Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: August 18, 2017
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 20 Ratings
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Mixed:
2
Negative:
1
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9
IttiacesSep 15, 2017
This movie reminded me why I love the cinema. The story is thought-provoking and will really tug at your heartstrings. Beautifully scripted and cast, it's clearly a film that was carefully crafted. I enjoyed every aspect of it. DanielleThis movie reminded me why I love the cinema. The story is thought-provoking and will really tug at your heartstrings. Beautifully scripted and cast, it's clearly a film that was carefully crafted. I enjoyed every aspect of it. Danielle MacDonald in the main role was superb, and I really hope to see more of her in the future. I honestly can't find fault with any of the cast they were excellent. The plot is based around rap music, and the main character's dream to be a famous rapper, and although the subject matter may not appeal to everyone I would still highly recommend it. It's just an incredible piece of storytelling. If you're a lover of quality films, definitely put this one on your list. Expand
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9
LamontRaymondAug 20, 2017
One of the best, most uplifting movies of the year. Danielle Macdonald is an absolute revelation. And it's amazing to see Bridgette Everett in such a powerful dramatic role for a change. (Also, awesome to see Cathy Moriarty back as Nana).One of the best, most uplifting movies of the year. Danielle Macdonald is an absolute revelation. And it's amazing to see Bridgette Everett in such a powerful dramatic role for a change. (Also, awesome to see Cathy Moriarty back as Nana). I've heard that Danielle is not a rapper, but she does a pretty spectacular job doing it in this film. Expand
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7
TVJerrySep 7, 2017
Danielle Macdonald ably plays an aspiring, gifted rapper who's suffers setbacks from her struggling home life (including an unsupportive mother), her job uncertainties and her insecurity about her weight. Her quest for fame followsDanielle Macdonald ably plays an aspiring, gifted rapper who's suffers setbacks from her struggling home life (including an unsupportive mother), her job uncertainties and her insecurity about her weight. Her quest for fame follows traditional storylines, but the affecting performances make it involving. The directorial debut by Geremy Jasper is sometimes flashy, but he manages to capture the frustration and energy of his characters' world (the music's not bad either). While some might compare it to "8 Mile," this film is less gritty and more spunky in style and approach. It's enjoyable and even a bit sweet with a sincere, spunky edge. Expand
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8
NightReviewsDec 18, 2017
The irony of the Sundance film festival, year after year, is its incredible ability to showcase the struggle and hustle of so many dreams, being shattered, road-blocked and destroyed by so many memorable protagonists on the silver screen.The irony of the Sundance film festival, year after year, is its incredible ability to showcase the struggle and hustle of so many dreams, being shattered, road-blocked and destroyed by so many memorable protagonists on the silver screen. Yet, when debut feature films and short films of uber-talented directors do make their way to Sundance, more often then not, the stories told are incredibly original and superb narratives of overcoming obstacles and persevering, despite what the stars have written for you; and what cards are dealt to you. Patti Cake$ is no different than many of the original films that come out of Sundance each and every year; films like Precious, Little Miss Sunshine and of course Whiplash showcase these incredible individuals and their inability to ever let up or give up.

Inevitably, Patti Cake$ will surely get direct comparisons to films like 8 Mile, Hustle & Flow and other coming-of-age rap stories manoeuvring the rags-to-riches story-arc, yet, despite each and one of these protagonist’s dabble with the idea of the American Dream, one of the strongest characteristics of Patti Cake$ is its use of modesty and sincerity within each and every frame of Patti Dombrowski’s (Danielle Macdonald) very unfair personal journey.

We get a very small yet appalling taste of the young twenty-three year old’s world, which includes having to care for an ailing grandmother (Cathy Moriarty), having to nurture a drunken, delusional, music seeking, partner desperate mother Barb (Bridget Everett), avoiding creditors, working long and hard hours to pay many of the bills of the household and all the while, still dream and work towards a career in rapping and MC-ing in an impoverish and dilapidated city of New Jersey. Luckily for Patti, despite being called Dumbo since childhood, she has the love and support from her one and only best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), who believes widely in Patti’s penmanship, rhymes and raps.

As the two navigate the very slim possibility of making it in the music business in a very unwelcoming art-community of the projects of New Jersey, Patti constantly fantasizes about the possibility of being signed and working with her dream rapper and musical idol O-Z (Sahr Ngaujah), a spectacle MC whose most played material has mostly to do with booty-clapping, making money and banging ****

Aside from being overweight and not having the money, means or time to really tend to herself, Patti is constantly pushed by her bestie Jheri, who is always elevating Patti’s confidence by telling her that “her pen game is ridiculous” or that “all we need is a producer with the fire beats” in order for them to make it to the big leagues. Despite Patti’s long hours at a local diner and catering business on the side, and Jheri’s long hours at the local pharmacy, the two never stop writing and aspiring for their dreams, producing notebooks full of songs and rhymes.

Literally pushed and urged by Jheri, Patti, who assumes the pseudo names of Patti Cake$, and her most famous moniker Killa P, Patti is pitted in a rap battle against her high school crush and neighbourhood rap God Danny (McCaul Lombardi), a mean spirited white-boy, who uses his most hurtful material of dissing and rapping to put Patti’s moral down, using hurtful rhymes making fun of her social-economic status and of course, her physical appearance. Patti, who at first, seems worn down and ready to give up, is given a breath of life by Jheri, who gives her the strength to fight Danny back with her dope rhymes and lines, which in turn, gives her the confidence to pursue rapping a little bit longer, and allowing her to meet one of the only musically inclined people in her whole town, Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), a reclusive outsider who wanders from town-to-town via train, despite having the most sophisticated musical equipment Patti and Jheri have ever seen.

Together, along with her dream-pushing nana, the quartet start the band, PBNJ, a name using each one of the four’s initial, and producing a small EP that allows Patti and company to share with other notable musical talent in the city, including a once-famed DJ and now radio host DJ French Tips (MC Lyte).

The funny thing is, while Patti Cake$ could easily be mistaken for being a generic coming of age rap-underdog story, the best talent the city of New Jersey has even seen, faces immeasurable odds and obstacles that constantly reaffirm the fact that, pursuing your dreams within the entertainment industry, is damn hard! No matter how much of a Boss **** Killa P tries to prove to the world that she is, Patti is forever just seen as the leader of a band of misfits who’s most reused line is how cold the real world really is.
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7
marcmyworksNov 18, 2017
Patti Cake$ is a decent film with a lot of strong ideas. The strength is that it feels real and that you really want this young woman to succeed; at times though it is a bit silly and ridiculous, but it also makes it enjoyable.
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