Christian Science Monitor

By Peter Rainer
The rap music we hear, which is produced outside Cuba's state-run music industry, is politically audacious and charged with personal expression and uplift. The film was produced by Charlize Theron's socially conscious company, Denver and Delilah films.
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New York Post

By Kyle Smith
The film, made by two Cuban-American exiles (and produced by their friend, Charlize Theron), makes an ironic point about Cuba: This is a land where the grandparents are revolutionaries (or at least say they are) but the kids are yearning for capitalist globalization.
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Los Angeles Times

East of Havana is a rare glimpse of everyday life in Cuba, where big questions and obstacles confront the rappers at seemingly every turn. Some of their lyrical criticism of the government is downright brave. The artists don't live in utter squalor, but are certainly impoverished by American standards.
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Village Voice

A vital look at Cuba's tenaciously grassroots hip-hop scene.
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The New York Times

So much of American pop thrives on a bratty facsimile of courage that when you see the real deal, it's a revelation. East of Havana is the real deal.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Scott Brown
East of Havana picks at these politico-philosophical threads rather than pulling them, and the sense of a larger movement is fleeting. There's a beat, but we never quite see who's dancing to it.
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By Robert Koehler
The temptations of allowing a promotional video to seep inside a genuine non-fiction study nearly overtake East of Havana and its look at a bubbling hip-hop culture in Cuba.
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70 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.