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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Summary: At prestigious Winchester University, biracial student Samantha White begins her radio show, "Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn't count." Sam becomes president of the all-blackAt prestigious Winchester University, biracial student Samantha White begins her radio show, "Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn't count." Sam becomes president of the all-black residential hall Parker/Armstrong, whose existence is facing extinction in the name of diversification. TV reality show "Black Face/White Place" smells gold in Sam's story and decides to follow it, rejecting the proposal of fellow black student Coco Conners, who pitched her show "Doing Time at an Ivy League". The clamor over Sam's rise also becomes a career-defining opportunity for black misfit Lionel Higgins when he is asked to join the school's lily-white newspaper staff to cover the controversy, even though he secretly knows little about black culture. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 23, 2014
    100
    Dear White People isn't perfect. And yet the flaws really don't matter. This is the best film about college life in a long time, satiric or straight, comedy or drama.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 23, 2014
    90
    Simien's film is one of those rare works that teach by appearing not to — you laugh at some of the antics, cringe at others, but the film is so entertaining you may forget you're learning something.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Oct 23, 2014
    88
    Although there are moments when the characters in Dear White People sound as if they’re reciting different sections of a thesis, overall Simien’s screenplay is tight, funny, smart and insightful, and his direction has just enough indie feel without becoming too self-conscious or preachy.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 22, 2014
    78
    The cast is game and Siemen’s trenchant observations are the mark of a filmmaker with something to say – an increasing rarity in this day and age.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Oct 16, 2014
    75
    It’s true that satire is the perfect weapon of reason, and Justin Simien deploys it with resourcefulness, cool assurance and eagle-eyed aim.
  6. 75
    Simien focuses too much on the character played by his star, Williams, which seems a mistake. Scenes are underscored with classical music chestnuts, a trite way of suggesting “academia.” And the ending is an eye-roller.
  7. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jun 20, 2014
    60
    Bristling with arguments about the complexities of black identity in a supposedly post-racial America, this lively and articulate campus-set comedy proves better at rattling off ideas and presenting opposing viewpoints than it does squeezing them into a coherent narrative frame.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Oct 21, 2014
    9
    Prior to watching this movie I was already convinced that it was going to be hilarious and I would enjoy watching it. Showing up to the moviePrior to watching this movie I was already convinced that it was going to be hilarious and I would enjoy watching it. Showing up to the movie theater at Century City I was surprised to see that there weren't as many people that I would have expected, however, this was most likely because I went to catch the late showing on Sunday night. Not surprisingly, I did in fact enjoy the movie. Personally, I think it was clever, motivational, funny and educational all at the same time. I have to admit that although it was not my favorite movie of all time, I enjoyed watching a unique movie which did not use the typical cliché tricks to make a movie interesting.

