The First Grader (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic In this fact-based story about an 84-year-old former Mau Mau warrior who desires an education, the human spirit gets tested, ageism goes on trial, tribal conflict reigns and Kenyan history is made. In 2002, after years of strife the Kenyan government promised a free education to all its citizens. […]

Jumping the Broom (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic In sickness and in health. For better or for worse. And that’s before the wedding! The irreverent, satiric, laugh-provoking “The Funeral” showed us just how crazy people could be when handling the passing of a loved one. This mercurial, amusing send up of pre-marital woes and social class conflict […]

Night Catches Us (**)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic For some, the 1960’s Black Panther Party is a complete enigma. For those people who are looking for a revealing glimpse into that social/political/cultural movement, this poorly conceived ode to the Panthers is not illuminating. However, strong performances and some tight family drama make this period film worth viewing.Time […]

Rejoice & Shout (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “Gospel music has kept us afloat. It’s very important to black people,” says Mavis Staples. Staples and Smokey Robinson narrate “Rejoice & Shout,” a comprehensive, historical and enligtening look at the phenomenon of gospel music. Gospel music has evolved along with the African American experience for over 100 years. […]

Fast Five (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic It’s like jumping into a car, shoving it in gear, stomping on the accelerator and driving recklessly without a seatbelt. From the opening, adrenalin-pumping prison bus escape to a heart-pounding car theft aboard a fast-moving train, Fast Five throws it down from the jump… Car thief Dom Torreto (Vin […]

Life, Above All (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Thirty years after the AIDS epidemic first rattled the world, it still rages in sub-Sahara Africa. Few films have captured the plague’s fury on the motherland, until now. This enligtening, sensitive and inspiring screen adaptation of Allan Stratton’s novel “Chanda’s Secrets” puts a human face on a cure-defying disease. […]

Ten Best Films of 2010

By Dwight Brown Film Critic NNPA In 2010, high-quality movies abounded, though there was a noticeable dearth of black themed-movies — except for Tyler Perry films. Still, great African-American actors found high caliber product in which they could display their talent. The top 10 movies listed are the tip of the iceberg. Check them out […]

This is it

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic By the time he died, the media and his antics had obscured the most obvious. Michael Jackson was the greatest singer/entertainer/performing artist of his generation. Many could argue that point. But as you watch this work-in-progress documentary, with footage that was never necessarily meant to become a theatrical feature-length […]

Cannes’ African Heritage History

By Dwight Brown As the prestigious, international Cannes Film Festival approaches, May 17th – 28th, the question arises: Who will follow in the footsteps of actor Samuels L. Jackson of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and S. Pierre Yameogo, the legendary Burkina Faso director of Delwende? Which black actors, directors and […]

Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch **1/2 Twentieth Century Fox By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Shortly after Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden, they argued about his fanatical love of sports and his neglect of her emotional needs. It’s an old war story in the battle of the sexes. Old but alive today. Gamely, screenwriters Lowell […]