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Get Rich or Die Tryin' is a 2005 crime drama film starring Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. It was released on November 9, 2005. Similar to the 2002 Eminem film 8 Mile, the film is a loosely-based semi-autobiographical film account of 50 Cent's own life. It was directed by 6-time Academy Award-nominee Jim Sheridan.


The film begins with the protagonist Marcus (Jackson), his manager Bama (Terrence Howard), and two associates together robbing a store that is a front for a money laundering operation. After they leave, Marcus is shot by a man with a bandana covering his face.

A flashback shows Marcus as a child driving with his mother down the street. His thoughts reveal that he is constantly looking for his father, whom he does not know. This scene also shows that Marcus knew his mother sold drugs, but he felt that it was only for his benefit. Marcus's mother is murdered and her body is burned along with the rest of the house.

Marcus goes off to live with his grandparents in a crowded house.

Marcus begins to sell drugs on a corner. During a fight with two other dealers who say that he is selling on their turf, he is taken away by Majestic, a well known drug kingpin who worked with Marcus's mother and will now work with Marcus.

He buys a .357 gun and begins pushing drugs more often. The police find packets of cocaine hidden in Marcus's socks and arrest him. This leads to a fight between Marcus and his grandfather, after which Marcus leaves his grandparents' home.

Marcus buys an apartment after running away from home, and after giving up on his rapping dream after three hours trying, begins to sell drugs again. Majestic then holds a meeting between the local drug pushers in the gang Marcus's mother was in, which is run by a man named Levar, where Majestic makes cocaine in crack form.

These drug dealers are in a turf war with the Colombians. Many are slain on both sides, leading Levar to shake hands with the Colombian head after all the escalation led to a Korean liquor store owner shooting two innocent young African-American teens.

Shortly after, Marcus forms a 'crew' with a childhood friend named Antwan, a man named Justice he helped in a drug turf fight with the Colombians, and another man named Keryl. At this time too, he rekindles his romance with his childhood friend Charlene, who was sent away from the neighborhood when her parents found a mix-tape from Marcus, where he dubs himself Young Caesar.

One night while at a club, Marcus is shot at by the Colombians and Antwan is hit, leaving him a paraplegic. In retaliation, Marcus shoots the Colombian who crippled Antwan, and is about to execute him, but ends up shooting him in the leg.

Due to the hit Marcus made, Levar is forced to pay a "political debt" to the police, and thus is leaving for some time to "let some heat off the business", leaving a political associate in charge. However, the plot eventually leads to Marcus being arrested for the shooting, with cocaine being found in his apartment. Subsequently, Marcus is sent to prison.

While incarcerated, he meets his future manager and friend, Bama, who saves him from a stabbing in the shower . Charlene visits him during this time and reveals she is pregnant with Marcus's child.

During this time Levar is sent to prison due to a betrayal of Magestic, who intentionally sent to shoot a police officer, breaking the deal Levar had with the police force. Part of Magestic's plan was to frame the new leader Levar had left in charge blaming him of the betrayal move done to Levar. This leads to the killing of the right hand of Levar that was in charge, thus letting Magestic become the gang leader.

After leaving jail with Bama, Marcus informs Majestic he wants out of the game, to pursue his rap career because he is going to be a father and needs to be responsible. Bama and Justice don't get along owing to Bama's relationship with Marcus. At a recording studio, Marcus records a song to insult Dangerous, a rapper that Majestic supports. Also, after Marcus's child is born, Majestic visits Charlene in the maternity ward, picking up the recently born Antwan, and tells her it is in everyone's best interest that Marcus apologize. Marcus becomes enraged when he learns about this, and starts giving 24 hour protection to Charlene and Antwan. Majestic orders Justice and Junebug to end Marcus and get rid of Bama.

After Marcus is unable to get a record deal, his crew (at this time Marcus, Bama, Justice, and Keryl) ends up robbing a store run by the Colombian head, and the story leads back to the beginning of the movie. Right before he's about to be shot, the shooter takes off his mask, revealing himself to be Justice, who had followed Marcus alone after Bama and Keryl left in a separate car. As Marcus is shot, his grandmother screams out his name, the final bullet meant for his head shattering his jaw instead. Justice arrives at Majestic's hideout only to find out Marcus was still alive. Majestic in rage stabs him vigorously with his sword in an executionary style.

After a recovery by Marcus, he begins his rapping dream again.

Before the concert Marcus goes to Levar, who was still imprisoned by the betrayal move of Majestic, to ask about his mother's death. Levar confessed that he and Marcus's mother Katrina were in a relationship and Majestic had grown very jealous of him.

Before his rap concert, he drops off little Antwan and Charlene at his grandmother's house, leaving big Antwan with an Uzi.

On the night of the concert, people are outside in the streets protesting the crack cocaine pandemic at the time. Marcus and Majestic also meet face to face at this time. Majestic tells Marcus that he raped his mother then murdered her. The two then face off and fight.

At the end, Marcus leaves to start the show. Majestic rises from the floor and pulls out a sword, and is shot in the arm by Bama, falling to the ground. But, as Marcus walks away and down the hall, Bama shoots Majestic three more times, killing him.

Marcus approaches a mirror, going out to perform the concert, performing the song "Hustler's Ambition".



A 30-year-old man, Sheldon Flowers, was shot three times and killed in a cinema near Pittsburghmarker on November 9, 2005, after watching the film. The cinema stopped showing the film as a result. Also, a cinema chain in Toledo, Ohiomarker, stopped after-midnight screenings of the film because of fears the violence depicted may prompt further civil unrest as seen during the 2005 Toledo Riot.

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. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Jackson's decision: "Like Bill Cosby, 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". Jackson reportedly still thinks that rappers should not be in films, but has spoken with 50 Cent several times about it and has made amends with him. The two later co-starred in the 2006 film Home of the Brave.


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