75

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
The director, Bill Duke ("A Rage in Harlem"), stages all of this with proficient confidence, yet he never truly summons the operatic power of the genre -- the pulp tragedy of ambition built on (and drowned in) blood.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Examiner

By Barbara Shulgasser
It is familiarly old-fashioned, complete with montages of newspaper clippings fluttering past and calendar days slipping by. The sets, costumes, old cars and general atmosphere all beautifully recall moviemaking of a bygone era. And for that, hats off to Duke.
Full Review
75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
While Chris Brancato's script doesn't reveal anything new or surprising (students of history and fans of "The Cotton Club" already know how this film ends), it's a competent piece of storytelling that incorporates elements of human interest with the threat of escalating violence.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Susan Wloszczyna
The Sting-like ending with its crosses and double-crosses could have been better handled, but there are plenty of other payoffs in Hoodlum. [27Aug1995 Pg02.D]
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Duke and his screenwriter, Chris Brancato, don't make Hoodlum into a violent action film, though it has its bloody shoot-outs, but into more of a character study.
Full Review
63

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Liam Lacey
Duke rarely operates at more than a TV movie-of-the-week level of originality, but Hoodlum is still an easy movie to enjoy.
Full Review
50

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
Laurence Fishburne and Tim Roth play the main characters with conviction, but Bill Duke's punchy filmmaking style banishes any hope of storytelling subtlety or psychological nuance.
Full Review
40

Austin Chronicle

By Marc Savlov
At the very least, Hoodlum might have been better off had it been filmed in monochromatic black-and-white instead of the garish color palette (and plenty of gore) that Duke opted for because they, unfortunately, only reinforce the hamminess of the picture.
Full Review
40

TV Guide

Uneven and inaccurate as it may be, it's hard to wash out entirely with a movie that explores as neglected an aspect of classic gangster mythology as this one; at the same time, you can't help but wish it did so more successfully.
Full Review
25

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Hoodlum is an overlong gangster movie, a bloated and often laughable attempt at an epic.
Full Review
50 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.