Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Night Catches Us

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexuality and violence
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situation
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness:Violence and police brutality with tragic consequences
Diversity Issues:Racism and sexism are themes of the movie
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexuality and violence
Profanity: Very strong language
Nudity/Sex: Sexual references and non-explicit situation
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness: Violence and police brutality with tragic consequences
Diversity Issues: Racism and sexism are themes of the movie
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011

Writer-director Tanya Hamilton and two of today’s most gifted actors have produced a sensitive drama with a powerful conclusion. Night Catches Us takes on some of the most complicated and painful issues of the era that saw the struggle for civil rights shift from “We shall overcome” to “Burn, baby, burn.” It is rare that we see those issues portrayed, rarer still that we see them explored with any recognition of complexity and nuance, and just about unheard of that we see how much more complicated and nuanced the issues were for the women.

It is 1976, and the United States is celebrating its 200th birthday. Some Americans are still feeling marginalized, neglected, or locked out.

Advertisement

Marcus (Anthony Mackie) who returns to his home in Philadelphia following the death of his preacher father. He seems rootless and restless. But it is immediately clear when he sees Patricia (another exquisite performance by Kerry Washington), a lawyer and single mother, that they have some history and that he wants to know whether they might have a future.

No one else seems happy to see Marcus, even his brother. It is apparent that the people he left behind feel abandoned and betrayed by him. Everyone seems to think he is the one who gave the police information that led to the death of one of the leaders of the Black Power movement. But it is also clear that he is a good man. Could he be protecting someone?

Advertisement

This is a sincere, thoughtful exploration of complex issues and complicated people. Washington and Mackie, who appeared together in “She Hate Me” give performances of great depth and dignity, spare but endlessly compelling and evocative. The story’s ambitions at times outstrip the ability of first-timer Hamilton, but it is those very ambitions that give the film its exceptional power. At its conclusion, we have to confront our own assumptions to recognize that it is really not Marcus’ story after all, and the whole movie opens up to deepen our appreciation and insight.

Previous Posts

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Song from the Forest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekirhw2MMwQ I was delighted to see that there is a documentary about Louis Sarno, whose work I have admired since I saw the wonderful film Oka! directed by Lavinia ...

posted 8:00:43am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

The Age of Adaline
Be careful what you wish for.  You think it would be great to stay 29 forever?  Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, to hurt those you care about ...

posted 5:59:10pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

The Water Diviner
Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, "The Water Diviner" is an absorbing drama about ...

posted 5:58:54pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Critics Write About Our First Encounters with Star Wars
The latest Criticwire survey asks for our first encounters with "Star Wars." I had a lot of fun writing about mine: A long, long time ...

posted 9:22:38am Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.