A former Black Panther (Anthony Mackie) faces enmity from family and neighbors after he returns to his hometown to bury his father.
" Except for a stellar soundtrack by the Roots, there isn't much here to make anyone overly excited. "
" The film leads to no showy conclusion, no spectacular climax. It is about movement possible within the soul even in difficult times. "
" As a director, Hamilton makes Liv Ullmann look like an action movie director - and just for the record, Ullmann makes Ingmar Bergman look like Jerry Bruckheimer. "
" Acting, particularly by Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington, is first-rate, but the story is as ramshackle as a South Philly tenement, with an equal number of structural violations. "
" It raises tangled questions about whether it is better to live humiliated or arm yourself, yet for the most part it's dramatically inert, talky and directionless, and it ends quietly without saying much of anything. "
" Night Catches Us, Tanya Hamilton's first feature as a director, is something to cherish. "
" Hamilton will no doubt make more polished movies, but this one has unusual atmosphere and emotional depth, and tackles subject matter no mainstream American film would touch without Hazmat equipment. "
" Here is an honorable attempt to address a complex chapter of African-American pride, one that's usually hidden under hairdos and wah-wah pedals. "
" Its rhythm forces audiences to pay attention to what its superb actors express non-verbally, and to measure the weight of the characters' past lives. "
" Merits admiration as an ambitious debut feature, though the impact of its splendid cast is blunted by the awkward structure of its screenplay. "
" Making a remarkable feature debut, Hamilton distinguishes herself more as a filmmaker than as a screenwriter. "
" Night Catches Us, a politically sophisticated and ethically serious film, makes no big speeches or obvious points. "
" Writer-director Tanya Hamilton's striking debut is the rare recent American-independent film that goes beyond the private dramas of its protagonists, imagining them as players in broader historical moments. "
" Tanya Hamilton directed her own script, and though her ending leaves loose ends dangling, the movie is refreshing for its seriousness and originality. "
" The film is compelling as it dramatizes the confusing and contradictory impulses in the black community during that time. "
SIGN UP FOR THE REELZ NEWSLETTER: