Talk to Me


Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. A rowdy, richly offbeat biopic.
  2. Talk to Me has a great subject and a great actor working in tandem, reminding audiences that once upon a time media personalities used to fight The Man, not be The Man.
  3. 88
    Someone like Petey Greene made a difference and made a mark, and broadcasting is better because of his transparent honesty. He helped transform African-American stations more, probably, than their mostly white owners desired. And talk talents like Howard Stern, whether they know who he was, owe him something.
  4. As Greene, Don Cheadle - explosive because you've never before seen this model of actorly restraint - is a one-man fireworks show in Talk to Me, Kasi Lemmons' rollicking, resonant portrait of the real-life ex-con who improbably became a civic icon.
  5. No matter what character Don Cheadle has played in his 23-year career, he's always seemed to be holding something back...Until Talk to Me.
  6. 83
    Kasi Lemmons' movie is called Talk to Me, but what it really does is sing to you, in the argot and cadences of soul, jazz, rock and rhythm and blues.
  7. Hughes' push for Greene to succeed confronts the nettlesome issues of racial identity that most films vigorously avoid. The worthiness of Talk to Me will be proved if it gets us talking to each other.
  8. 83
    Once Greene achieves fame, neither he nor the screenplay quite knows what to do; the first half-hour of Talk to Me is the most fun. But a vibrant feel for its era and a genuine affection for its characters make the whole thing a solid evocation of a time and a life worth remembering.
  9. While Cheadle's fearlessly robust performance absolutely galvanizes Talk to Me, it's not the only thing that makes Kasi Lemmons' third feature such a pleasure to take in.
  10. 80
    The result is a movie that offers uplift without phoniness, history without undue didacticism and a fair number of funny, dirty jokes.
  11. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A vital entertainment that struts confidently between comedy and drama.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Eventually you may come to think of Talk to Me as a true movie rarity -- a very honest yet curiously affecting experience.
  13. Cheadle and Ejiofor are riveting together; they have the kind of apparently effortless chemistry that makes every scene they share a delight. With a dynamite soundtrack under their feet, the two of them rock the house.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Especially wonderful is Taraji P. Henson as Petey's longtime girlfriend Vernell , a vision in Foxy Brown period clothes with a pixie smile, lollipop legs, and a filthy mouth. After "Hustle & Flow ," this is at least the second movie Henson has stolen, and will Hollywood please do something about it?
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Talk to Me speaks powerfully to audiences with its potent blend of extraordinary performances and engaging soundtrack.
  16. 75
    Talk to Me is a welcome reminder of a time when radio truly listened to the people instead of just shouted at them.
  17. Talk to Me, with two great actors, tells that story, and it makes you feel not only the joy people experienced in the wash of Greene's raucous, truth-saying humor, but also his wisdom and calm. And many mourned his death at 55 in 1984.
  18. With its R&B soundtrack and footage of civil unrest, Talk to Me might seem to cover familiar ground. But as an intimate portrait of the complex, fruitful and extremely volatile friendship between trailblazing African American men whose daring came to redefine an industry, it's fresh and revelatory.
  19. 70
    An imperfect picture that's alive every minute, a movie that perfectly captures the vibe of a person, a place, a time and a way of being, and even gets, indirectly and without a whiff of sanctimoniousness, to the heart of what being an American ought to mean.
  20. 70
    A poignant reminder of why people used to actually listen to their radios.
  21. 67
    From James Brown to Sam Cooke, the songs set a mood that lingers for some time after.
  22. Despite being abandoned in the late going by his director, Cheadle gives one of the year's most fully realized performances, and Henson is a revelation.
  23. 63
    Don Cheadle has a fine time jiving through Talk to Me - accent, please, on the middle word. It's a black "Good Morning, Vietnam."
  24. The problem is, the last section of the movie doesn't follow the career path of Greene: It traces the blander character of Hughes. Cheadle, who galvanizes the first half of the film, fades from view, and the best part of the conversation in Talk to Me goes with him.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. KenG.
    Sep 5, 2007
    Interesting, well-acted look at a person (Cheadle) most people today don't know about, however, movie does overstay its welcome, as the Interesting, well-acted look at a person (Cheadle) most people today don't know about, however, movie does overstay its welcome, as the idea that the break-up between Cheadle's and Ejiofor's characters, was one of the "tragic" break-ups in the history of show business (you would think it was right up there with the break-ups of the Beatles, and Martin & Lewis) is laid-on much too thick. Also, as a couple of critics here have pointed out, the filmmakers made the ill-advised decision to follow Ejiofor's character in the last section of movie, much more than Cheadle's character, but Cheadle's character is the much more interesting character. Henson as Cheadle's girlfriend, is very appealing. Full Review »
  2. Spongeee
    Aug 6, 2007
    Great film. Cheadle should win Best Male Lead for this role. Dont let the medicore critic reviews fool you...the emotion and genuine nature Great film. Cheadle should win Best Male Lead for this role. Dont let the medicore critic reviews fool you...the emotion and genuine nature of this film is what carries it. Great acting, camera work, editing, music, and art direction overall. A MUST SEE! Full Review »
  3. DP
    Jul 23, 2007
    Strong story, three terrific performances: Cheadle, Ejiofor, and Henson.