Watch Slam

"Words make sense of a world that won't."
  • R
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.0  (2,440)
  • 73

Slam is a 1998 American independent film that dives deep into the life of a young poet, Ray Joshua. The film follows his journey through the criminal justice system, racial profiling and police brutality, and his passion for spoken word poetry. The film begins with Ray Joshua's (Saul Williams) arrest and subsequent imprisonment for possession of drugs. While in jail, he meets a fellow prisoner, Lauren Bell (Sonja Sohn), who teaches him how to write poetry. Eventually, Ray is released on bail and returns to the world of spoken word poetry, where he meets a supportive community.

As Ray becomes more immersed in the world of poetry, he starts participating in slams: competitive poetry performances judged by the audience. He quickly begins to make a name for himself, earning the respect of both his fellow poets and the audience. Along the way, he navigates his relationship with Lauren and her daughter, as well as the challenges he faces as a young black man in America.

The movie explores the themes of racial profiling, police brutality, incarceration, and the power of poetry to heal and transform lives. It is set in Washington D.C., where the tension between the African-American community and the police is palpable. The film highlights the injustices faced by people of color in the criminal justice system—especially young black men—by showing the harsh reality of life in prison and the trauma of police brutality.

The movie is shot in a documentary-style that adds a sense of realism to the story. The dialogue is primarily in rap-poetry, which is a unique way of telling the story. The film's director, Marc Levin, masterfully blends the elements of fiction and non-fiction to create a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching story.

Saul Williams, who plays the lead role of Ray Joshua, was an up-and-coming poet at the time of the movie's release. His talent as a poet translates onto the screen, and his performance is raw and emotional. Sonja Sohn, who plays Lauren, is also a standout performer. She brings a sense of grounding and stability to the film.

Overall, Slam is an intense and captivating film, perfect for those who are interested in exploring the realities of the criminal justice system and the power of words. It is a must-watch for poetry enthusiasts and anyone looking to understand the challenges faced by people of color in the United States. The film's raw emotions and unique storytelling style make it a movie that will stay with viewers long after the credits roll.

Slam is a 1998 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 73.

Where to Watch Slam
Slam is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Slam for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (2,440)
  • Metascore