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Rated R · 108 minutes · 2008

Drama, Musical
Chicago's Chess Records and its legendary roster of '50s-'60s-era blues and soul music stars prompt a gritty, sexy, more than routinely violent biopic by writer-director Darnell Martin. All the performances are strong and hammy: Adrien Brody as "White Daddy" record producer Leonard Chess; Beyoncé Knowles as torch singer Etta James, Chess' inamorata; Jeffrey Wright as Muddy "Mississippi" Waters, a stud with a Stratocaster; Eamonn Walker as hulking blues shouter Howlin' Wolf; Cedric the Entertainer as composer Willie Dixon; and especially Columbus Short as Little Walter, the mercurial blues harp player with a mean streak. Makes Ray and Walk the Line look like Sunday school (109 min.).
Official Site:
Director: Darnell Martin
Writer: Darnell Martin
Producer: Andrew Lack
Cast: Emmanuelle Chriqui, Adrien Brody, Gabrielle Union, Beyoncé Knowles, Mos Def, Jeffrey Wright, Columbus Short, Norman Reedus, Cedric the Entertainer and Tammy Blanchard


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