Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. 80
    Excellent acting, great music, amazing artwork and gorgeous Christopher Doyle type cinematography make this film an absolute treat to sit through. It's like a big piece of candy.
  2. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    A richly textured drama with an angry poetic edge that gets inside the obsessive subculture of New York graffiti artists, Bomb the System signals the arrival of a talented filmmaker in NYU film graduate Adam Bhala Lough.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter L'Official
    A needlessly circuitous plot twist leaves a bitter taste, but not before the film's scruffy charm does its work.
  4. Bomb the System, which rides on a subtle hip-hop soundtrack, might be described as soulful pulp; cult recognition awaits it.
  5. Should attract some interest in urban theatrical situations before settling into cult video status.
  6. 60
    In the end it's all seductive surface and no substance, but Lough has a bold eye and a vivid sense of uniquely urban beauty.
  7. 60
    Has an exhilarating edge. It's only when they open their mouths that the movie gets into trouble.
  8. Well acted and ably directed, if not very probing about its subject of underclass youth.
  9. The first feature from Adam Bhala Lough is brashly passionate in its desire to express the power and validity of graffiti art. But it's also preachy and single-minded, populated by a world of sympathetic heroes and hissable villains.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Visually dazzling and dramatically trite -- it's virtuoso piffle.
  11. 50
    Hurting the film is the fact that the central character, Anthony, is so self-absorbed.
  12. The film half-heartedly paints their actions as rebel-chic heroism even when it has all the integrity of tomcats spraying outside their yards, and it ends up just as confused as the characters.
  13. 38
    A mild, slow-moving drama that belatedly tries to argue that graffiti writers are political artists, not an urban blight.
  14. 30
    As Bomb snakes its way toward tragedy, it grates rather than entices. The actors come off more as poseurs than as characters, and the film's political and cultural insights are superficial and old hat.
User Score

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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. [Anonymous]
    Oct 11, 2005
    Beautiful cinematography is the highlight of this film which is a strong first effort by Ivan Bhala Lough. Look for good things to come from him in the future. Full Review »