Universal Pictures | Release Date: November 27, 2019
6.0
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Mixed or average reviews based on 81 Ratings
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48
Mixed:
8
Negative:
25
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10
KnottbDec 15, 2019
Great acting! Movie highlights issues that still exist today as far as police brutality and the perspective of those aware of such issues.
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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7
mouse77Dec 13, 2019
A little on the nose at times, but otherwise powerful and poetic. A hard movie to rate as its message is the focal point, and is hard to look away from.
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
100TruebeautyDec 18, 2019
Very real issues in our society, good dramatic visuals and the acting is well played. Definitely worth watching!
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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7
Bertaut1Feb 11, 2020
A powerful socio-political statement disguised as a road-movie

White police officers killing black men is something we've seen much of in recent years, and it's been represented in films such as Fruitvale Station (2013), The Hate U Give
A powerful socio-political statement disguised as a road-movie

White police officers killing black men is something we've seen much of in recent years, and it's been represented in films such as Fruitvale Station (2013), The Hate U Give (2018), and Widows (2018). And to that list you can now add Queen & Slim, albeit with an asterisk, because here, it's a black man killing a white police officer. But he does so only in self-defence. The film works well as a taut duo on the run story - à la They Live By (1950), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Badlands (1973), and Thelma and Louise (1991). However, underneath the genre elements, it's really a socio-political commentary that attempts to Speak Truth to Power and is fundamentally of the moment. It also happens to be a very fine film, albeit a little too long and with some tonal inconsistencies.

Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) are returning from an unsuccessful first date when they are pulled over by Officer Reed (Sturgill Simpson). Unnecessarily threatening and belligerent from the start, when Reed orders Slim to the ground, Queen attempts to start recording and Reed shoots her in the leg. Slim then tackles Reed, gets his gun, and kills him. Slim wants to remain at the scene, but Queen points out that a black man has just shot a white cop with his own gun, and if they stay, the best they can hope for is prison. And so the duo find themselves on the lam, with Slim concocting a vague plan to head south from Ohio to Miami, and ultimately on to Cuba. Meanwhile, mostly without their knowledge, they become the symbol for and inspiration behind a nationwide protest movement against racially-motivated police violence.

Queen & Slim is written by Lena Waithe and directed by Melina Matsoukas, and looks at issues such as ethnic tension, systemic racism, unchecked police violence, communal anger, and both the importance and danger of protest movements. Importantly, however, it's not a piece of social realism. On their journey from Ohio to Miami, Queen and Slim encounter a litany of black characters, all of whom know who they are, all of whom approve of what they did and treat them like folk heroes (except a mechanic (Gralen Bryant Banks) who's unimpressed with their actions). This isn't done to suggest that black identity in the US is monolithic, rather it's to make an allegorical point; it's a reference to a "them and us" mentality, an allegorical sense which is heightened with references to slave catchers, chain gangs, and the Underground Railroad.

The other major theme is the notion of legacy, which is tied into the fact that Queen and Slim are symbols for a nationwide movement. The fact that they don't see themselves as symbols, doesn't matter to the people who mythologise them. When Slim kills Reed, he and Queen flee because they assume they won't get a fair trial in a country that sees race before all else. And this assumption is what forms the basis of the movement built in their name, with black people shown as exasperated by such treatment. In such a dangerously volatile milieu, Queen and Slim provide the spark that sets the tinderbox aflame.

Waithe's screenplay does a good job of telling us who Queen and Slim are from the get-go, taking only a few moments during the opening scene to set up many of the characteristics that will prove important later. And because the scene is a first date, the dialogue can introduce such getting-to-know-you material without it seeming expositionary or inorganic. The acting is also terrific by everyone.

There are some problems though. For example, the movie inexplicably uses voiceover on occasion. But not normal voiceover - two characters will start a normal conversation and then some of the dialogue is delivered via VO, only for the normal conversation to resume again. I honestly don't know what the point is, but it sure is distracting. Some scenes are also just too fanciful - such as the one where the duo stop so Slim can ride a horse and a bizarre scene with a gas station clerk, which (I think) is supposed to be comic relief. Another poorly conceived scene, sees Matsoukas cut to Slim's father (Thom Gossom Jr.) to show us that the police are monitoring his phone. It's an entirely unnecessary scene that breaks the rigidly maintained focalisation up to this point. The film also runs about 15 minutes too long, and in its final moments, it veers very close to melodrama.

