Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 75
    May be pitching itself to the wrong audience. The ads promise: "The Rhythm ... the Beat ... the Love ... and You Don't Stop!" But it's not a musical and although it's sometimes a comedy, it's observant about its people.
  2. The vitality of the hip-hop scene serves as both backdrop and metaphor in a romantic comedy as sweet as its title.
  3. Sweet. The pun is unavoidable. It's the only adjective that fully captures the flavor of the romantic comedy Brown Sugar.
  4. Reviewed by: Carla Meyer
    Delightful love story.
  5. 75
    What Brown Sugar lacks in originality, it makes up for in charm.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Breaks no new ground in romantic comedy. But it finds ways to make the tried and true scenes -- a hilarious break-up in a restaurant, a nearly disrupted wedding -- new and funny.
  7. All are watchable, attractive people who haven't worn out their welcomes. But if they continue to go round and round like this, they may. Aren't more African -American actors waiting in the wings to play romantic leads?
  8. Hip-hop is not the beat I dance to, but you don't need to be immersed in the culture to understand the heartbeat it sets in the lives of Brown Sugar's main characters.
  9. 70
    A good cast, terrific soundtrack, and genial spirit all help the film go down smoothly.
  10. Proves as appealing as its title.
  11. This isn't great filmmaking, but, under Rick Famuyiwa's direction, it's more than good enough.
  12. 70
    May not be the most nutritious movie on the table, but it lives up to its sweet promise.
  13. 70
    Smart and consistently funny, with sharp performances.
  14. With all its emphasis on beat, Brown Sugar can't maintain a steady one, yet when it finds it, the film surely soars.
  15. Ambitious, yes. Does it work? Not really. While it's genuinely cool to hear characters talk about early rap records (Sugar Hill Gang, etc.), the constant referencing of hip-hop arcana can alienate even the savviest audiences.
  16. 63
    Hits the parallels between love and hip-hop a little too hard when the message is relatively easy to grasp: Don't sell out: not your art, not your heart. If only music business executives were listening.
  17. Exist as extended videos for the accompanying soul and rap soundtrack.
  18. 60
    Sustains the charm of an early 60's New York romance.
  19. Isn't much more than another conveyer-belt romantic comedy.
  20. As a love-jones soap opera, Brown Sugar feeds right into Dre's nostalgic crankiness.
  21. Represents a kind of progress. Where once only a few ultra-talented, lucky black filmmakers got to make big studio movies, now we have standard-issue Hollywood schlock that happens to be made by, about and for African-Americans.
  22. 50
    Brown Sugar fails to produce an image of hip-hoppery as fascinating and complex as the moment when Halle Berry set her tongue wagging during a ghetto-fabulous grind with Warren Beatty in ''Bulworth.''
  23. 50
    The plot is romantic comedy boilerplate from start to finish and, with the story's outcome a foregone conclusion, the least the director could have done is throw in a bit of cultural enlightenment to keep the audience occupied while he connects the dots.
  24. 50
    The new black movies make those of us sitting in the theater watching feel as if we actually count for something. That good feeling can carry you through this movie's silly and dull patches.
  25. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    As eye and ear candy, pic has its modest pleasures, beginning with the attractive Diggs and Lathan.
  26. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    Given the film's focus on the importance of hip-hop, its soundtrack -- crammed with current artists though it is -- doesn't make the impression it should.
  27. 40
    Despite crisp photography and the director's gift for building a scene, the film doesn't click until the third act, when Mos Def's performance as Dre's protégé appears to energize everyone around him.
  28. Reviewed by: Michael Miller
    Draws a belabored association between romance and hip-hop, and it's hard not to wish the parallel lines would hurry up and converge.

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