East of Havana Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: East of Havana is an unflinching close-up on the lives and friendship of three young rappers compelled to address their generation's future from the confines of a Cuban ghetto. Soandry, Magyori, and Mikki possess theundeniable talent and charisma of pop icons; but within Cuba's fearless andEast of Havana is an unflinching close-up on the lives and friendship of three young rappers compelled to address their generation's future from the confines of a Cuban ghetto. Soandry, Magyori, and Mikki possess theundeniable talent and charisma of pop icons; but within Cuba's fearless and rebellious undergound movement, they are also the defacto leaders, creating music whose cross-pollination of early American rap and Latin influences brings self-expression to its sharpest, riskiest, and most triumphant point. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. 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.
  2. 75
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    70
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    70
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    70
    A vital look at Cuba's tenaciously grassroots hip-hop scene.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    60
    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.