These issues notwithstanding, however, this is a strong film that works on several levels. On the one hand, it's a decent duo-on-the-run story; on the other, it's a film tuned into the socio-political frequency of the times. A snapshot of a house divided against itself, it paints a bleak picture of a group that has been pushed and prodded to the point where combustion may be unavoidable. 31% of Americans believe that a race-related Civil War will happen within their lifetime. Queen & Slim suggests they might just be correct.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
MarkHReviewsDec 25, 2019
“Queen and Slim” will haunt you.

Unlike so many films that offer so little in the way of character development, “Queen and Slim” traces the main characters’ rapid evolution from awkward first meeting to trust and to, perhaps, a first
“Queen and Slim” will haunt you.

Unlike so many films that offer so little in the way of character development, “Queen and Slim” traces the main characters’ rapid evolution from awkward first meeting to trust and to, perhaps, a first experience at love. Because the audience is welcomed into their inner lives, we care deeply about what happens to them. And what happens to these two characters is infuriating, heart-breaking and soul-crushing.

In Act One, Queen and Slim are on a first date. When a white cop pulls them over for failing to use a turn signal, the situation rapidly escalates. Queen is shot. Slim ultimately fights the officer and shoots him in self-defense. The balance of the story traces their flight from Cleveland through the South to a hoped-for escape by plane from South Florida to Cuba. During their journey, the couple evolves from sheer panic to a sketchy plan, to bold action and adventures, to eventual hope that it all may work out. It’s a harrowing journey in which the viewer is fully invested.

What ramps up the emotional intensity of “Queen and Slim” is its “ripped from the headlines” feel. I left the theater believing that it was a true story, only to discover from subsequent research that the creative team had used elements from many recent true events to craft the powerful, though fictitious, story line.

The two main actors are simply magnificent. As Slim, Daniel Kaluuya – who had a breakout role in “Get Out” and solidified his star appeal in “Black Panther” – is compelling as a black man committed to worshipping God, loving his family and following the rules. As Queen, Jodie Turner-Smith (“Jett,” “The Last Ship”) uses her physical presence and her character’s indomitable will to command viewers’ attention in every frame where she’s on the screen.

The film is rich in symbolism. Director Melina Matsoukas (“Insecure,” “Beyonce: Formation”) and Writer Lena Waithe (“The Chi,” “Master of None”) clearly intend for the two protagonists to represent the black experience. (To underline the point, their names aren’t revealed until the end of the film.) If you’ve seen “Harriet” recently, references to the Underground Railroad (in reverse) are pretty apparent.

This film may be even more important because of its contribution to a much broader conversation. Based on the movies that have come out over the past 2-3 years, it seems that black writers and directors are in conflict over the trajectory of the black experience with white authority, especially police. In “BlacKkKlansman” and “Black and Blue,” Spike Lee and Deon Taylor offer stories with a positive arc. On the other hand, “Sorry to Bother You” and “Blindspotting” offer searing indictments that are heavy on oppression, light on hope. The upcoming “Just Mercy” seems poised to weigh in as well.

Whatever the outcome of that debate, “Queen and Slim” must be included in this canon of important social commentary. It offers a powerful, compelling story that’s a sometimes uncomfortable, but essential, experience for everybody. It may be particularly instructive for white audiences, woke and un-woke.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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7
JustfullmetalJan 4, 2020
This movie was alright. I thought the ending was pretty funny but other than that the soundtrack was pretty good.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
Gwaiita11Dec 15, 2019
- Watched this yesterday
- amazing movie
- very serious underlying theme was shown well - Serious but also very funny
- all around amazing movie - I’d watch it again.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
maunikabDec 28, 2019
A movie that keeps you on suspense. Definitely a movie to see. Well written.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
Rebecca07Dec 28, 2019
Pretty good movie, I enjoyed I climax of it especially as both lovers were escaping the authorities. The ending had me feeling deep frustration and sadness.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
MikeA747Jan 14, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very entertaining and dramatic. You really get to like and care about the main characters. You are rooting them to get away and rooting against the police like a modern day Bonnie and Clyde yet with heart. That's why it shocking the way the film ends and while the ending is not what you want you end up realizing it makes a more powerful statement than if it had ended any other way. Must see. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
August49Jan 26, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Flawed but compelling film. J T-S (and the director) seem to forget from time to time that she had been shot in the leg by the first policeman. The alternating limp, OK, limp, OK was one of the distracting elements of an otherwise good film. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
Stream2BigScreeJan 28, 2020
Ride or Die with Queen and Slim

The Stream: Movie was about 20 minutes too long The Big Screen: Romantic, relevant, and great performances by the leading actors The Final Bill: A must see film that will be an instant classic for the
Ride or Die with Queen and Slim

The Stream: Movie was about 20 minutes too long

The Big Screen: Romantic, relevant, and great performances by the leading actors

The Final Bill: A must see film that will be an instant classic for the underlying messages and actors’ chemistry

-S2S

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And on this joyous occasion of giving thanks and enjoying family and friends, we bring to you a review of Queen and Slim. This film can be described as two people’s first date lasting much longer than expected when a police officer pulls them over and the rest becomes a viral and cultural phenomenon. Let’s ride with Queen and Slim.

