Premature

They’re just kids. Trash talking. Ranting, joking and flirting. Hanging out in packs. Smoking blunts, twerking up on each other at dance parties and dabbling in sex. They think they’re grown. But they’re just punching above their weight.  Ayanna (Zora Howard), a 17-year-old Harlem resident, has dreams. It’s summertime. College is around the corner. She’s […]

The Photograph

It’s a love letter. A missive from filmmaker Stella Meghie to all those who’ve wrecked a romance and wondered if they could pull it back together again. It’s Valentine’s day. Anything is possible.  They meet haphazardly. He, Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield, Crown Heights), a New York City journalist, investigates the recent death of the celebrated photographer Christina Eames. […]

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

She was the Joker’s ladyfriend. Now she’s on her own. DC comic book fans will want to follow the morally challenged Harley Quinn as she creates new chaos. Will others join them?  Just four years ago, Harley and other incarcerated villains were recruited by a secret government agency to become the Suicide Squad (critically panned film, but did $746M at worldwide box […]

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words

To many, he is an enigma. Or that controversial 1990s political/judicial figure who faded into a quiet corner of the Supreme Court of the United States. RBG gets all the press. Clarence Thomas does not. Rarely interviewed, rarely in front of a camera. If political junkies, students of history, the African American community and others […]

The Rhythm Section

They tried to conjure the spirits of La Femme Nikita and Atomic Blonde. They didn’t try hard enough.  Tangier, Marseilles, New York, Madrid… Blood is spilled and bodies are found in apartments, houses and buses on several continents in this revenge mystery/thriller. What’s all the commotion? Two-hundred thirty-nine passengers perish during a plane crash. An investigative journalist, Keith […]

Bull

Lost souls. Parallel lives going nowhere in a low-income, west of Houston neighborhood. That’s the setting of this richly drawn character study about an aimless 14-year-old poor white girl, Kris (Amber Havard), and a middle-aged black ex-bull rider turned down-on-his-luck rodeo clown Abe (Rob Morgan, Mudbound). The location and characters are atypical. Even more unlikely is […]

The Gentlemen

It’s a sign of the times. Marijuana, which has been illegal in so many places for so long, is about to go legit in the United Kingdom. Anyone who’s been dealing dope in the shadows can come into the light. That’s the position American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) finds himself in. He’s been the […]

Bad Boys for Life

They first teamed up for Bad Boys in 1995, to great box office success. There was an encore in 2003, Bad Boys II, which was distinguished by incredible stunts. Now, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence go back to the same well one more time. Is there any water left?  Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon) directed the first two films, with […]

Underwater

“Can you admit we must leave?” If your nervous, sweaty-browed commander asks you that, it’s time to flee.  Tapping into imminent-danger fear is the cornerstone of any great thriller. Bring fright, or go home. Nothing in cinematographer-turned-director William Eubanks’ filmography (The Signal, Love) indicates that he’s capable of such a task. No evidence that he can […]