Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Oct 11, 2013
    Though it boasts an eye-catching roster of supporting performances — Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Mackie — most of the running time is spent with Mister (Skylan Brooks) and Pete (Ethan Dizon), and both child actors hold your attention impressively.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 10, 2013
    Director George Tillman Jr. compellingly probes how parentless kids cope without financial resources or adults who give a damn.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 10, 2013
    Under the direction of George Tillman Jr., these two young performers exercise remarkable restraint, never milking the material for unearned tears.
  4. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 10, 2013
    [Mr.Tillman] does lovely work here, particularly with the actors, even if his insistent ebullience can feel like a sales pitch.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 10, 2013
    It is an imperfect film about this imperfect world. But if "Mister & Pete" doesn't make you rethink the social safety net that fails these kids, and so many others like them, book some time with a cardiologist.
  6. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Oct 9, 2013
    The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete is a raw, often moving coming-of-age story.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 8, 2013
    Tillman is clumsy in his handling of a few scenes, and considering what these kids are up against—junkie moms, drug-dealing pimp neighbors—the ending might be a little too implausibly upbeat. But Tillman seems to know that we need to go home feeling hope for Mister and Pete, who, it turns out, aren't so easily defeated.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    Oct 15, 2013
    Stylistically, this saga of survival never aims for urban neo-realism. Yet, as sentimental humanism, it shows laudable taste in dodging the usual indulgent touches and turns when lost kids find their way.
  9. 63
    A rough and rough around the edges tale of children growing up on the mean streets of the wrong side of Brooklyn. It’s a coming of age story of a self-absorbed, downtrodden punk with a dream who learns about the love that comes with responsibility.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 11, 2013
    Michael Starrbury’s astute script draws us in slowly, depicting the realities of Mister and Pete’s lives in progressive reveals.
  11. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Oct 8, 2013
    Like its title, Inevitable Defeat is simultaneously gritty and overstuffed, feeling more like the product of first-time screenwriter Michael Starrbury than veteran director George Tillman Jr., though that’s not always for the worse.
  12. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Oct 9, 2013
    In general, Mister & Pete succeeds with this sort of narrative small stuff, establishing the housing project’s internal mythology as well as the tricky dynamics of its underworld.
  13. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 8, 2013
    While not without its touching moments, "Mister and Pete" is inevitably defeated by its own good intentions.
  14. Reviewed by: Charlie Schmidlin
    Oct 22, 2013
    A wonderful document of inner-city oppression and two young actors' beginning steps, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete struggles to establish a cohesive center, and ultimately fumbles any tension on the path toward its title's possible fate.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Sobczynski
    Oct 11, 2013
    The end result proves to be as awkward as its title thanks to its uneven screenplay and tone, and questionable casting in supporting parts.
  16. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Aug 23, 2013
    The real defeat in this ambling fairy tale of hardship, abandonment and resilience is that two potentially winning central characters -- and the tender young actors who play them -- are let down by a programmed screenplay that’s short on narrative muscle.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 12, 2013
    Two boys (Skylan Brooks & Ethan Dizon) are abandoned by their junkie ho mothers to fend for themselves on the rough side of Brooklyn. TheTwo boys (Skylan Brooks & Ethan Dizon) are abandoned by their junkie ho mothers to fend for themselves on the rough side of Brooklyn. The story is relentlessly bleak and there are weak spots in the writing. That said, the performances of these two newcomers are sweet, touching and amazingly accomplished. The supporting cast includes some impressive names (Jennifer Hudson, Anthony Mackie) and director George Tillman Jr. manages to mine the drama without resorting to too much melo. While this film is dark and dismal, the pluck of this duo and the simple brilliance of the two actors is affecting. Full Review »
  2. Jan 22, 2015
    Mister is a boy in his early teens with problems at school and bigger problems at home. He’s failed the school year and someone has writtenMister is a boy in his early teens with problems at school and bigger problems at home. He’s failed the school year and someone has written something rude about his mum in the boy’s toilet which won’t rub off. At home his mother Gloria is too strung out to keep enough food in the house and his annoying younger neighbour Pete is playing on his Playstation. Mister and Pete’s summer goes from rough to very bloody rough when Gloria is arrested during a raid on their tower block. Their summer holiday now consists of trying to scrape together enough food to survive and avoiding the police who will deliver them to child protection services and the dreaded Riverview boy’s home if they catch them.

    There are some very good performances to admire, not least from Skylan Brooks as Mister who shows an impressive range on his debut, alternating between angry resentment, vulnerability and desperation. The film works best in the scenes between Mister and Pete, finding glimmers of happiness amongst the grim realities of surviving the poverty and various villains that inhabit their world. At times the grimness of their situation and the range of baddies they have to contend with seem a bit heavy-handed, but the touches of wit and humanity balance it out and stop it from being dragged under by its own weight.

    There are a few mis-steps, but on the whole this is a success. Full of nicely observed details and performances – well worth a watch.

    Full review at ponderflix on wordpress.
    Full Review »