The High Note

In case anyone wondered, Tracee Ellis Ross is ready for her close-up.  After years on TV (Girlfriends, Black-ish) and supporting roles in minor rom/com movies (In the Weeds, Labor Pains), Ross has a starring role in what should have been a theatrically released film. The pandemic killed that. Instead, this music industry story will debut on […]

The Lovebirds

It probably looked really good on paper. Bickering couple gets caught up in a murder and goes on the lam. It’s just enough of a framework for two comic geniuses to flaunt their comedy licks.  Kumail Nanjiani made a name for himself on the series Silicon Valley, and hit it big with the romantic comedy The Big […]

Blue Story

“They act like guns are toys until they get shot.” That’s it. Kids playing games and suffering grownup consequences. It’s a prime symptom of misguided adolescent gang life.   With a great feel for modern times and hip-hop music, Rapman (aka Andrew Onwubolu) mixes a bit of Boyz N the Hood, with Menace II Society. Seasons that with some Juice and New Jack […]

All Day and a Night

There is an earnestness to this deeply felt urban tale that seems personal, sincere and insular. Unfortunately, that guarded sense is not enough to make this cliché narrative, about a troubled young man headed down the wrong path, more than just another sad song. Jahkor Abraham Lincoln (Ashton Sanders, Moonlight) is a product of the mean […]

Selah and the Spades

She’s a mean girl. She holds court like Maleficent, Mistress of Evil. Does she reign over a kingdom? No. A street gang? No. Prison inmates? No. She’s the black teenage mobster don at a prestigious Pennsylvania boarding school.  This very eccentric look at the worst of humankind comes from the deepest creative crevices of young Philly filmmaker Tayarisha […]

There’s Something in the Water

They’re making a lot of noise up in Nova Scotia. Local activists of African and Native American descent are holding big businesses and the government accountable for polluting their water and causing an uptick in cancer cases. They’re sounding the alarm and applying pressure. The surprising but very worthy champion of their efforts to expose environmental racism is actress […]

Hooking Up

He’s a fool for love. She’s gotta have it—with a lot of strangers. They’re opposites destined to meet and teach each other life lessons.  Writer/director Nico Raineau, honed his filmmaking sensibility with short films (Brix and the Bitch) and TV series (OMG!). If you didn’t know his stats before, you could guess his background from […]

The Roads Not Taken

It’s a character study. One that marks the spaces in between conversations. The silences, moans and groans. It’s about someone living in a parallel world of dreams and a patchwork of memories.  Leo (Javier Bardem), a writer, is suffering from dementia. Barely able to live on his own. Tended to by a caregiver. His life […]

The Banker

Making films based on true events gets a lot of projects off the ground. Sometimes you watch a movie and when you discover at the end it’s based on fact, it adds something. Sometimes it doesn’t. The Banker proves that if you go to that well too many times, the yield is less and less.  As the […]

Sorry We Missed You

Director Ken Loach is a working-class hero. Hard to think of another filmmaker whose movies so vividly reflect the economic, societal and emotional challenges everyday people face. As they try to raise their families on low-paying wages and still maintain a grain of dignity and hope, he’s watching. Ricky (Kris Hitchen) is the head of […]