Top Five | Chicago Reader

Top Five

In Top Five, Chris Rock plays a stand-up comedian who's graduated into movies with a moronic franchise in which he wears a bear costume; after three installments, he's decided to make a sober historical drama about the Haitian slave rebellion of 1791. We're supposed to read this as autobiographical, I guess, yet in Rock's own filmmaking ventures, he's proved himself fully capable of hitting a line drive down the middle, writing movies that are funny but also smart and socially engaged. Head of State (2003), his directing debut, featured plenty of slapstick and broad gags, but its populist satire of presidential politics had real teeth. I Think I Love My Wife (2007), a grown-up comedy of manners about marital infidelity, took as its model no less than Eric Rohmer's Chloe in the Afternoon. And Good Hair (2009), a wide-ranging documentary about the black hair-care industry that Rock produced and starred in, explored modern African-American identity with a level of insight and social nuance that Spike Lee might have envied. Continue reading >>



  • Chris Rock


  • Chris Rock
  • Rosario Dawson
  • Kevin Hart
  • Gabrielle Union
  • Tracy Morgan
  • Cedric the Entertainer
  • J.B. Smoove
  • Sherri Shepherd
  • Anders Holm
  • Romany Malco
  • Leslie Jones
  • Michael Che
  • Jay Pharoah


  • Scott Rudin
  • Eli Bush
  • Tony Hernandez
  • Lila Yacoub

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