THE BEST FILMS OF 2013

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic In a banner year for filmmaking, black films, filmmakers, screenwriters and actors thrived. You can enjoy their movies, and those of other people who showcased their talent in 2013, by hitting the theaters this holiday season or seeing films on DVD or VOD. 12 Years a Slave (****) – […]

Lee Daniel’s The Butler (****)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic It’s about time. Finally a major-release film about the African American struggle for equality, told from a black man’s perspective. Why has it taken Hollywood (aka the film industry) so long to do the right thing? Eugene Allen served eight presidents, Truman to Reagan, over 36 years in various […]

Fruitvale Station (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic If you don’t live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might only know the rudiments of this tragic event and subsequent upheaval: Black man, in handcuffs, shot in back by white police officer in Bay Area Rapid Transit train station. Protests. Riots. Unrest. This thoughtful, methodical and contemporary […]

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (**1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Kevin Hart is a diminutive comedian (5’2″) who carries a very big audience (60,000 fans during two sold out Madison Square Garden performances). Tiny in stature with a mouth the size of the Grand Canyon, he’s ready to conquer the world. And he does, somewhat, in 75 minutes of […]

Twenty Feet From Stardom (****)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic They can sing a joyful noise. In pitch-perfect harmony. Never missing a beat. Yet they rarely take center stage. Why? Background singers, are the unsung heroes of music. Without them, lead singers sound hollow. Now their voices are heard, in an enlightening documentary that is as illuminating as it […]

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By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Jackie Robinson’s life is lesson in courage. It’s a sobering but inspiring reminder of the barbaric cruelty of racism and those who rallied against it. This revealing film tracks his ascension from the Negro Leagues to Major League Baseball. And though you think you may know his story, you […]

The Call (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “911. What’s your emergency?” Call center operators, they’re the unsung heroes. Everyday they answer the pleas of frantic people in distress. But even they weren’t prepared for this call… We don’t call 911 often, but when we do, we expect the person at the other end of the line […]

War Witch (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “You will come out of my belly one day. I don’t know if God will give me strength to love you.” That’s the lament of an expectant mother, a child soldier, in this gripping, heart-wrenching drama that chronicles the plight of kidnapped children turned into killing machines. A quiet […]

LUV (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Never has contributing to the delinquency of a minor been so wonderfully tragic and compelling. Sometimes Woody Watson (Michael Rainey Jr.), an 11 year-old, is a vulnerable kid, “Only one place I have is OK. Inside me where I can hide everything.” Other times he’s a little man, a […]

Best Films of 2012

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic A stellar year for filmmaking is behind us and the best movies are worth seeing whether you screen them in a theater, on DVD, or VOD. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the exceptional work of black actors, directors and other talented artists. The Ten Best Films of 2012 Beasts […]