Ok, let’s get the few bad things out of the way. The movie drug on. I could see at least 15 to 20 minutes of the film that could have been edited to make the movie faster or flow a little better; however, I also could see the director saying the pacing was done on purpose at times. Regardless of that, there is at least one scene in particular that I think could be cut immediately and save the viewer 5 pointless minutes. Finally, you would have to suspend belief to make this movie work. In the time the movie lasts, current day technology makes this a virtual impossibility. There is no way this ride would last as long with the lack of hiding or planning that occurred.

Now, for the bevy of positives for Queen and Slim. First, this film is on point, both culturally and in terms of its relevance. From the music/soundtrack to cultural and political climate of our times, Queen and Slim strikes a poignant chord. The soundtrack in itself is so powerful. We ride with them, we cry with them, we get high with them. Few movies this year, I believe, can match or surpass the brilliance put into the film score and sound mixing. This movie would provide the soundtrack of the summer, if the movie came out in May.

Next, Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith gave us all of them in this film. Individually, you could feel the love and hurt from each character; however, together at times they were even better. Their chemistry on screen was palpable and truly drove this film. Neither may get the acclaim they deserve from the likes of the Oscars or Golden Globes, but I believe one or both is deserving of a nomination. Let’s not forget Uncle Earl. Bokeem Woodbine definitely hijacked a portion of this movie. I could see how snobbier sites wouldn’t appreciate, or think his portrayal was necessary or appropriate, but what he brought to this film was truly priceless. I know the audience I viewed this with agrees. One could also say that the writing by Lena Waithe and James Frey gave the cast excellence to work with.

Finally, the messages of this movie are quite powerful, and needed as well. I can’t say what they are without spoiling the movie, but in the political climate we live, this movie is right on point. Actually, this movie might be late and was needed much sooner. Yet, it’s never too late. This movie will spark conversation over the Thanksgiving tables but remember to keep it friendly.

Queen and Slim, while a different type of romantic dramedy, rivals and, I believe ultimately, will be associated with the likes of the Love and Basketball, Love Jones, and If Beale Street Could Talk. The performances in the movie and the conversation piece this movie will be makes it worth every dollar in the movie theater. Date night or not, this movie is a fresh box of popcorn.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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10
Prinzo10Feb 9, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Super black love. The story of black people in America. This film is proof that black people are guilty from the moment they're born. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
tropicAcesNov 29, 2019
There’s more good than bad but there are some baffling creative choices throughout, resulting in unintentional laughs or frustrating conflicting messages.
5 of 7 users found this helpful52
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6
TVJerryDec 4, 2019
Add this twosome to the classic outlaw duos like Thelma and Lousie and Bonnie and Clyde. When the movie starts, Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith play a black couple on a bad date. After he kills a cop in self-defense, they go on the run.Add this twosome to the classic outlaw duos like Thelma and Lousie and Bonnie and Clyde. When the movie starts, Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith play a black couple on a bad date. After he kills a cop in self-defense, they go on the run. During their plight, they garner the support of their community and even become a cause. Expectedly, they come to appreciate each other, as do we. There are flaws in the logic and the drama sometimes gets overwrought, but the script from Lena Waithe and the directorial debut from Melina Matsoukas combine to create a compelling new take on a classic narrative. Expand
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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10
KbailsDec 2, 2019
This movie was absolutely phenomenal! I literally laughed and cried and was on the edge of my seat the entire movie so many twists and so thought provoking! Definitely a must see!
4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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10
PurpleLuvaNov 27, 2019
Loved....loved...loved! Fantabulously written! The plot wasn’t generic! Loved the foreshadowing! The ending perturbed me! It’s a two-peater!!
6 of 10 users found this helpful64
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10
natechateauNov 30, 2019
Melina Matsoukas gave birth to a classic. A Black tale I did not know I needed. You will laugh, you will cry, you will hurl. Go watch it.
4 of 7 users found this helpful43
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5
AirtraftonNov 27, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie while entertaining offers no hope or uplifting messages for black people! The biggest betrayal in this movie comes from blacks betraying blacks in a movie about police oppression and its effects on America. Expand
4 of 7 users found this helpful43
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10
morganhend_Nov 30, 2019
BOMB MOVIE!! 10/10, I highly recommend seeing this! Make sure you pee before thought bc it’s 2 hours long lol
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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8
GreatMartinDec 17, 2019
There are many unbelievable moments in "Queen & Slim" but the most shocking, head shaking and unbelievable are 5 that will make you gasp and wonder how these things can happen and be taken for granted today.

