Queen & Slim

It’s lyrical. Like an extended poem with waves of emotion, heady rumination, love proclamations and lost souls gathering around a common issue. Some will recollect the true-life story of Bonnie and Clyde, but they gained fame for crimes and robbing banks. A closer comparison is Thelma & Louise, two feminist icons who were pushed into rebellion. […]

In Fabric

She thought she was simply buying a sexy red dress, off the rack. But when that frock came home with her, so did the supernatural. Writer/director Peter Strickland had a wicked vision in mind when he created this campy horror film, which has a style that is reminiscent of the 1977 cult classic Suspiria, by […]

Mavis Staples and Buddy Guy Live at New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Combine their ages and these legends, Mavis Staples (80 years old) and Buddy Guy (83), have 163 years’ worth of living to sing about. And when they do, it’s a music and history lesson extraordinaire.  Staples built a reputation for her rugged R&B chops, social activism and fame as the lead singer of the classic […]


Recreating the aura of the historic Battle of Midway isn’t an easy task.  In the early 1940s, after the tragic Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had zapped America’s spirit, Midway became a turning point in World War II. And though this screen adaptation of that event has a very commercial and slick feel, credit it […]

Last Christmas

Sometimes when you get a present, you have to tear through a lot of wrapping paper to get to the gift.  The blaring error in this film’s script, by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings, is that words come first and visuals second. Characters’ inner thoughts, plot points, points-of-view, sentiments and emotions are more apt to […]

Black and Blue

Black and Blue, a very modern dirty cop movie, is blessed with a tough-as-nails protagonist, set in a town where locals don’t trust police and told in short succinct scenes that have a steady rhythm.  B&B doesn’t have the pedigree of a Sidney Lumet crime drama (Prince of the City), the blistering sadistic peril of an Antoine Fuqua movie (Training […]

Film Gems Screen at 2019 New York Film Festival

The lineup at the 2019 New York Film Festival included art films that will likely be remembered more for their beauty than their content. Yet there were gems among the programming that will win awards, play in art film houses, thrive on streaming services and be remembered favorably. American Trial: The Eric Garner Story (***1/2) If […]

Little Monsters

You couldn’t guess from her dramatic Oscar-winning performance in 12 Years A Slave or her kinetic warrior/spy role in Black Panther that Lupita Nyong’o has a gift for romantic comedy. But she does.  In fact, this rom/com/horror movie hybrid is the perfect vehicle for her frothy comic expression. Her ingenuity, a cast of adorable kids, a smarmy children’s TV host and an army […]

ESSENCE Eats: The New York Fashion Week Edition

THESE GIFTED BLACK CHEFS AND RESTAURATEURS ARE LEAVING THEIR IMPRINT ON THE FOOD SCENE. WELCOME TO THE NEW WAVE OF GRUBBING IN NEW YORK CITY.  (To read this article in its entirety, go to: https://www.essence.com/lifestyle/essence-eats-the-new-york-fashion-week-edition/#462900 or click this link)