Mangrove (2020, Steve McQueen)

Frank (Shaun Parkes of the current Lost in Space reboot) is the restaurant owner and social center who gets all the soulful closeups, Altheia (Letitia Wright) is the requisite movie star, a pregnant Black Panther, Darcus (Malachi Kirby of the latest Roots reboot) is a self-representing defendant who gets all the best speeches, and Barbara (Rochenda Sandall, who used to play a character named McQueen) has the best hair, and a spiel about how the children are our future. That leaves whiteys Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) as their lawyer who looks like Austin Powers’ buttoned-up brother, and Sam Spruell (Russian baddie of Taken 3) as the racist pig leader.

Kirby:

First half is in the streets and the restaurant, figuring out how to make a life without getting hassled by the pigs (impossible), second half has real based-on-a-true-court-case energy, as indeed it was. The lines aren’t as head-smacking as they were in Widows, and McQueen finds some evocative visuals every so often, but mostly powering through this to get to Lovers Rock.

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