Giving spoilers are not my thing
There are many unbelievable moments in "Queen & Slim" but the most shocking, head shaking and unbelievable are 5 that will make you gasp and wonder how these things can happen and be taken for granted today.

Giving spoilers are not my thing and after waiting a few weeks to see this movie I did come across a couple of things that almost ruined the movie for me and 3 involve violence. Those 3 things could have been read about in any newspaper or magazine and seen on every news telecast yet seeing them in this film will still effect you mentally if not physical.

An example of one of the unbelievable moments, which is funny, is when a man who never had a drink slugs down about 3 ounces of bourbon and neither coughs or makes a face! There is the one where one of the leads get shot in the thigh and forgets to limp though if you blink you will miss it. Okay, none of this takes away from the screenplay by Lena Waithe or the direction by Melina Matsoukas, who bring to the movie things that haven't been shown or dealt with on film for all audiences.

Though you may have heard, and it is referred to in the script, this is like a "Bonnie and Clyde" it is nothing like it except for a couple on the run. The film starts off with a first date gone wrong with her a lawyer and him a Costco employee meeting through Tinder and escalates from there though one of the unbelievable moments, at the beginning, is that he drives her home because she didn't come in her own car.

There are a lot of fine actors in this movie starting with newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith as Queenie and Daniel Kaluuya as Slim. As mismatched as they may be and showing no chemistry that changes as the movie progresses. As it becomes a road movie we meet Bokeem Woodbine, Chloe Sevigny, Indya Moore, Flea, Sturgill Simpson, Melanie Halfkenny, Benito Martinez among others, most who add various insights into the beings of both Queen and Slim.

I can tell you some of the things that happen but as a movie goer
you would be better off experiencing them with fresh eyes and ears.

Though first time director Halfkenny adds some unnecessary scenes, such as one with a horse and another in a gas station her biggest mistake which takes away from what should have been the last scene by adding 3-4 more, each fading to black, so don't leave until the end credits start.

"Queen & Slim" is a very interesting movie and though many things may be 'old news' to Blacks both they and Whites should see it and maybe, just maybe, the unbelievable won't be so believable.
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2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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4
The3AcademySinsDec 17, 2019
Queen and Slim...I kind of hated it. Kind of. There were some good elements in this movie. The acting performances were pretty great across the board. The soundtrack was also pretty good. The direction did a fantastic job of keeping a veryQueen and Slim...I kind of hated it. Kind of. There were some good elements in this movie. The acting performances were pretty great across the board. The soundtrack was also pretty good. The direction did a fantastic job of keeping a very palpable feeling of anxiety building throughout the entire film. Where Queen and Slim falls apart is the narrative. The plot makes no sense. This script would fail a Screenwriting 101 class. Without going into spoilers, there are fumbled scenes that contradict each other completely. Characters have huge conflicts of interest that are never addressed. There are so many plot developments that would just never happen, and that just occur out of the blue. Queen and Slim is emotionally powerful, but baffling in the storytelling department.

