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Sugar Hill

4.2 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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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: August 30, 2011
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007AJG1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,555 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 Verified Purchase
Though I can rarely take Wesley Snipes seriously (in anything) this film has always stuck out to me as being one of the most effective examples of modern film noir that I have ever seen--also, one of the most dead on commentaries about drug use and the poverty of the inner cities. The mood that runs through it is, by turns, hopeful and funereal. At no point did I honestly think that Roemello Skuggs (Welsey Snipes' character) was going to escape Harlem, or that his older brother Ray (Michael Wright) were going to make it out of their harsh upbringing.

The story is complex and the anger pretty intense, but it's clear from the outset that all involved are doomed in some way. Even Abe Vigoda, of Godfather fame, who plays Gus, an Italian mobster who was close to Roemello from childhood, seems a bit worn and, well, old. This is the moral of the film: drugs make everyone who participate in them prematurely old, wasted, and greedy.

When Roemello was a child, his father (a heroin addict played with masterfully painful believability by Clarence Williams) was a dealer for Gus, and became hooked on his own product. Gus employed Roemello instead, who became his own employer, for a time leaving his old neighborhood. He returns to aid his older brother, a hopeless dope fiend.

The plot, though, is not what is as important here as the *mood*, which is absolutely masterful. The atmosphere is pure noir, and though it is clearly set in the present, it has the magical sheen of a 1940's film. Recommended viewing for all lovers of film, despite the occasional preachiness and hamminess.
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