Monday 17 June 2019

Monsters and Men review: 'All the characters feel like adjuncts of an argument rather than actual people'

3 stars

Anthony Ramos and John David Washington appear in Monsters and Men by Reinaldo Marcus Green, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alystyre Julian.
Anthony Ramos and John David Washington appear in Monsters and Men by Reinaldo Marcus Green, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alystyre Julian.
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

Police violence against African-Americans has become a recurring theme in US cinema of late, and in Reinaldo Marcus Green's drama, the issue is explored, Rashomon-like, from multiple angles.

When Brooklyn man Manny (Anthony Ramos) witnesses the fatal police shooting of a friend, he films it on his phone, but if he uploads the footage, he may become a target himself.

Meanwhile, a black cop (John David Washington) feels deeply uneasy about the event, and a promising baseball player is politicised by it.

Monsters And Men is well made but rather dull, and all the characters feel like adjuncts of an argument rather than actual people.

(15A 95mins)

Also releasing this week: Paul Whitington: Mary Queen of Scots review - 'It might not be an entirely accurate history lesson, but it’s certainly an entertaining one'

 

Glass review: 'Hard to know how to describe it, but the phrase grandiose nonsense springs to mind'

 

Beautiful Boy review: 'A moving film, bolstered by two fine performances'

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