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Sugar Hill

4.2 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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(Jan 14, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

The Mafia steps in when a Harlem drug dealer quits his partner brother to lead a straight life with his girlfriend.

Special Features

  • Production Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Wesley Snipes, Michael Wright, Khandi Alexander, DeVaughn Nixon, Marquise Wilson
  • Directors: Leon Ichaso
  • Writers: Barry Michael Cooper
  • Producers: Armyan Bernstein, Greg Brown, Marc Abraham, Rudy Langlais, Steven R. McGlothen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007AJG1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,491 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sugar Hill" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
From Covenant Avenue to St. Nick-Harlem, once
the mecca that African-Americans lived, breathed and
thrived in, has become a pocket of infestation, a neigh-
borhood in hell, a timeshare in Vietnam. There's a war,
children, a war of values, of ethics, of lives, of genera-
tions and, ultimately, the spoils are simply blood, mate-
rial goods and empty futures. Wesley Snipes stars in the
new film Sugar Hill, which follows Roemello, a mid-
level drug kingpin, through the course of what seems to
be a week. Roemello is tired, but why he is exhausted is
never made clear. The film, directed by Leon Ichaso,
takes an unflinching look at both yesterday's addicts
(Roemello's parents) and today's (Roemello's brother
and partner Ray N athan) .The central theme is whether
or not Roemello will choose the true love of his girl-
friend Melissa, played with a defiant presence of char-
acter by Theresa Randle, or his surrogate father Gus,
mafia lord, supplier and the man who attempted to kill
Roemello's now-decrepit father. A battle over territory
ensues between Roemello and a competitor brought in
by Gus.
Roemello's father, played by Clarence Williams III
(who will be overlooked for an Oscar due the film's
release date), dealt drugs, supplied his wife's habit
(which leads to her death) , and lives in a walking death
of memories, regrets and heroin when the film opens.
Ray Nathan, played by Michael Wright, is the clingy,
needy older brother who relies on his Georgetown-
educated brother to balance his street insanity with
calculation and diplomacy. We then begin to see that all
Roemello is, all he has trusted, has abandoned him.
Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
After reading how the critics panned this movie I wonder if they watched it. The movie has a very dark yet thoughtful feel to it. If we understand that critics rarely have talent as actors or screenwriters we can see how this nice movie could be so underrated by them. Wesley Snipes plays his role with a warm compassion for those around him. Michael Wright does overact quite a bit but he probably had a few years to go to become a good actor. Clarence Williams III was superb as the father. Theresa Randle is very good as the girlfriend. I almost fell in love with her myself. She seemed like the perfect woman. The rest of the movie is straight gangster done by a black cast except for Abe Vigoda who played his part excellently.
The opening scene and the scene about the mother and father is very good and sets up the whole movie. Especially the scene with the father and the thugs on the roof, which is fantastic. We understand so much about Roem's motives from that scene that we appreciate his later life and his rage toward the things which affect him later.
I usually don't like movies which are from the nineties but this one stands out. It is worth watching.
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Format: DVD
After watching "New Jack City", "Sugar Hill" is definitely a similar, but milder, pared down version of the former, still with the stark realities of street life and the drug trade being the common denominator. While in New Jack, Wesley Snipes character "Nino" is a cold,bloodthirsty,womanizing, and heartless druglord. Snipes' role as Carmello in SH is much more conservative in terms of his mannerisims, attire, and he is compassionate, humane, and sympathetic, but still not forgetting that he is first and foremost a drug kingpin who needs to take care of business. Ironically, Carmello must care for his ailing father, whose life is in shambles as a result of abusing the same product that made his own son rich, and eventually succumbs. I would even go on a limb to say Nino from NJC could be regarded as being re-incarnated in another life in this film as another character(Carmello). Carmello eventually tires of his life as a dealer, and realizes that there is more to life than the jet set lifestyle, wealth and material things.

Eventually,Carmello is given another chance at redemption, but must live the rest of his life with a crippling injury that was inflicted by his own brother, who eventually dies as well. Carmello starts over far from the concrete jungles of NYC with a new wife and child. The remarkable Clarence Williams, Ernie Hudson, Vondie Curtis-Hall, the lovely Theresa Randle, Abe Vigoda and other actors add to the depth of this film. Even after 10 years, this movie still hits home.
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Format: DVD
I have always loved this film and will always love this film till my dying days. It reminds me of a time when Black cinema broke the mold with the stories that were told and how those stories were told. Sugar Hill is a well written and well acted tale film noir drama that never got the respect it truly deserves.

Roemello(Wesley Snipes) wants to break free from a world of crime but is constantly dragged back in. He cant live a normal life or have a girlfriend in it because something bad is always happening around him. His brother Raynathan(Michael Wright) is very high-strung and causes some of Roemello's problems plus he has to deal with his drug-addicted father A.R.(Clarence Williams III).

Wesley Snipes best performance is Roemello Skuggs. This movie proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Wesley can act as well as play a serious role. Michael Wright is good as Raynathan even though he can get buckwild at times. Clarence Williams III is excellent as their drug-afflicted father A.R. He was always a great actor that never got enough credit for great roles such as this one, Hoodlum and Deep Cover. Theresa Randle is is pretty good as Roemello's girlfriend Melissa. She is innocent in the sense that she is not numb to death and violence and actually feels pain upon seeing something like for instance a dead body. Melissa is gorgeous as well as likable. There are also some strong performances by Abe Vigoda and Ernie Hudson.

I love the setting of the movie as well as the cinematography. Director Leon Ichaso has an eye for things and you can see that as you watch this movie. Its a shame that the movie didnt do well and the director never did another movie again. I would have liked to see another movie from him.

In short Sugar Hill is an underrated masterpiece. No self-respecting fan of Black Cinema should be without a copy of Sugar Hill.
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