party does such a good job of putting you in the middle of the action that only the end credits can remind you that you're sitting in a movie theatre.
Joe Utichi - FilmFocus
Yes, there's a little preachiness here, but it doesn't puncture the party mood. Or stop Chappelle telling dirty jokes about prostitutes, for that matter. Thanks to him this isn't just a musical feast, but a rib-busting comedy too.
Matthew Leyland - BBC
As a comedy, it doesn't quite gel. As a musical it doesn't have much more luck, but as a showcase for Chappelle's talents, Block Party works just fine.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Chappelle keeps things lively, joking on camera, punctuating the acts with gags , while Michel Gondry maintains our interest, focusing as much on Chappelle's energy and wit, and goings-on behind the scenes, as the gig itself.
Edward Lawrenson - Time Out
The atmosphere is genuinely infectious - the fact that the event is packed, despite pouring rain, speaks volumes.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It looks like run-of-the-mill party videos shot by a drunk.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Because Chappelle's really digging into who people are... he has the capacity to adeptly grasp such perennial wellsprings of humor as class conflict to a degree unparalleled by modern entertainers...
Rubin Safaya - Cinemalogue.com
One of the best films of the year so far, this party begins with an inspired act of generosity: Dave Chappelle handing out golden tickets to a New York block festival, featuring hip-hop's biggest acts.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Dave Chappelle's Block Party parvient a capturer l'esprit de fete, autant celui de la mise en %u0153uvre que de l'evenement lui-meme, avec une efficacite a toute epreuve.
Jean-Francois Vandeuren - Panorama
Gondry doesn't seriously push the visual envelope; all he's doing is assembling a souvenir, an almost great document of a party most of us missed.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Chappelle frequently fades to the sideline as the musical groups take over, offering a blisteringly memorable snapshot of hip hop's state of the art in 2004.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
[Chappelle's] an edgy comedian, but his purpose with the concert and film is to make a diverse crowd feel comfortable with one another. More than any message, that effort is likely to be remembered.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
No, it's not Shakespeare, it's not Citizen Kane, but when a movie is this funny, addictive, affectionate, energetic, uplifting and aware of the world and its people and their hearts, it is just as much a triumph.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
LIke Wattstax and Festival Express before it, Chappelle and Gondry's movie makes you feel as though you're at a party when, in fact, you're just sitting in a darkened theater.
Collin Souter - eFilmCritic.com
This is effectively an inner-city Woodstock -- only funny.
Tim Cogshell - Boxoffice Magazine
A movie with good humor, good music and a positive message that isn't a complete embarrassment to watch.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
a slamming concert telecast that ... proves how raw hip-hop music can translate to film without missing a beat.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
Chappelle's payback to the people is a great and funny documentary-concert film.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Chappelle will NOT be following Drawn Together
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
This movie looks thrown together, kind of like the block party that serves as its focus. And it has all of the appeal of a spontaneous gathering of friends who, in this case, happen to be some of the biggest names in in music.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
the party of the year thanks to some amazing music and a very funny, very likeable host
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
Block Party is entertaining from start to finish... you'll walk out of this film with a smile on your face and a few tunes stuck in your head.
Jeff Otto - IGN Movies
The theme of racial self-empowerment runs throughout Dave Chappelle's Block Party. I don't think the comedian just wanted to organize a concert. I think he wanted to encourage positivity.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
I want to see another hour of Dave Chappelle's Block Party.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
...the gritty funnyman (Chappelle) invites us all to his specialized big event where the conscientious laughter and lyrics are symbolically joined at the soulful hip.
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
While Dave Chappelle's recent tv appearances have suggested the reasons for his departure from his tv series last year, this film brings back in energetic, funny, insightful full force, surrounded by people he likes and admires.
Cynthia Fuchs - Common Sense Media
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Baltimore Sun
Block Party puts Chappelle (who co-produced the movie) in the host position, and he's very funny...
Ernest Hardy - L.A. Weekly
Two years after going AWOL from his hit Comedy Central show, Dave Chappelle makes a tentative foray back into the limelight with a good old-fashioned concert film that, surprisingly, features very little of Chappelle himself.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A return to rowdy form.
Peter Hartlaub - San Francisco Chronicle
Those who denounce rap as nothing but profanity-laden chants about living like a pimp and treating women like garbage will be surprised by the strong political messages that pepper the concert.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Chappelle's talent and the characters in the movie give it a universal appeal, even to those unfamiliar with hip-hop.
Patrick MacDonald - Seattle Times
Much of the all-ages, all-races appeal of comedian Dave Chappelle comes from his ability to mix both high-brow and low-brow elements into his humor.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Chappelle invents a few routines involving the backing band that had me wiping away hysterical tears.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
This could have been better, but I'm not sure how.
Eric Lurio - Entertainment Insiders
Part concert film, part documentary and part comedy, Block Party plays like a sampler of contemporary rap.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
reminiscent of the rockumentaries from the 1970s and 1980s which showed artists taking themselves much too seriously
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
The music is angry and the jokes are raw but, ultimately, Block Party conveys a positive message to audiences. Instead of competition, we see collaboration between the artists and unity in the diverse crowd.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
A paean to both the comfort of community and the thrill of spontaneity...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
...those of you expecting wall-to-wall sketches and Charlie Murphy are going to be disappointed.