    I believe that the purpose of this movie was to show that there are many ways of being an activist. There are several ways you can speak up and be creative. The point is that everyone's story and situation is different, and everyone experiences life differently and act based on those occurrences or understandings. Overall, I enjoyed watching a movie that showed that it is okay to fight for the same thing in different ways; in the end it is the goal that matters the most.
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  2. Oct 20, 2014
    9
    Definitely funny, poignant and just plain 'On Time'. Go see it!
    It perfectly captures the racial era we are currently in and if you've gone
    Definitely funny, poignant and just plain 'On Time'. Go see it!
    It perfectly captures the racial era we are currently in and if you've gone to a university as a person of color you can definitely relate.
    Expand
  3. Oct 22, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The beginning of the movie was excellent because it very quickly and efficiently gave a large amount of backstory without coddling the viewer. I felt that the early scenes of the movie was where the movie was the strongest. As a viewer It was easy for me to understand the plights of each of the four main characters on which the movie was focused on. All of the actors performances were full of emotion and feeling, everyone carried their own. As someone who doesn't pay as much attention as he probably should to issues of discrimination and prejudice, this film portrayed, and introduced a variety of issues in a way that I was able to quickly grasp and understand. Instead of blatantly stating what part of Black culture that a character was supposed to represent, the film used context and imagery to achieve the same message. The bread and butter of the film was showing the interactions and experiences that people of certain groups and orientations go through and what they feel during these events. The film was also very friendly in its presentation and did not at all during any moment, come off as preachy or oppressive. However, I thought that it was perhaps a little too friendly. Instead of taking the opportunity to enlighten the viewer on some issues the movie read more like a safe and formulaic story. The plot line was also a bit hard to follow because the story felt so much like simple life events. Thats not to say that it was bad, its just not the usual overstimulating action flick that I would usually go see. In conclusion, the movie was great, the actors were on point, the cinematography was quirky, and the story was educational for me but I somehow expected to see a more provocative film. It was a movie that I strongly recommend you go see in theaters but I don't recommend that you buy on DVD. Expand
  4. Oct 22, 2014
    8
    The indie film, Dear White People highlights an image that most non-white, college educated, ethnicities has seen their life. The image ofThe indie film, Dear White People highlights an image that most non-white, college educated, ethnicities has seen their life. The image of walking into a college campus setting and see the abundance of blonde hair and blue eyes. Automatically may have someone with darker hue skin feel as if they are in the wrong setting. Ethnic diversity is no longer hiding in the background but diversity holds place in front of our eyes. Dear White People is a reminder of things that I do, Hispanics are said to hardly leave tip and I sometimes do not. I try to justify why I tip a certain amount of money due to the service I was provided. I have once tipped of large amount so that I won’t be judged as a typical Hispanic that does not leave tip money.
    Dear White People highlights the importance of millennial to recognize opportunities we have and to use them properly to propel towards equality for all races. Although millennial do have the fortune of having technological support, it is important to understand that we also have to keep focus on issues that are relevant to our generation. As a generation of millennial, we must act upon unequal treatments that affect our generation. We must commit and not become distracted with the fast-pace technological life and focus on what truly matters to us. We must discuss, and use our generation’s gift, technology, with each other and not at each other in regards to equal treatment.
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  5. Nov 16, 2014
    8
    Entertaining, well written and very relevant with interesting character development.. I guess we aren't living in a post-racial world afterEntertaining, well written and very relevant with interesting character development.. I guess we aren't living in a post-racial world after all. You should see this film. It makes you laugh and makes you think. Expand
  6. Oct 30, 2014
    6
    The trailer for this film (click on the link below) looks like a sassy sendup on stereotypes. As happens sometimes, those are the only 2 1/2The trailer for this film (click on the link below) looks like a sassy sendup on stereotypes. As happens sometimes, those are the only 2 1/2 minutes of comedy in the film. The rest takes a satirical, but serious look at racial dynamics, college politics and personal relationships. It's set at a fictional college where residential hall rivalries cause conflict. Surprisingly, in all the cultural discussion, there's a positive subplot about gay issues. The performances are genuine, but writer/director Justin Simien holds too tightly to his messages, which gives the dialogue too much didactic weight. Young people might enjoy the MTV-tinged drama, but don't go expecting lots of laffs. Expand
  7. Nov 1, 2014
    0
    This is some of the worst crap I've ever seen -- suffocatingly dull, absolutely devoid of wit, poorly acted and scripted by amateurs. TheThis is some of the worst crap I've ever seen -- suffocatingly dull, absolutely devoid of wit, poorly acted and scripted by amateurs. The direction -- what the camera chooses to see -- is so static and uninventive that you'd think it was shot by a high school student working on a shoestring budget.

    The New York Times of course gave it a rave review, which tells you how far the newspaper is willing to go in order to suck up to political correctness and seem hip. As for users, the reviewers are either too young or too stupid to understand what constitutes good satire. Check out the film "Putney Swope" for comparison.
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See all 10 User Reviews

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