Beautiful LYSISTRATA (Teyonah Parris) is in love with aspiring Rapper DEMTRIUS 'CHI-RAQ' DUPREE (Nick Cannon), but she is disturbed by the bloody war between his Spartan gang and the rival Trojans, led by CYCLOPS (Wesley Snipes). After Trojans set fire to her apartment while she's in bed with Chi-Raq (pronounced Shy-RACK), Lysistrata moves in with her neighbor MISS HELEN (Angela Bassett), a book-loving Peace activist who lost her daughter years before to a stray bullet. When Patti, an 11-year-old neighborhood girl, is accidentally killed in a drive-by shooting, her grieving mother IRENE (Jennifer Hudson) pleads with anyone who witnessed the crime to come forward. But even after a reward is offered by a local Church congregation led by fiery anti-gun-violence activist FR. MIKE CORRIDAN (John Cusack), no one is willing to identify the killer. Shaken by Patti's death and desperate to do something to stop the escalating bloodshed, Lysistrata persuades Spartan and Trojan women to swear off sex with their men until the fighting stops. To draw more attention to their cause, she leads the women in a bold occupation of a local armory, inspiring women across the city--and eventually the world--to join the boycott. As the ultimate battle of the sexes rages on, the city's fate hangs in the balance in this searing satire of gun violence in America.

  • 2 hr 7 minRHDSD
  • Dec 4, 2015
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Jennifer HudsonActor

    Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress and best-selling author. Bright and booming talent Hudson is a perfect example of how NOT winning the title of American Idol (2002) can actually be a boon to your career and not necessarily the end of a childhood dream. Hudson was born Jennifer Kate Hudson on September 12, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois, to Darnell Donerson and Samuel Simpson. She earned minor attention as one of the twelve finalists on the third season of the FOX TV series in 2004. She came in an underwhelming sixth runner-up. Hudson grew up singing in gospel choirs, acting in community theater productions, singing on cruise ships and touring for in Disney's Hercules: The Musical. With no formal musical training, her gospel-tinged voice initially pleased the panel of judges. The songs were arguably ill-advised but evidence of her greatness peeked through at times. She, Fantasia Barrino and La Toya London were promoted as the show's own version of the Dreamgirls and were expected to be the final three standing in the competition when Jennifer was unexpectedly cut from the pack. Fantasia won the competition and all the glory and the fame. Hudson appeared with the "American Idol" summer tour and performed on the road in concerts over the next two years. She auditioned for the coveted role of Effie Melody White, the cast-off member of a popular 60s Supremes-like girl group in the long-awaited film version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Among Jennifer's competition was Fantasia herself. This time Jennifer was the winner, and was ordered to gain weight for the role. With the insurmountable task of taking over a role so indelibly identified with Tony-winning legend Jennifer Holliday, the making of Dreamgirls (2006). In a role of a lifetime, Hudson no longer had to play second fiddle to anyone. Her role in Dreamgirls (2006) was one of the most triumphant musical film debuts since Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl (1968). Hudson made the role her own delivering the same heart-breaking, gut-wrenching one-two punch that made Holliday the toast of Broadway in 1981. To outshine Beyoncé and Eddie Murphy is no easy task but Hudson was the heart and soul of the movie. She copped awards from the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics, Phoenix Film Critics Society, Golden Satellite, Golden Globe, the British Film and the coveted Oscar. The late, tragic Florence Ballard, on whom the Effie character is based, would be very inspired indeed to see Jennifer's meteoric rise to musical star. Hudson has since made an impact in the world of music with the successful release of both of her Sony/Arista Records albums. Her sophomore album, "I Remember Me," was introduced on March 22, 2011 to rave reviews. The album debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 and R&B Albums charts and has since been certified RIAA Gold in the U.S. She went on to receive a 2012 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top R&B Album as well as taking home two 2012 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Music Video and Outstanding Album. Additional collaborations include "Think Like A Man" with Ne-Yo and Rick Ross for the title track of the film and critically acclaimed single "Night Of Your Life" with David Guetta for his most recent hit-album "Nothing But The Beat." Hudson's 2008 debut self-titled record won a Grammy Award for "Best R & B Album," which was presented by one of Hudson's idols, Whitney Houston. She also received three additional nominations including "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance," "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" and "Best R&B Song." The album then went on to win three awards at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards including "Best Album." The RIAA Gold Certified album entered Billboard's Top 200 at No. 2 and marked the biggest first week sales for an R&B female entry since 2004 and has since sold over 1.1 million albums worldwide to date. 2013 was an exciting year for Hudson's music career, most recently being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hudson also ended the year by releasing the critically acclaimed single "I Can't Describe (The Way I Feel)," produced by Pharrell Williams and featuring T.I.. She was also honored with the privilege to perform the Presidential Inauguration, Super Bowl XLVII and the Academy Awards. In addition, Hudson was also honored by the Recording Academy at the Annual Grammy's on the Hill for her philanthropic efforts, specifically with her organization, the Julian D. King Gift Foundation. The same year, Hudson was honored at VH1's Do Something Awards for her charitable work and also at Variety's Power of Women luncheon with the Samsung Galaxy Impact Award. In 2014, Hudson released the third single off her Sony/RCA album, scheduled for release this fall. The song, "It's Your World" features R. Kelly, who also produced the Studio 54-inspired dance track. Just prior, Hudson released "Walk It Out," produced by and featuring Timbaland, which functions as a reminder and a connection to Hudson's roots. The unreleased album has been garnering serious attention with the release of fresh tracks that show off a new sound, a thoughtful departure and a fearless rendering of her work produced by artists like Pharrell, Gorgon City, Timbaland, R. Kelly and others. In spring of 2014, Hudson was seen in "Lullaby," a film by director Andrew Levitas. In November 2013, Hudson also appeared in her first movie musical since "Dreamgirls," in "Black Nativity." Just prior, Hudson was seen in "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete." In September of the same year, Hudson starred alongside Terrence Howard in Darrell Roodt's "Winnie Mandela." The role recently garnered Hudson an NAACP Image Award nomination for "Best Actress". Expanding her talents in the arts, Hudson added author to her list of accomplishments in January 2012 with the release her New York Times best-selling memoir, "I Got This: How I Changed My Ways, Found Myself and Lost Everything that Weighed Me Down". Hudson also received an NAACP Image Award nomination in 2009 for her role in Fox Searchlight's "The Secret Life of Bees." Prior to "Bees," Hudson co-starred in the box office hit "Sex and the City: The Movie." In 2009, Jennifer, along with her sister Julia Hudson, founded The Julian D. King Gift Foundation, as a catalyst for change in children's health, education and welfare. The Foundation exists to provide stability, support and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds so that they will become productive, confident and happy adults.
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  • Nick CannonActor

