Hustle & Flow Directed by Craig Brewer

Gritty on the outside, soft in the center, this tale of DJay (Terrence Howard), a pimp who finds redemption as a rapper, is another "ya gotta have a dream" crowd-pleaser. Brewer does better with the men (Anthony Anderson as a wanna-be producer, Ludacris as a sellout rap star) than with the broadly drawn, comic-pathetic hookers. But Howard redeems this lumpy fantasy. Soft-spoken and mysterious, he presides over the movie with a dangerous, feline grace.