Waist Deep


Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 22
  2. Negative: 10 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. Sometimes excessiveness and implausibility are virtues in disguise. Movies this enjoyable don't come about by accident.
  2. Curtis Hall keeps slipping in surprising social and emotional flavorings rarely found in the genre.
  3. Director Vondie Curtis Hall gives this virtually nonstop crime actioner, set against the mean streets of Los Angeles, pleasing noirish touches along with larger-than-life-size characters.
  4. The performances are pretty good--with the exception of the nauseatingly sweet H. Hunter Hall (the son of the director) as Junior and a one-note scowl from rapper The Game, who plays Meat--and the screenplay, by Hall and Darin Scott, has some genuinely funny moments.
  5. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Waist Deep packs considerable energy and style into its tale of an ex-con forced back into a life of crime to rescue his kidnapped son. Yet the kinetic direction and occasional sly humor can't disguise the tale's banal brutality or pump much excitement into its routinized pileup of shoot-outs and car chases.
  6. 60
    No, it's not a great movie. It is, however, an interesting one.
  7. By most of the ways movies are usually judged, pretty much of a mess. The camerawork is jerky and distracting, the dialogue is cliched and the story makes so little sense that the script seems to have been improvised by the actors as they went along.
  8. Billed as an action thriller, it plays out as an urban-fairy tale version of "Bonnie and Clyde," with an ending suitable for a Harlequin romance.
  9. 50
    Waist Deep is a cynical excuse for the writer and director (and talented actor) Vondie Curtis-Hall to sock some money away for the kids' college tuition. It's as if he watched "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " and thought, "It needs more palm trees."
  10. 50
    Gibson and Good deliver such emotionally honest performances that we wish them a happy ending, no matter how many movie clichés have to be trotted out to get there.
  11. Unapologetically a B movie, its narrative premise whittled down to a mean little nub and placed carefully on the borderline between the wildly implausible and the completely absurd.
  12. As its plot thickens, Waist Deep gets more outlandish. The whole mess empties out into an overextended car chase through Los Angeles.
  13. 38
    A deep waste is more like it.
  14. 38
    With an exciting way out, the audience would have gladly overlooked all the loose ends from earlier in the movie. But the way Hall plays it, he undermines the early style and intelligence of his all-black action movie, taking audiences for the wrong kind of ride in the end.
  15. 30
    For its ever shifting attitudes toward men, women, and murder, Waist Deep is one of the sloppiest movies ever to reach the screen.
  16. 30
    The lengths to which a parent will go to save a child can be gut-wrenching stuff, but Waist Deep rarely hits you in the pit of your stomach. Blame it on the lame screenplay, which unwisely (and badly) gravitates more toward the crime-spree elements of "Bonnie and Clyde" than the fierce parental instincts of, say, "Kramer vs. Kramer" or "Lorenzo's Oil."
  17. 25
    Slow-witted and occasionally unintentionally hilarious.
  18. The cast, especially The Game, does a fairly good job with this meager material, but it's like trying to make chateaubriand out of Spam.
  19. 25
    Like the forgotten blaxploitation schlock it often resembles, the film aspires to nothing but cheap thrills, but while it's plenty cheap, it's far from thrilling.
  20. 25
    To be fair Deep does have one thing going for it. While the movie never seems to end, and when it does… oh man. Think "Aquaman" meets "Training Day." It proves that sometimes a crappy drama is sometimes just a comedy in disguise.
  21. 0
    It's about as much fun for the viewer as being dropped into a virtual-reality version of a highway-safety crash film. Hall writes and directs with the finesse of a rusty hatchet.
  22. Director Vondie Curtis-Hall has managed to top (or should I say "bottom"?) his last theatrical release, Mariah Carey's "Glitter," with a movie that offers not one praiseworthy moment: not a scene, not a performance, not a technical achievement, not even a line of dialogue.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. TheresaB.
    Dec 21, 2006
    I really enjoy this film. Tyrese and Megan Good gave a good performance and the action kept me interested throughout the movie.
  2. PrincessYoung
    Oct 17, 2006
    I think this was the best movie I seen in a long time. I had to go by it on DVD.
  3. LeeR.
    Oct 9, 2006
    Curtis Hall surprised me with this one. In a time when recycled crap like Little Miss Sunshine and Garden State are ruling the world of film, Curtis Hall surprised me with this one. In a time when recycled crap like Little Miss Sunshine and Garden State are ruling the world of film, it's refreshing to walk into something like Waist Deep and be reminded of just how good films used to be. Full Review »