Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: In 1976, after years of mysterious absence, Marcus returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age in the midst of the Black Power movement. While his arrival raises suspicion among his family and former neighbors, he finds acceptance from his old friend Patricia and her daughter. However, Marcus quickly finds himself at odds with the organization he once embraced, whose members suspect he orchestrated the slaying of their former comrade-in-arms. In a startling sequence of events, Marcus must protect a secret that could shatter everyone's beliefs as he rediscovers his forbidden passion for Patricia. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dec 7, 2010
    Writer-director Tanya Hamilton's intellectually ambitious debut drama Night Catches Us is all the more notable for setting well-drawn fictional characters in a fraught, real moment in civil rights history.
  2. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 7, 2010
    Ms. Hamilton tells a modest, complex story with admirable clarity and nuance. That her film is so quiet, so evidently invested in contemplation rather than confrontation, gives it power as well as insight.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Dec 8, 2010
    The film leads to no showy conclusion, no spectacular climax. It is about movement possible within the soul even in difficult times.
  4. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Dec 7, 2010
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Dec 7, 2010
    The movie evokes its time and place so potently that it almost doesn't matter that Hamilton's script proves unequal to her vision.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Dec 7, 2010
    "Night" never quite coalesces into the forceful drama it hopes to be.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 9, 2010
    Suffers from some of the deficiencies common to first features. It is sincere and earnest but the product of an assumption that the milieu itself is compelling enough to command an audience's attention.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 4, 2010
    Fantastic. Really. One of the best things I've seen in ages. It is a gripping story and the way it is told is deeply moving. Mackie, Washington, and the guys from The Wire give great performances. Expand
  2. Dec 4, 2010
    This is an extraordinary film--beautifully written,directed, shot, acted, and edited. Plus a phenomenal soundtrack. It is a substantial, nuanced, personal, political story--the kind that American film rarely tells anymore. And definitely should be seen on the big screen. Expand