Queen & Slim (2019)

Queen & Slim
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Writer: Lena Waithe, James Frey
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Sturgill Simpson, Indya Moore, Benito Martinez, Jahi Di’Allo Winston
Seen on: 9.1.2020

Plot:
Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) are on a blind date and things are not going particularly well. But they are still talking as Slim drives Queen home. That’s when they’re stopped by a police officer (Sturgill Simpson) who behaves pretty threateningly. Things get out of hand, and Slim ends up shooting the officer. In a panic, Slim and Queen take off, trying to figure out how to go from here – but their options are limited to say the least.

Queen & Slim is a strong film in many ways with a couple of serious missteps that keep the film from being really great, unfortunately.

The film poster showing Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) in a black-and-white image.

[SPOILERS]

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Widows (2018)

Widows
Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen
Based on: Lynda La Plante‘s TV series
Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Carrie Coon, Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Coburn Goss, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver
Seen on: 18.12.2018
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Plot:
Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) has made a career out of being a thief. Together with his crew Carlos (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Florek (Jon Bernthal), and Jimmy (Coburn Goss) he sets out to do another job – but this time things go wrong and they all die. Harry’s wife, now widow, Veronica (Viola Davis) who never knew much about his career, finds herself being pressured by Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) to whom Harry owed money. Not knowing what else to do, Veronica gets in touch with the other widows – Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Amanda (Carrie Coon) and tries to convince them to pull off a heist themselves.

Widows was a pretty good and more than usual complex heist film, but I’m afraid that my expectations were a little too high – it just wasn’t as good as what I’ve come to rely on in a Steve McQueen film.

The film poster showing portrait images of the main characters.
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Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Based on: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Part of: Marvel movies
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Florence Kasumba, John Kani, Isaach De Bankolé, Stan Lee
Seen on: 16.2.2018
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Plot:
After the death of his father, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has to return to Wakanda to claim the throne. Returning means reuniting with his friends and family. But the transition of power is a delicate time. And there is more than one threat to Wakanda and T’Challa’s rule.

I didn’t hear a single bad word about Black Panther before I saw it, so my expectations were pretty high. And I’m happy to say that they were absolutely more than fulfilled. Black Panther is a visually, narratively and politically strong film that’s also simply entertaining.

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Get Out (2017)

Get Out
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel KaluuyaAllison WilliamsCatherine KeenerBradley WhitfordCaleb Landry JonesMarcus HendersonBetty GabrielLakeith StanfieldStephen RootLilRel Howery
Seen on: 9.5.2017

Plot:
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) have been dating for a while and now it’s time for Chris to meet Rose’s parents. The upcoming encounter fills Chris with dread, not only because it’s always a little terrifying to meet your in-laws, but also because Chris is black, Rose and her family are white and Rose never had a black boyfriend before. Chris steels himself for casual racism, but when he and Rose get there, something more than that seems off.

I had been looking forward to Get Out for quite a while and my expectations were really very high. When a film comes with that many accolades, it’s rare that it actually manages to live up to them. But I’m very happy to say that Get Out definitely does.

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Sicario (2015)

Sicario
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan
Seen on: 6.10.2015

Plot:
After an assignment that ends pretty badly, FBI agent Kate (Emily Blunt) is recruited by CIA operative Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) for a joined task force as Kate’s operation brought her in contact with a Mexican drug cartell that Graver has been investigating for years. Together with informant/operative Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), they enter Mexico to hunt down the cartell’s head. But it seems that there is more to the story and Kate finds herself increasingly puzzled.

Sicario seems to be on a mission: to find out how boring you can make a movie about murder, human trafficking and shady governments. They went far in their quest and I can now tell you: it can be very boring indeed.

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Chatroom (2010)

Chatroom
Director: Hideo Nakata
Writer: Enda Walsh
Based on: Enda Walsh’s play
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Imogen Poots, Matthew Beard, Hannah Murray, Daniel Kaluuya (and Ophelia Lovibond in a very small role)

Plot:
William (Aaron Johnson), a very troubled teenager, opens up a chatroom he calls Chelsea Teens! and is quickly joined by four other teens: Eva (Imogen Poots), Emily (Hannah Murray), Mo (Daniel Kaluuya) and Jim (Matthew Beard). All of them have their dark secrets and William immediately starts to exploit that fact and them and continuously pushes them towards the edge, just waiting for someone to break.

Chatroom is not a particularly good or well thought out film. The cast is promising but that’s about all – and far from enough to make the movie worth seeing.

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