Watch Hoodlum

"Power is measured in enemies."
  • R
  • 1997
  • 2 hr 10 min
  • 6.3  (12,494)
  • 50

The movie Hoodlum, released in 1997, is set in the 1930s in Harlem, New York, and tells the story of how African American crime boss Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Laurence Fishburne) challenged the Italian mafia and rose to power. The film begins with Bumpy returning to Harlem after serving a 10-year prison sentence. He finds that the Italian mafia, led by Dutch Schultz (Tim Roth), has taken over the area in his absence. Bumpy, who has a strong sense of loyalty toward his community, decides to reclaim his territory and drive the Italians out of Harlem. He enlists the help of his childhood friend, Illinois Gordon (Chi McBride), and his right-hand man, Nat Pettigrew (Andy Garcia), to accomplish his goal.

Bumpy's first move is to forge an alliance with political boss Stephanie St. Clair (Vanessa Williams), who is also struggling against the Italians. This alliance allows Bumpy and Stephanie to unite African Americans and create a strong front against the mafia. Bumpy's ultimate goal is to take over the Harlem numbers game, which is a popular form of illegal gambling in the community. Schultz, who is making huge profits from the numbers game, sees Bumpy's ambitions as a direct threat and orders his men to take him out.

To counter Schultz's aggression, Bumpy recruits the notorious gangster Lucky Luciano (Andy Garcia) to act as an intermediary between him and the Italians. Luciano agrees to broker a peace deal, but his true motives are unclear. As the tension between the two sides builds, Bumpy realizes that he has to make a bold move to survive.

The film is a powerful depiction of the racial tensions of the era and the challenges faced by people of color in a deeply divided society. It shows how Bumpy Johnson was a symbol of hope for the African American community, and how his determination to protect his people and his legacy inspired generations to come. Fishburne delivers a compelling portrayal of Bumpy, showcasing both his charisma and his vulnerability. Roth also shines as Schultz, a ruthless and cunning antagonist.

The movie Hoodlum is a gripping crime drama that delves into the world of organized crime and the struggle for power and control. It presents a rich tapestry of characters and emotions, and provides a thought-provoking commentary on race and power in America. The movie is a must-watch for anyone interested in crime dramas or African American history.

Hoodlum is a 1997 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 10 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 50.

Where to Watch Hoodlum
Hoodlum is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, MGM+, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Hoodlum for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 10 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (12,494)
  • Metascore