Get Rich or Die Tryin' (film)

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Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Get rich or die tryin.jpg
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Produced by Jimmy Iovine
Chris Lighty
Paul Rosenberg
Jim Sheridan
Written by Terence Winter
Starring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson
Terrence Howard
Joy Bryant
Bill Duke
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Omar Benson Miller
Viola Davis
Music by Quincy Jones
Gavin Friday
Maurice Seezer
Cinematography Declan Quinn
Edited by Roger Barton
Conrad Buff
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 9, 2005 (2005-11-09)
Running time
117 minutes
Language English
Box office $46.4 million

Get Rich or Die Tryin' is a 2005 American hip-hop biopic crime film starring 50 Cent. It is 50 Cent's first film as an actor. It was released on November 9, 2005, and was known as Locked and Loaded during production. Similar to the 2002 Eminem film 8 Mile, which it used as a template,[1] the film is loosely based on 50 Cent's own life. It was directed by Jim Sheridan.


Marcus (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson) is a quiet young boy who adores his loving mother (Serena Reeder), and the two live a relatively comfortable life as his mother is a local drug dealer. She often has to leave him with his grandparents to be looked after while she takes care of her business. After she is brutally murdered in an apparent drug deal gone wrong, Marcus heads down the wrong road himself.

Forced to live with his grandparents full-time, they themselves also having children to look after, Marcus finds his life less appealing as his grandfather works long hours to support the large family. As he grows older, he rejects the idea of legal work and decides to deal drugs, buying new clothing and even a gun. Eventually he abandons high school to sell drugs for local kingpin Levar (Bill Duke) and his underling, Majestic, (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) full-time. Majestic, however, has plans of his own to become a major drug lord himself.

Years later, after he reunites with his childhood sweetheart (Joy Bryant) one of Marcus's friends is shot at a local club, by A Colombian named Raul (with the gunman originally aiming for Marcus). Later it is revealed that his friend is paralysed. In retaliation Marcus kills Raul. Marcus is thrown in jail. During his time in prison, he befriends a fellow inmate named Bama (Terrence Howard). Marcus decides to leave the drug trade behind in order to pursue and eventually fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a rap-star and entertainer, calling himself Young Caesar, after the Roman general and Emperor, with Bama as his manager and producer.

Marcus and his drug crew end up robbing a local shop, and Majestic doesn't want to let him go, resulting in a tragedy that might have destroyed his life. Marcus is gunned down outside of his family's home by Majestic's associate, Justice (Tory Kittles), who secretly works for Majestic, posing as Marcus' friend just to obtain information and report back to Majestic.

The shooting leads Marcus to rethink his life and put his priorities in order, including that of his young child. Angered that he failed to kill Marcus, Majestic brutally murders Justice with a sword cane. Shortly after, Marcus meets with Levar, who remorsefully reveals that he is his biological father, and regrets not being there for him and his mother.

Marcus begins preparations to go on stage and begin his walk of becoming a top-notch and real entertainer, donning a bulletproof vest for his protection from his enemies. In the moments before the show, he gains the ire of Majestic, who comes to him with a revelation that he was the one who murdered his mother years earlier. A fight ensues and Marcus leaves as the victor. Finally at peace with his inner demons, leaves Majestic in the hands of his cronies. As he walks out towards the crowd he stops as he hears a lone gunshot in the room behind him, implying Majestic is now dead, which is confirmed as the film cuts to Bama shooting up Majestic's corpse.

As Marcus steps onto the stage to perform for the waiting crowd, he removes the bulletproof vest he had on. As the movie finishes with his somewhat popular song "Hustlers Ambition".



The soundtrack was released on November 8, 2005. In December 2005, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album platinum.[2] The album has so far sold over 3 million copies worldwide.


Samuel L. Jackson publicly turned down an offer to co-star in the film, citing that he did not want to lend credence to what he believed was an inexperienced and unproven actor.[3] Film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Jackson's decision: "...Jackson is arguing against the anti-intellectual message that success for young black males is better sought in the worlds of rap and sports than in the classroom".[4] Jackson and 50 Cent later co-starred in the 2006 film Home of the Brave.


Reception to Get Rich or Die Tryin by critics was poor; it holds a 16% rating at Rotten Tomatoes based upon 117 reviews.[5] Radio Times criticized the film, saying that "as a vehicle for hip-hop superstar Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, this [film] runs out of gas a fair few kilometres short", giving it a "could be worse" rating of 2/5 stars.[1] CinePassion stated that "[Jim] Sheridan's surface vividness is applied around a vacuum."[6]

FilmFocus was harsh, saying that the film's "real danger is that it sets a precedent for the director; if the price is right he's on board."[7] The BBC was not entirely impressed with the film, saying that "while it boasts a first-class director and is loosely based on the singer's own life-story, the results leave you feeling a little short-changed."[8]

Jonathan Ross gave a positive review, calling Get Rich or Die Tryin' "gripping" and suggesting that it had "excellent performances".[9] Roger Ebert also praised the film, giving the film a 3 out of 4 rating and saying that it was "a film with a rich and convincing texture, a drama with power and anger".[10]

Get Rich or Die Tryin' grossed $12,020,807 in its opening weekend. Altogether, the film grossed $46,442,528 in total worldwide.[11]

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