2011 Toronto International Film Festival

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic The best films of the year made their annual pilgrimage to the 36th annual Toronto Film Festival. Black films, actors and directors were in the mix along with noteworthy general release movies that may make their mark on 2011 ten best lists. The only odd note this year is […]

The Help (**)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “The Help,” a best-selling book about a white woman who helps black maids rebel in the 1960s segregated south, was probably a better read than it is a cinematic experience. On the big screen, the white “savior” liberating black people storyline seems dated and almost offensive. Skeeter (Emma Stone) […]

For Colored Girls (**)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic It’s like watching 10,000 Oprah Winfrey shows squeezed into 134 minutes – and no one gets a free car! Some works of art should just be left alone. Would you paint a wider smile on the Mona Lisa? Would you add a break dancing routine to Alvin Ailey’s Revelations? […]

Unstoppable (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “Just letting you know, we’re going to run this b—- down!” Runaway Train, Speed, we’ve seen out of control behemoth vehicles before and for some reason we fall for the heart-palpitating notion of innocent people being killed by an uncontrollable force. Granted Unstoppable doesn’t break the mold, but it’s […]

Due Date (*1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Filmmaker Todd Phillips wrote and directed The Hangover, the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. It won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. “The Hangover” had it all: shocking debauchery, sardonic comic performances (Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms), eccentric cameos […]

African Films Shine at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic In years past Black films from the U.S. were prominent at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Secret Live Of Bees, in 2008. Precious…, in 2009. In 2010, Black American films were noticeably absent. However, films about black life in Africa shined bright. These dispatches from the motherland, along […]

Salt (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Whatever Angelina Jolie was paid for starring in this nail-biting action thriller, she deserved each and every million. She’s the first woman to command an action movie, on this level, since Sigourney Weaver in Aliens or Anne Parillaud in La Femme Nikita. The script by “Tomas Crown Affair” scribe […]

Inception (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “The seed we plant in this man’s mind will come to define him.” Deep sleep leaves us all vulnerable. That weakened altered subconscious state is where Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a thought thief, does his dirty work. He insinuates himself into the dreams of CEOs, extracting secrets, committing new […]

Death at a Funeral (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic There are certainties in life. We live. We die. All of us experience the loss of a loved one, and what better setting for a laugh-out-loud comedy than a funeral? Everyone can relate to the universal stress of this end-of-life ritual, which is only compounded by the tension in […]

Mother and Child (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child…” The gift of life is examined through the eyes of three women. Three disparate souls haunted by their past, living life today teetering on emotional eggshells and apprehensive about their future. History binds them. Destiny sets them on a precarious course, falling […]