Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
After premiering earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, Monsters and Men comes to TIFF this week and is just as timely and ferocious as it was nine months ago. The film tells the story of three men from different walks of life dealing with the fallout of a Black man being shot dead by the police in their community.
In a year where we have already seen films like Blindspotting and BlacKkKlansman tackling racial injustice, Monsters and Men may seem like a simple retread. But Writer/Director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s blistering debut feature is anything but. For 95-minutes, Green envelopes us in the chaos, outrage and uncertainty of what these communities are facing when innocent men are killed. It never panders to the audience, and its gritty authenticity makes it all the more startlingly relevant and at times, increasingly difficult to watch. Performances from everyone are absolutely terrific no matter how long they are on-screen, but the lead work from Anthony Ramos, John David Washington and Kelvin Harrison Jr. is among some of the best of the year.
Monsters and Men screens Thursday, September 6 at 9:00 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Friday, September 7 at 2:30 PM at Winter Garden Theatre and Friday, September 14 at 2:30 PM at Winter Garden Theatre.
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