  • Wesley SnipesActor

  • Teyonah ParrisActor

    Teyonah Parris is an actress and producer, known for Dear White People (2014), Chi-Raq (2015) and If Beale Street Could Talk (2018).
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  • Steve HarrisActor

  • Harry LennixActor

  • Samuel L. JacksonActor

    Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Samuel Leroy Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., to Elizabeth (Montgomery) and Roy Henry Jackson. He was raised by his mother, a factory worker, and his grandparents. At Morehouse College, Jackson was active in the black student movement. In the seventies, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company (together with Morgan Freeman). In the eighties, he became well-known after three movies made by Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990) and Jungle Fever (1991). He achieved prominence and critical acclaim in the early 1990s with films such as Patriot Games (1992), Amos & Andrew (1993), True Romance (1993), Jurassic Park (1993), and his collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino, including Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), and later Django Unchained (2012). Going from supporting player to leading man, his performance in Pulp Fiction (1994) gave him an Oscar nomination for his character Jules Winnfield, and he received a Silver Berlin Bear for his part as Ordell Robbi in Jackie Brown (1997). Jackson usually played bad guys and drug addicts before becoming an action hero, co-starring with Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) and Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996). With Jackson's permission, his likeness was used for the Ultimate version of the Marvel Comics character, Nick Fury. He later did a cameo as the character in a post-credits scene from Iron Man (2008), and went on to sign a nine-film commitment to reprise this role in future films, including major roles in Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and minor roles in Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). He has also portrayed the character in the second and final episodes of the first season of the TV show, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013). He has provided his voice to several animated films, television series and video games, including the roles of Lucius Best / Frozone in Pixar's film The Incredibles (2004), Mace Windu in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), Afro Samurai in the anime television series Afro Samurai (2007), and Frank Tenpenny in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004).
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  • John CusackActor