Pete Vonder Haar - Film Threat
The cinematic equivalent of that first beautiful day of spring ... when you can take off your coat and go to the park, bob your head with the radios playing to the open, sweet-scented air and watch the pretty girls walk by.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
A gift to both Chappelle and hip-hop fans.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
Watching the concert on screen is almost as good as being there.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
His [Chappelle] return to the public eye doesn't result in much musical magic or comedic fun.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Block Party itself doesn't kill, exactly, but its charms are enough to disarm.
James Hebert - San Diego Union-Tribune
There are just enough provocative notes hit for "Block Party" to stand out as more than just a frivolous good time (though it can be enjoyed in that way as well).
Dan Fienberg - Zap2it.com
There's an intimate, just-throwing-a-party feel to the whole bash, thanks to Chappelle's pretension-puncturing humor and the sense that, whatever their issues or accomplishments, the artists are there mainly to share some love with their fans.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Dave White - Movies.com
...a friendly and hugely entertaining mix of humour and music.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
Block Party makes for a transcendent experience.
John Anderson - Newsday
[Chappelle is] a uniter, not a divider.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Too many great moments happen to list.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
This is truly an enjoyable movie-going experience for people of all races and ages.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
What keeps it entertaining is Chappelle's rapier wit and God-given talent for impromptu mischief.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
By cutting away from the music just as things start cooking, what could have been a great rockumentary becomes too much of a Chappelle celebration.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
If you like the guy and the sort of music featured at his bash, give it a try. If not, give it a pass and check out Neil Young: Heart of Gold instead.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Block Party is a true gift.
David Frese - Kansas City Star
Dave Chappelle's charming, laid back style of humor, along with some fabulous female singers, made the rat-a-tat rumble of the profanity-laced rap worth enduring.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Even if you're not familiar with hip-hop..., Chappelle's infectious energy makes this Block Party one you don't want to miss.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
A good-timey vibe lasts from beginning to end of Party.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Gondry not only captures the energy of the show but also treats viewers to backstage footage that's as engaging as the final concert.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
It's a joy fest.
M. K. Terrell - Christian Science Monitor
The mix of interviews, performances and shtick may make for a loosey-goosey movie, but its 'wish-you-had-been-there' quotient is off the chart.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
May prove to be the feel-good movie of the year...the only problem is that we can't enjoy the live performances in their entirety.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
see Chappelle at his best
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
A good time should be had by all.
Edward Havens - FilmJerk.com
The film has the pleasantly unexpected result of showcasing [Chappelle] at his most humane and relatable.
Jeffrey Chen - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
In a year that has already suffered from the embarrassing shuckin' and jivin' of Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry, it's exhilarating to see a film that celebrates black culture without turning it into a minstrel show.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
What should be a breezy, hand-waving romp turns out to be a misshapen, lazy flop. One moment it soothes the heart with sweet music, and the next it fries your ears with feedback.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
You don't have to be a fan of hip-hop or even of Dave Chappelle's comedy to get a huge kick out of this expansive, generous, get-up-and-dance film.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
It's impossible not to get caught up in this party's good vibe.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Dave Chappelle's Block Party is easily the most fun I've had in a movie theater in months.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
This is one block party you won't wanna miss.
- E! Online
Dave Chappelle's Block Party is an overwhelmingly delightful and energetic creation, welcoming the audience to come join the fun. It's impossible to resist the invitation.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
[Dave] Chappelle and helmer [Michel] Gondry give a real neighborhood feel to "Block Party" and the result is everyone got together and had a great time.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A state of the hip-hop nation address that should be seen by everyone who dismisses rap music as violent, misogynistic and sociopathic.
Bill White - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Block Party is an easygoing, loose-limbed, big-lunged celebration of, well, celebration.
Steve Murray - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What you'll take away from Block Party is a newfound respect for Chappelle and rap music in general.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Frank Houston - Palm Beach Daily News
...an entertaining afternoon of ramshackle camaraderie.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
a winningly entertaining labor of love that also happens to be A work by everyone involved
Eric Meyerson - Filmcritic.com
While the future of Chappelle's Show remains in doubt, we have his insanely funny concert film, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, to sustain us.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
Unique in the manner in which it salutes African-American culture and unity while at the same time exhibiting an exalted openness that makes it clear everyone's invited to take part in the merriment.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Lets loose with wit and style.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
A house band provides a great blues/funk backbone for a mix of hip-hop, rap and soul. All are having so much fun, I'm not even a big fan of hip-hop but I had a great time too.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
This rare sense of wonder at life's infinite possibilities is what unites Chappelle with the work of Michel Gondry, a filmmaker on unusually good terms with his inner child.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
Chappelle laughingly admits, 'I'm mediocre at both [comedy and music] and yet have managed to talk my way into a fortune.' I agree. This movie proves his point perfectly.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Block Party captures a communal gathering with an honesty that makes what could be a dull lack of dramatics into something spectacular.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
The directorial slackness is ably compensated for by a climactic set from the reunited Fugees.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
The highlight here is watching Dave hand out Golden Tickets to average people he ran into while doing his day-to-day in Dayton.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy