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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable & Refreshing Change--Not The Typical Urban Drama!!
For those who expected this movie to be T.I.'s

version of "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'" or "8 Mile"...

You will be sadly disappointed!

It never promised to be that.

For those of you who went to the movie theatre

with an open mind, just wanting to be entertained

and to see what ATL was about, then you...
Published on July 12, 2006 by HE WHO FUNKS BEHIND THE ROWS!!

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars [3.5]--A very deceiving preview/trailer has robbed this film from a lot viewers.
`ATL' is a coming of age story set in Atlanta, Georgia and follows five friends as they compete in the local skating rink and go through their trials and tribulations. Many people are dogging this movie and labeling it "another rap movie" but it's really good. It's a heartfelt and genuine film and separates itself from the rest with the humor and message. It doesn't...
Published on August 15, 2006 by Jenny J.J.I.


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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable & Refreshing Change--Not The Typical Urban Drama!!, July 12, 2006
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This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
For those who expected this movie to be T.I.'s

version of "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'" or "8 Mile"...

You will be sadly disappointed!

It never promised to be that.

For those of you who went to the movie theatre

with an open mind, just wanting to be entertained

and to see what ATL was about, then you probably

"got it" and understood that this was not

meant to be "Menace II Society" Part 26!!

It is a refreshing change of pace from all

that ignorance and displays the human side of

the ghetto and the people who live there!

Everybody from the hood is not bustin their

guns in the air, gettin' high, robbin' and

actin' a damn fool!--Puh-leeze!

I think T.I. did well on his first time out

as an actor!...My god, the boy isn't Denzel

or Morgan Freeman!

And this movie wasn't "Glory" by any means!

Some folks need to get a grip on reality!

This movie has a good storyline, all of the cast

did a good job at carrying their characters and

making them believable.

Big Boi was very good as the villain,

young Evan Ross, who played T.I.'s little

brother was also good!

I left the theatre feeling like I got

my money's worth of entertainment value

and couldn't wait to add this DVD to my collection

and most "thinking" people will feel the same!---Buy It!!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this film on DVD, July 18, 2006
This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
ATL, the movie which stars rapper T.I. (Tip Harris) arrives in stores on July 18th. First of all, dispel any preconceived notions that you might have about ATL the movie if you haven't seen it. Although some may consider T.I. a "gangster rapper," the movie ATL is a coming of age story that young adults and older adults will be able to relate to.

T.I. stars in the film as Rashad. Rashad is finishing his senior year of high school. He lives with his uncle and his younger brother Antwone, who they call Ant. Their parents died in an automobile accident years prior. On the weekend, all the kids hand out at Cascade, a local roller skating rink where bragging rights mean everything. Rashad soon meets a young woman named New New. She appears to be a regular girl from the neighborhood but everything with New New isn't what it seems. Ant is feeling the pressure of not having the bling bling. Working part time as a janitor with his brother and his uncle just isn't enough money for him. Soon Ant turns to the streets to make easy cash.

Rashad does his best to rescue his brother from a life as a street hustler while trying to balance a new relationship with New New. Rashad's friend Esquire also has a significant storyline in the movie. Esquire doesn't attend the same high school as the rest of the crew, he attends a school in a nice neighborhood and has dreams of attending an Ivy League college--if he can get the letter of reference that he needs.

ATL is a really great movie. The soundtrack is very good also. The film is also packed with cameos from Atlanta hip-hop stars. Evon Ross and T.I. prove that they are excellent up and coming actors in this coming of age drama.

The ATL DVD includes the music video for the T.I. song "What You Know" among other special features.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "ATL" - ain't what I thought it would be, May 19, 2007
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This review is from: ATL (Full Screen Edition) (DVD)
I came across this movie on cable recently and I was surprized - I really enjoyed it. I remember this movie came out last year about the same time as "Akeelah and the Bee" - another excellent film - but based on what I saw on the commercials for it, I said, "Oh please, not ANOTHER hood movie with black kids shooting each other up" and passed on it. I went to see "Akeelah" instead because it was being promoted as a movie with positive black characters, which we need more of. I enjoyed it but now after seeing "ATL", I realized seeing either one of those movies would have been a wise choice. "ATL" was definitely marketed the wrong way and fooled a lot of people, like it did me.

Produced by Will Smith's production company, Overbrook Entertainment and based a story written by Antwone Fisher (who was himself the subject of a movie directed by Denzel Washington a few years back), "ATL" is far from being your typical black film about coming of age in the hood. It does show some instances of drug dealing and violence, but very few, and that is not the central focus of the story anyway. This is an urban tale with a message that is powerful - striving and working hard to achieve the better things in life in an honest fashion, and having some fun along the way. That includes Sunday nights at the Cascade - a popular roller rink on the southside of Atlanta, where all of the kids love to hang out and have a good time. The focal point of "ATL" is on the lives and the camaraderie of four friends who ponder their futures as they approach graduation.

Because I am not really into today's rap music, I was not too familiar with T.I., other than from his song that was a big hit last year, "What You Know". But I thought he showed wonderful potential in the starring role of Rashad, a poor, 17 year old high school kid who has a gift for art and lives with his janitor uncle because both of his parents were killed in an auto accident. He is extremely protective of his little brother, Ant (Evan Ross, Diana's son). Ant's only goal is to make big money and sport bling-bling, since he feels this is the only way he can gain some respect and attention. He decides to get on the fast track to obtain what he wants, but he's not quite ready to deal with the consequences.

The supporting cast, which includes veteran actors Keith David, Lonette McKee, Mykelti Williamson (his poetic reading later in the film blew me away) and Jason Weaver as a high school super senior, was perfectly chosen. Lauren London, who plays New New, does a great job as a sassy, ghetto-fabulous diva with a secret. She and Rashad begin dating and their relationship is a mutual one until a chance event causes the truth to unfold. Also to take note of is the intelligent, proud and driven Esquire (Jackie Long) who has dreams of going to an Ivy League college but fears because of his parents' income and his background, his opportunities will be extremely limited. Big Boi from the hip-hop duo OutKast and singer Monica also appear in the film, although Big Boi's role is way more pivotal to the storyline, while Monica simply makes a cameo appearance.

Think of this as sort of an updated, African-American version of "American Graffiti" - but one I can definitely relate to much more, with various intertwined stories of everyday life in the Georgia hood. Overall, this film speaks of dreams and aspirations - realized, potential, and yes, unachieved. "ATL" is inspirational in its own way - a humorous, touching and refreshing alternative to the typical films out there about growing up poor and black with the odds stacked against you. No, yall, you don't have to die trying to get rich. There is a better way! A must see.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars [3.5]--A very deceiving preview/trailer has robbed this film from a lot viewers., August 15, 2006
By 
This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
`ATL' is a coming of age story set in Atlanta, Georgia and follows five friends as they compete in the local skating rink and go through their trials and tribulations. Many people are dogging this movie and labeling it "another rap movie" but it's really good. It's a heartfelt and genuine film and separates itself from the rest with the humor and message. It doesn't glorify violence or drug dealing, though it is in the film, but denounces it and calls for teens to make right decisions in their lives.

I was impressed with the acting of T.I. as his portrayal of Rashaad. T.I. was convincing and was the perfect choice for the role. His character ranged various emotions between his love interest, family and friends but at times you would catch him with his signature expression (tilting the head to side with the corner of his lips curl up). Big Boi maintains a great performance providing plenty of comic relief and still stays in his antagonistic character. Every scene which focused on Big Boi's character Marcus was full of suspense and showcased his ability to be hated and respect in the same realm. Can't wait to see what he brings `Idlewild.'

Other considerable performances were Albert Daniels as Brooklyn, Evan Ross Naess as Rashaad's confused younger brother "Ant", and fresh face newcomer Lauren London as the lovable New-New show's us that she has heart. Jason Weaver comedic performance steals the scene as the underachiever Teddy. The breakthrough performance could be that of Jackie Long as the great hope of the group Esquire. The movie was very entertaining over all but suffered from a few clichés and minor missteps which was the flow of the movie. Chris Robinson is a great director and Antwone Fisher is a great writer. But I felt that the movie was choppy at times with the story telling. As the film gained momentum it slowed abruptly, other than that, the film transitioned smoothly. The clichés of the movie was the Atlanta cameos. I just felt at times it took away from the movie. If you don't realize the cameos, it will be a great movie, if you do notice them it will feel less like a compelling story and more like a 2 hour shout out to ATL.

Other than that it's a good movie that you can feel and form an attachment to Rashaad's plight in the movie. I truly love the direction that our rappers are taking by getting into Hollywood. People like Ludicrous are getting a lot of attention for their acting and if that continues hopefully we can see more of them on the silver screen. I recommend this to anyone who might been indifferent to seeing this film.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie, July 4, 2006
By 
Millie (St.Louis, MO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: ATL (Full Screen Edition) (DVD)
this movie is so tight....i thought that it was going to be some hood/ghetto movie with no meaning or point but I was surprised, because i got something totally different...we need more movies like this out, this movie has a message behind it and all the actors were great, the movies was mad funny as well. i am so in love with this movie, it happens to be my fav. right now, i am fo sho going to get this on DVD.....a must have for all movie lovers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New New Classic, September 16, 2006
This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I have heard so many negative feelings towards this movie but when I watched it I had none to call my own. I agree with people in saying that this movie was strongly advertised with bad previews. The previews lead you to believe that for one the movie is about drug dealing then you start to think the movie is totally about T.I.'s little brother Anton played by Evan Ross and his money problems with Big Boi. This movie is a classic because it tells a story of the lives of a set of teens in their neighborhood and it's unlike the others that have come out. Instead of boring the audience with the same old same teen flicks ATL gives a realistic story that people can relate to. Anton does run into Big Boi but the movie is not based on that.

The story was done on point; I didn't see any flaws in it especially from the young cast. It was very surprising to see these first timers doing so well even the beautiful Lauren London played her character perfectly. Of coarse there was questions of how T.I. did in his first film and I have to tell you he did the best he could by playing what he felt would be a few regular days in the neighborhood and he wasn't that bad. I like the skating scenes because it gave the movie that extra bit of realism; everybody has a spot everybody goes to on a Saturday night. This was a great second for Antwone Fisher and he's proving that he deserves respect. ATL is a great movie that is a must see for everybody so don't miss out on it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "My Pops used to always say dreamin' is the luxury of children, and that I should enjoy it.", July 31, 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
In a world where trailers often give away too much and always seem to include the best bits in the movie (and sometimes good bits that are not even in the movie), it was so refreshing to see a movie that was both surprisingly different from what the trailer indicated and a whole better than the trailer. The trailer for "ATL," which is not an acronym but short for Atlanta, makes it seem like this is a movie where a bunch of male African-American teenagers were going to prove themselves by winning this big team roller skating competition. So it looks like you have a bit of "Saturday Night Fever," a little of whatever movie with roller skating you like ("Roller Ball" seems a bit forced, but it was that of "Xanadu"), and the teenage coming to age film of your choice. But "ATL" is more ambitious in scope and execution, and in the end I was reminded more of "Boyz in the Hood" than anything else, and I do not think director Chris Robinson's film suffers all that much by the comparison.

The focal character here is Rashad (Tip Harris, a.k.a. T.I.), who is living with his younger brother, Anton (Evan Ross), known as "Ant," with their Uncel George (Mykelti Williamson), because their parents were killed in a car crash. The other members of the Southside Boys, which is not a gang but a quartet of styling roller scaters, are Esquire (Jackie Long), who is trying to get into an Ivy League school, Brooklyn (Albert Daniels), the transplanted New York who is the group's requisite motor mouth, and Teddy (Jason Weaver), a dropout who works dong custom tooth coverings. There are three main plot lines in "ATL," that will criss and cross as we go along: Rahsad's romance with New-New (Lauren London), Ant's involvement with the local pusher, Marcus (Antwan Andre Patton, a.k.a. Big Boi), and Esquire's goal of getting successful African-American CEO John Garnett (Keith David) to write him a letter of recommendation for a scholarship that will make his college dream come true.

Yes, somebody is going to get shot in this movie, and the impulse to ask why somebody is always getting shot in a movie about African-American teenagers and is tempered by the cold hard facts that although Africa-Americans make up only 12.1% of the American popultion, they accounted for 24.3% of firearm injury deaths. Firearm homicide is the leading cause of death for African-Americans in the 15-34 age group, so it is significant that these characters are in the early part of this demographic category and that "ATL" is, in part, about doing things to immprove their odds. Not that it really offers specifics, but at least it is about family and friends that stand by each other, even with such ties are pushed to the limit and lines are crossed.

The screneplay is by Tina Gordon Chism ("Drumline"), based on the story by Atwone Fisher, who hopefully is moving beyond the autobiographical simply because there are usually limitations on how often you can draw from that well. Whatever problems I might have with the way the story works out does not extend to his characters, and indeed Rashad and the others do not respond in the expected ways to stereotypical situations, mostly notably when Ant tries to get into the drug trade. If he is looking for money, power and glamour, he is sorely disappointed, and if Rashad expects Uncle George to come down hard on Ant he is disappointed as well, because the 41-year-old man saddled with two teenage boys would not mind extra money coming into the house. The end game happens a bit too quickly and way too neatly, but on balance the movie works, and a lot of the weaknesses are forgiven by the powerful soundtrack by Aaron Zigman ("John Q," "Akeelah and the Bee"), and which features T.I.'s song "Ride With Me."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK LET ME TELL YOU WHAT IT IS ABOUT, July 9, 2006
By 
This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
The movie ATL is not a movie about T.I.'s life. This movie is about a young man (Rashad), that grows up in a Atlanta neighborhood trying to do the right thing. Growing up in Atlanta I can relate to the movie because on Sunday nights we went to the skating rink like other cities yes we have the hood but damn we do have other positive things to do than get in trouble with the rest of the crowd and that is what he and his friend are trying to avoid. This movie was not supposed to be another gangsta movie like Boyz N The Hood or Juice. And as far as the comment on T.I. being in his 20's, yes he is but other actors/actresses play younger parts than their actual age. I hope this review will help someone out. I think that T.I. did a good job by this being his first role in a movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A PLEASANT SURPRISE!, August 3, 2008
This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
My age, the cast of rappers, and the Netflix synopsis here ordinarily would have made me pass this flick. I couldn't take another "sci-fi" film about a rapper escaping the 'hood on a magic carpet woven from his dope rhymes! But having lived outside Atlanta and being a professional in the record business ever since the city became a certified hip-hop mecca, I keep hoping that someone would see that the city's young people have more depth to them than gold teeth, do-rags and "desperate house-B.A.P.S.". I'm glad to say that writer Antwan Fisher and director Chris Robinson did not dissappoint me. If you are from "The Dirty South", you'd know that "ATL" is a fairly accurate protrayal of what most of the kids growing up in the "S.W.A.T." (SW ATlanta) have to deal with while fighting to survive in the inner city. The story is not a vehicle to showcase TI's rap talents - this is not "8 Mile" - it's a sensitive portrayal of four young black men at the crossroad of their lives. In a country where the African-American male is an endangered species, and living past 21 is a major accomplishment, decisions about their futures are extremely critical. Although the message is well-worn and the ending predictable, Robinson compensates with great camera work which is not the usual music video to feature film fare with poor lighting and choppy editing. Great location, such as the venerable Cascasde Family Skating Rink, provide authentic local color. The outstanding soundtrack successfully moves the film along during bland scenes. Kudos go out to the fine young cast who dish up excellent DEBUT performances. Antwan "Big Boi" Patton's preppy drug dealer role successfully struggles with having to compete with his well-known celebrity as half of the talented musical duo OutKast. But the stand-out performers are Tip "TI" Harris (Rashad), Jackie Long (Esquire), and Evan Ross (Antwan, aka,"Ant"). Atlanta rapper TI is intense and believable as an angst-filled orphaned teen trying to protect Ant, his younger impressionable brother.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like No Other, March 15, 2007
This review is from: ATL (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
The movie is sooo different than what you see in the video "What You Know". I won't lie. When I saw the video, I thought the movie was going to be about that hip hop ride or die gangsta lean but when I saw it, it was completely different and I really enjoyed it. I know alot of people(younger people)are saying that it's wack b/c TI is not portraying himself as a thug, a hustla/pimp beddin down big booty chicks gold grillin' and ice chillin'(which is pretty much what most rappers talk about) But it was a great movie about everyday life as a black kid growing up in the ATL. Rashad had saved up the money that he was making as a janitor for his brother Ant. He didn't take his earnings and go out and throw some D's on his ride-he had the vision of investing into his brother, who in the end got back on the right track and "let go of all his d-boy ambitions". It sent out a good message to our youth in more than just one way as well: "You don't have to be a d-boy to have money" That right there makes this movie a hit. We need more movies like this to inspire our youth that there is more than one way to get rich and you don't have to die while tryin'to do it.
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ATL (Full Screen Edition)
ATL (Full Screen Edition) by Chris Robinson (DVD - 2006)
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