Monsters And Men
ANDY’S RATING: ★★★★ In cinemas on Friday
WE don’t hear the chant Black Lives Matter in this classy drama.
It’s definitely informed by the movement, but the film – inspired by the 2014 police shooting of Eric Garner – has more on its mind than easy slogans.
The film is made up of three separate 30-minute dramas which are linked by the police shooting of Darius Larson (Samel Edwards), a good-natured guy from Brooklyn who sells loose cigarettes outside a corner shop.
In the first, we follow Manny Ortega (Anthony Ramos), a young dad who films the incident.
When the police warn him to keep quiet, he must decide whether to put his desire for justice ahead of the needs of his family.
In the second instalment, we are with Dennis (John David Washington, Denzel’s son), a black cop who has turned a blind eye to the racism and corruption of his colleagues.
The third section shows how the shooting affects a high-school athlete (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), who has to choose between political activism and a baseball scholarship.
The second instalment is the most interesting, but all three of them are beautifully shot and powerfully performed.