My final verdict on Queen and Slim would be: don't waste money on this in the theater. If you think the movie would be interesting for you, wait until you can find it streaming somewhere.
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3
Davisb123Jan 7, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Queen and Slim was beautifully shot, well-edited, and for the most part, well-acted; however, much of the film left me incredibly confused. There were several questionable moments in Queen and Slim that lead me to believe the script was poorly written. Two scenes that come to mind as particularly puzzling are the horse-riding scene and the gas station clerk scene. In these two scenes, it becomes pretty apparent how ridiculous and unrealistic much of the writing of this film is. I think most of the lead actors did the best they could with such lousy writing, but this movie is still barely tolerable. Towards the end of the film, I was seriously considering walking out of the theater due to how absurd and sappy the final scenes were. I appreciate the political statement the film was attempting to make, but I think the writers and director did not go far enough to create a lasting message. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this film. As much as I enjoy good cinematography, political and societal commentary, and actor Daniel Kaluuya, I was not at all impressed by this film. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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3
SwetybearDec 28, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Greatt casting and acting marred by an unrealistic story. People from my culture are extremely unlikely to stop to ride horseback while on the lamb!. Even the Texans I know thought that was weak.And don't talk to me about symbolism.. it's not Shakespeare. We don't hang out of cars cruising down the highway, either. Also found it unlikely the kid would shoot a Black cop given the circumstances and lack of provocation. Still, I loved the acting!. They could have done so much more with this movie. Expand
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0
Remedy34Dec 3, 2019
This movie would've been great if there were Foundational Blk Americans portraying Foundational Blk Americans
3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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10
jfreddieNov 27, 2019
Powerful and unexpected. Reminded me of Get Out but even better. It struck me how of-the-moment it was even as it felt like it was taking us back in time over the course of the story unfolding
4 of 10 users found this helpful46
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6
moviemitch96Nov 29, 2019
An African American couple out on their first date are pulled over by a racist police officer that unjustly attempts to shoot them and is killed by the couple in self-defense, prompting them to go on the run. As expected, this film had a lotAn African American couple out on their first date are pulled over by a racist police officer that unjustly attempts to shoot them and is killed by the couple in self-defense, prompting them to go on the run. As expected, this film had a lot to say regarding race, judgement, police enforcement, etc. here in America. And while its two leads work great alongside one another, and there are some intense moments to be had, I couldn't help but feel more frustrated than entertained by the end of this one. They played out the ending like it was supposed to be some sort of payoff or bittersweet ending, but I simply viewed it as another disappointing look at the bitter and unwarranted tension many cops have against African Americans. By the end of this one, I also felt as though the statement it had to make is one that's been said time and again in many films dealing with race. Overall, great performances from its two leads, but there's nothing new to see here that's already been covered by other films like this, and like I said, I felt more frustrated and even slightly infuriated than satisfied by the end of this one. Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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9
MarcDoyleNov 27, 2019
Just an elegant, outstanding film. The trailer doesn't do it justice. The two leads are uniformly excellent, but the supporting characters are equally amazing. Special shout-out to Benito Martinez ("The Shield") and Flea ("Lakers").
3 of 8 users found this helpful35
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10
Arn230Nov 27, 2019
Great movie! Powerful and poignant! Thankful for new voices and new representation on the screen.
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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5
Naz34Dec 22, 2019
I have mixed feelings about the film. I enjoyed it far more, after the first viewing. After reading some of the excessive sjw/supremacist/racist pandering from the director, writer...I became more critical about certain inflammatory events ofI have mixed feelings about the film. I enjoyed it far more, after the first viewing. After reading some of the excessive sjw/supremacist/racist pandering from the director, writer...I became more critical about certain inflammatory events of the film.

I am a woman of color. I don't tolerate racism or profiling or bigotry or negative stereotypes of any kind. I am not a white woman. However, I found the commentary/rhetoric espoused by the people behind this film to be incredibly disturbing, offensive, and extremist in nature that makes a beautifully-looking tragic art film into something that can be badly weaponized if perceived a certain way. As for positives: Great suspense, great music, and great performances. Daniel K. is an underrated, gifted actor. Jodie Turner Smith gives a remarkable film debut performance and I am surprised she is not receiving award nominations left & right.
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0
eltonnnnnDec 6, 2019
this movie is f** white people and cops. look how angry black people are all the time in America.
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0
WizzleMar 10, 2020
Queen and Slim is a horrible movie. It glorifies violence and crime as virtuous. It also glorifies gratuitous sex and prostitution. It is a wasted two hours of life to see it.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
JLuis_001Jan 8, 2020
It's clear this film is a debut despite the experience the director have making music videos but even so this was better than I expected and that will always be something nice.

Maybe the biggest problem is how the story resigns to show
It's clear this film is a debut despite the experience the director have making music videos but even so this was better than I expected and that will always be something nice.

Maybe the biggest problem is how the story resigns to show something well know about the dangers of living while black but never tries to go into another direction and that to me was disappointing because I don't deny what african-americans suffer in the US but I don't think their stories when they involve this sort of narratives should always embrace that thematic. Just a personal thought.
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10
katezoeMar 21, 2020
A Felliniesque meditation and celebration of the Black experience in America. Melina Matsoukas’ debut film is best known as the director of Beyonce’s “Formation” video—this drama depicts a way of life unseen by white America.
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