Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 91
    Among the film's highlights are an interview with Grand Wizard Theodore, who is generally uncontested in his claim to have invented the idea of scratching vinyl.
  2. 90
    Simultaneously hilarious and deeply informative thanks to the vibrant personalities at its center.
  3. Highly entertaining and encouraging documentary.
  4. The miracle here is not so much that Pray captures the DJs in peak form, but that he comprehensively captures SO MANY of them.
  5. 89
    So upbeat it might as well arrive on a sunbeam.
  6. Scratch will make even the uninitiated believe in the joy and propulsive power of hip-hop.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    Throughout, the notion that hip-hop is much more than rapping is a persistent theme, and anyone seeking a solid introduction -- or re-introduction -- to that ever vibrant culture shouldn't miss it.
  8. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    80
    See Scratch for the history, see Scratch for the music, see Scratch for a lesson in scratching, but, most of all, see it for the passion.
  9. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    80
    It's a doozy of a story, too, about a group of musicians who use the technology of the present and the mindset of the future to make a delicious hash out of the best parts of the past.
  10. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    80
    Engrossing and infectiously enthusiastic documentary.
  11. It lays the groundwork for such collaborations by suggesting that all forms of music must come full circle before evolving into something new.
  12. Reviewed by: Evelyn McDonnell
    75
    Mesmerizing.
  13. Reviewed by: Dan DeLuca
    75
    Filled with wildly inventive sound, as records are cut up and recombined on the spot.
  14. Reviewed by: Neva Chonin
    75
    It's a documentary that invites viewers inside its story to groove along with a genre that's changing the past, present and future of contemporary music.
  15. Reviewed by: Ken Capobianco
    75
    An illuminating and entertaining study of an underground culture that has become part of the American mainstream.
  16. This engaging documentary is an excursion into the immense "art" form of hip-hop.
  17. Scratch could use some of the wit and jagged energy that defined "Hype!"
  18. A loose-limbed documentary about the hip-hop D.J. scene that, for know-nothings like me, is highly informative without being in the least academic.
  19. Reviewed by: Ed Morales
    70
    Scratch's strongest moments are the live performance sequences, where hip-hop becomes an ultra-rhythmic spiritual experience, with roots in West African trance ritual and South Bronx gang solidarity.
  20. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    Works best as a straightforward appreciation of the music. Though docu's structure wears out full viewer interest after an hour or so, few will come away with staid prejudices (i.e. that turntablism isn't "real" musicianship) intact.
  21. 63
    Pray will force you to look at the music as more than just gobbledygook created by musical-bower birds who can't spell.
  22. 60
    A standard mix of performances, interviews, and gimmickry -- the image and sound sometimes loop or jump in a tiresomely literal attempt to translate the techniques of scratching and "beat juggling" into cinema.

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