Some films are just there to provide a little entertainment and then to be done and there is nothing wrong with that because everyone needs a little fun in their lives. However, other films want to be provocative, some films that want to educate, some films that want to hold a mirror up to society, and some that want to all of that and more.
So to set the scene, we open in a diner in Ohio as two people start the awkward banter of getting to know each other. Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) is interested to know why Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) picked tonight to respond to his Tinder request after leaving it on hold for weeks, well Queen just didn’t want to be alone that night. After dinner Slim is taking Queen home when they are pulled over by police Officer Reed (Sturgill Simpson) for a very minor traffic infraction. While the officer is checking the car for drugs (which are not there nor was there any reason to believe there was) Queen, a defence attorney gets out of the car and the officer shoots her in her leg. A scuffle ensues and Slim in self-defence shoots the officer in the head killing him. What do you do? Do you stay and try to explain what happens, or do you run? You run!
TL;DR – A powerful and unflinching look at life at the intersection of race, power, poverty, and privilege.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
One of the most important aspects of film, or indeed any media, is its ability to help you understand a different perspective. For many people in the world, the police are a source of comfort and protection, who you call when you are in danger. But for many people almost the opposite is true, and it can be difficult to understand why that is. However, that is what film is here to do, and that is what today’s film does.
So to set the scene, Starr (Amandla Stenberg) was only a child when her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby) gave her and her siblings Seven (Russell Hornsby) and Sekani (TJ Wright) the talk. No, I am not talking about the birds and the bees, I am talking about what you do when (not if) you get pulled over by the police so you can make it out of it alive. As Starr grew up her mother Lisa (Regina Hall) was determined to make sure she could have the best opportunity available for life and sends her and her siblings to a private school. This makes Starr create two sides of herself, the Williamson side and the Garden Heights side. All of this comes to a head when Starr runs into an old friend Khalil (Algee Smith) at a party. It was a chance to reminisce about the past and how they use to all dress up as Harry Potter. After a gun goes off at the party, Starr and Khalil race to the car, and that is when the world changes for everyone.