    John Cusack is, like most of his characters, an unconventional hero. Wary of fame and repelled by formulaic Hollywood fare, he has built a successful career playing underdogs and odd men out--all the while avoiding the media spotlight. John was born in Evanston, Illinois, to an Irish-American family. With the exception of mom Nancy (née Carolan), a former math teacher, the Cusack clan is all show business: father Dick Cusack was an actor and filmmaker, and John's siblings Joan Cusack, Ann Cusack, Bill Cusack and Susie Cusack are all thespians by trade. Like his brother and sisters, John became a member of Chicago's Piven Theatre Workshop while he was still in elementary school. By age 12, he already had several stage productions, commercial voice overs and industrial films under his belt. He made his feature film debut at 17, acting alongside Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy in the romantic comedy Class (1983). His next role, as a member of Anthony Michael Hall's geek brigade in Sixteen Candles (1984), put him on track to becoming a teen-flick fixture. Cusack remained on the periphery of the Brat Pack, sidestepping the meteoric rise and fall of most of his contemporaries, but he stayed busy with leads in films like The Sure Thing (1985) and Better Off Dead... (1985). Young Cusack is probably best remembered for what could be considered his last adolescent role: the stereo-blaring romantic Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything... (1989). A year later, he hit theaters as a grown-up, playing a bush-league con man caught between his manipulative mother and headstrong girlfriend in The Grifters (1990). The next few years were relatively quiet for the actor, but he filled in the gaps with off-screen projects. He directed and produced several shows for the Chicago-based theater group The New Criminals, which he founded in 1988 (modeling it after Tim Robbins' Actors' Gang in Los Angeles) to promote political and avant-garde stage work. Four years later, Cusack's high school friends Steve Pink and D.V. DeVincentis joined him in starting a sister company for film, New Crime Productions. New Crime's first feature was the sharply written comedy Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), which touched off a career renaissance for Cusack. In addition to co-scripting, he starred as a world-weary hit man who goes home for his ten-year high school reunion and tries to rekindle a romance with the girl he stood up on prom night (Minnie Driver). In an instance of life imitating art, Cusack actually did go home for his ten-year reunion (to honor a bet about the film's financing) and ended up in a real-life romance with Driver. Cusack's next appearance was as a federal agent (or, as he described it, "the first post-Heston, non-biblical action star in sandals") in Con Air (1997), a movie he chose because he felt it was time to make smart business decisions. He followed that with Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), in which he played a Yankee reporter entangled in a Savannah murder case. Cusack has always favored offbeat material, so it was no surprise when he turned up in the fiercely original Being John Malkovich (1999). Long-haired, bearded and bespectacled, he was almost unrecognizable in the role of a frustrated puppeteer who stumbles across a portal into the brain of actor John Malkovich. The convincing performance won him a Best Actor nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards. In 2000, Cusack was back to his clean-shaven self in High Fidelity (2000), another New Crime production. He worked with Steve Pink and D.V. DeVincentis to adapt Nick Hornby's popular novel (relocating the story to their native Chicago), then starred as the sarcastic record store owner who revisits his "Top 5" breakups to find out why he's so unlucky in love. The real Cusack has been romantically linked with several celebs, including Driver, Alison Eastwood, Claire Forlani and Neve Campbell. He's also something of a family man, acting frequently opposite sister Joan Cusack and pulling other Cusacks into his films on a regular basis. He seems pleased with the spate of projects on his horizon, but admits that he still hasn't reached his ultimate goal: to be involved in a "great piece of art".
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  • Angela BassettActor

    Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters and on stages and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son. Bassett and her sister D'nette grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida with their mother. As a single mother, Betty stressed the importance of education for her children. With the assistance of an academic scholarship, Bassett matriculated into Yale University. In 1980, she received her B.A. in African-American studies from Yale University. In 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Yale School of Drama. It was at Yale that Bassett met her husband, Courtney B. Vance, a 1986 graduate of the Drama School. Bassett first appeared in small roles on The Cosby Show (1984) and Spenser: For Hire (1985), but it was not until 1990 that a spate of television roles brought her notice. Her breakthrough role, though, was playing Tina Turner, whom she had never seen perform before taking the role, in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). Bassett's performance earned her an Academy Award nomination and a Golded Globe Award for Best Actress.
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  • D.B. SweeneyActor

    Daniel Bernard Sweeney was born on November 14, 1961 in Shoreham, Long Island, New York. He got his start in the New York theatre with appearances in dozens of productions including a run on Broadway in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial". He was selected by Francis Ford Coppola to star in the Vietnam era drama Gardens of Stone (1987). This began a string of performances including Shoeless Joe Jackson in Eight Men Out (1988), Dish Boggett in Lonesome Dove (1989), Travis Walton in Fire in the Sky (1993), and as Doug Dorsey the hockey player turned figure skater in the classic romantic comedy The Cutting Edge (1992). His television work includes Strange Luck (1995), C-16: FBI (1997) and Harsh Realm (1999) with appearances in Jericho (2006), Crash (2008), The Event (2010), and the Emmy-winning Miss Rose White (1992). He recently migrated to the other side of the camera to produce, direct and co-write the cult film Two Tickets to Paradise (2006) which won over a dozen awards at major film festivals.
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