Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. If you're going to be literal and heartfelt, you'd better have something to say, and that's where the twenty-five-year-old rapper often falls short.
  2. The overriding impression is that “The Documentary” could be the biggest fanboy album of all time... and that The Game, as much as he thinks he’s a player, is being played by others far more powerful than himself.
  3. The end result is a rich, triumphant sonic tapestry; you can hear every dollar that went into it.
  4. The most remarkable aspect of the Game is how he can be such a blatant product of gangsta rap (okay, let's say fanboy) and leave a mark so fast.
  5. This album is legitimately well made, and despite his limitations as a rapper, The Game has skill enough to support his charisma.
  6. For something so obviously and deeply grounded in marketing, it’s still an outstandingly solid and enjoyable debut.
  7. This no-talent is masscult rock at its most brazen.
  8. While some songs don't click ("We Ain't" featuring Eminem), "The Documentary" still shapes up as one of the best rap albums of the year thus far.
  9. He's a self-conscious, malicious, nihilistic gangsta rapper with a heart and lyrical content.
  10. It doesn't even matter much that he's a B minus rhyme spitter, or that he spends way too much studio time name dropping.
  11. Lots of great rappers draw inspiration from hip-hop classics, but The Game seems to be equally influenced by an almost obsessive-compulsive need to rattle off classic album titles.
  12. A rep-building, played-out retread of gangbang reveries set to so-so def beats by this hiphop minute's latest multiplatinum matinee thug-idol for the girls-gone-wild set.
  13. It's The Game's candour that is his unbridled strength. [29 Jan 2005, p.59]
  14. This CD is easy to enjoy because it's a triumph of production and persona over performance. [23 Jan 2005]
  15. 80
    The Documentary is like a hip-hop Jurassic Park: a big-budget homage to a place most of us thought was ancient history. [Apr 2005, p.118]
  16. 70
    A mostly rich and involving experience. [Apr 2005, p.98]
  17. Production biggies have brought some truly tasty heat rockets to the table, nearly rendering Game's well-studied, adaptable flow an afterthought. [28 Jan 2005, p.82]
  18. 83
    Almost lives up to the hype. [Mar 2005, p.92]
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    This is a classic album. hip-hop needs people like The Game To revive hip-hop and the westcoast. The Game is on a mission to bring back WestThis is a classic album. hip-hop needs people like The Game To revive hip-hop and the westcoast. The Game is on a mission to bring back West Coast back to fame and he's going to do it if he creates classics like The Documentary & L.A.X. Full Review »
  2. Mar 30, 2013
    8
    the beats are very good, the game also does a very good job on this album, easily his best album ever. mostly thanks to 50 cent and dr drethe beats are very good, the game also does a very good job on this album, easily his best album ever. mostly thanks to 50 cent and dr dre working on this album Full Review »
  3. MusicLover
    Oct 21, 2007
    10
    As far as hip-hop, this album was one of the best of 2005 (along with Be). It's got that West Coast feel to it, but the beat's As far as hip-hop, this album was one of the best of 2005 (along with Be). It's got that West Coast feel to it, but the beat's aren't all similar. One thing I love about Game is the amount of detail & wordplay he feeds into the mic. It's a great album. Full Review »