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Film Reviews


Dwight Brown | Posted 11.23.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

When you step into the theater to watch this boxing movie, don't look for Rocky. Yes, you'll see and feel remnants of that spirit. But Creed is its own story. Its own franchise. It's the rebellious son that wandered out on its own. For that reason, Baby Boomers and Millennials will dig it.


Dwight Brown | Posted 11.13.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

In 1987 Mugabe became President with unbridled powers over other branches of the government and army. Enter the very alarming and revealing documentary Democrats, which thoroughly catalogues the constitutional process and how difficult it is to remove an embedded leader.

'This Changes Everything' Moves Focus to Communities on Fossil Fuel Frontlines

Will Reynolds | Posted 11.03.2015 | Chicago
Will Reynolds

It's fitting that Klein and Lewis came to Illinois, a state that sadly illustrates how major-grant funded green groups are failing communities on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction and pollution.

Miles Ahead

Dwight Brown | Posted 11.20.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

If you're looking for a conventional bio-film, you'll be disappointed. If you want to get inside the head of the ingenious, erratic, enigmatic high priest of jazz, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride. Actor/writer/director Don Cheadle's drama Miles Ahead is jazzed.

The Martian

Dwight Brown | Posted 09.30.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Flashback to the films Interstellar and Gravity. This latest voyage into outer space places itself firmly between the two. It's not as sterile as the former and not nearly as entrancing as the latter. The entertainment value is steady, but once the premise is set, the storyline becomes predictable.

Black Artists Makes Waves at 2015 Toronto International Film Festival

Dwight Brown | Posted 09.21.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

The Toronto International Film Festival has aged gracefully into its 40th year anniversary. Black directors, actors and writers have enhanced the celebratory occasion with fine performances and artistic contributions in indie films, big budget movies and life-affirming documentaries.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Dwight Brown | Posted 09.01.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

For four decades, some determined people sought to change the course of American history.Some ideals, are now part of the fabric of the country, like breakfast programs for inner city kids. Stick with this movie. It has a lot to say, a lot to reveal and is pertinent to today's testy police/civilian race relations.

Straight Outta Compton

Dwight Brown | Posted 08.07.2015 | Entertainment
Dwight Brown

Straight Outta Compton isn't some chump change indie movie about the rap group NWA. Nor is it a should-have-gone-straight-to-DVD after-thought about hip-hop culture. This is an Oscar-caliber film. This movie is a monster. It's big!

Review: Lila & Eve

Dwight Brown | Posted 07.16.2015 | Entertainment
Dwight Brown

This project started with actress/producer Viola Davis and screenwriter Pat Gilfillan who spent two years interviewing mothers of murdered children to prep for the script. Davis and co-star Jennifer Lopez worked together originally on the film Out of Sight back in 1998.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Dwight Brown | Posted 06.23.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Sometimes artistry and insanity are so intertwined you can't distinguish them. That was the challenge for singer Nina Simone; dealing with worldwide fame and a madness she couldn't shake.

A World of Fire and Blood: Why Fury Road is a Mad Max Masterpiece

Alexis LaMarsh | Posted 06.11.2015 | Entertainment
Alexis LaMarsh

Typically, a summer flick doesn't transcend its stereotypes. It's even less often that a film that revives a thirty year old franchise is better than mediocre. More importantly, a film that rips apart every Hollywood trope -- things execs hold dear in film making -- shouldn't exist in mainstream media in the first place.

"What a Lovely Day": The Radical Potential of Mad Max: Fury Road

Michael Darer | Posted 05.19.2015 | Entertainment
Michael Darer

"Who killed the world?" asks Mad Max: Fury Road at various points in its runtime. It's a sweeping question and an essential one for the film's brutal beating heart, but unlike a question such as "who watches the watchmen?" there is very little ambiguity here.

Review - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Dwight Brown | Posted 06.30.2015 | Entertainment
Dwight Brown

They're back. The chummy Marvel superheroes assemble once again to fight evil. In this case it's Ultron, a vicious technological villain hell-bent on ridding earth of human life. There is little in this film that is new, but that doesn't matter. The characters are still entertaining.

'Furious 7'

Dwight Brown | Posted 05.31.2015 | Entertainment
Dwight Brown

Can't say this is the best film of the franchise, because so many of them have been excellent. But it's easily the most daring. Fasten your seat belts and test the airbags. This one accelerates real fast.

'The Divergent Series: Insurgent'

Dwight Brown | Posted 05.20.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

The Divergent Series: Insurgent doesn't change that dynamic much, but during its final minutes, it ups the visuals to a level that almost compensates for a weak beginning.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Dwight Brown | Posted 05.04.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Ol Parker is back as the screenwriter, and John Madden returns as the director. Both try to give this sequel the same feel as the first, but they've run out of ideas. Buying a new hotel seems like a giddy capitalistic exploit.

Wild Tales

Dwight Brown | Posted 04.22.2015 | Entertainment
Dwight Brown

Slivers of life gone awry take you in funny or perverted directions, and they'll make you reconsider your rash actions and ponder karma. Credit Szifron for the brilliant storytelling and astute direction: The actors move along like checkers on a checkerboard.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Dwight Brown | Posted 04.14.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Spike Lee, the old guard of black indie filmmaking, gets his mojo back with this classy, urbane, bloodsucking art film that is a beauty to behold. Sophisticated, demented, eerie, erotic -- prepare to be shocked and flabbergasted.

Oscar and Me

Tricia McCallum | Posted 04.12.2015 | Entertainment
Tricia McCallum

Some years were quieter celebrations, but just as ceremonial. Even watching them on my own, I bowed to the sense of occasion. I lined up my time-honored snacks, burrowed under my favorite quilt and glued myself to the proceedings, shouting at the screen the entire time.

Can Ewan McGregor Pull Off A Convincing Jesus?

Religion News Service | Dick Staub | Posted 02.01.2015 | Religion

PARK CITY, Utah (RNS) Publishers discovered a long time ago that Jesus sells magazines, so it should be no surprise that one of the hottest tickets he...

Night Will Fall: Film Review

Peter Clothier | Posted 04.01.2015 | Arts
Peter Clothier

Singer's documentary is a heart- and gut-wrenching reminder of that thing that we must "never forget."

'Black or White' Tackles a Touchy Subject

Dwight Brown | Posted 03.30.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

Only a very perceptive filmmaker could tackle the topic of race relations and be remotely successful. It would require a writer/director to be smart, balanced, sensitive and able to see both sides of the issue.

The Wedding Ringer

Dwight Brown | Posted 03.18.2015 | Entertainment
Dwight Brown

The Wedding Ringer isn't innovative, but ultimately it's a crowd-pleasing movie. Hart, with his command of social media, will get fans in theater seats. Garelick's writing/direction coupled with the cast's high jinks will keep audiences laughing.

A Review of 'American Sniper'

Dwight Brown | Posted 03.16.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

His steely, icy demeanor gave Chris Kyle a steady aim, but didn't protect him from the fragile aftermath of war, particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The film fluctuates between his achievements in battle and his ordeal back at home.


Dwight Brown | Posted 02.27.2015 | Black Voices
Dwight Brown

R.I.P. Martin Luther King. Your story has been told. Your legacy passed on. Your strategies for non-violent demonstrations shared. Your ability for changing hearts, minds and laws well-documented.