Moonlight

(2016)

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Title:
Moonlight
Release Date:
21st October 2016
Runtime:
111 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Barry Jenkins
Writers:
Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Three time periods - young adolescence, mid-teen and young adult - in the life of black-American Chiron is presented. When a child, Chiron lives with his single, crack addict mother Paula in a crime ridden neighborhood in Miami. Chiron is a shy, withdrawn child largely due to his small size and being neglected by his mother, who is more concerned about getting her fixes and satisfying her carnal needs than taking care of him. Because of these issues, Chiron is bullied, the slurs hurled at him which he doesn't understand beyond knowing that they are meant to be hurtful. Besides his same aged Cuban-American friend Kevin, Chiron is given what little guidance he has in life from a neighborhood drug dealer named Juan, who can see that he is neglected, and Juan's caring girlfriend Teresa, whose home acts as a sanctuary away from the bullies and away from Paula's abuse. With this childhood as a foundation, Chiron may have a predetermined path in life, one that will only be magnified in terms of its problems when he reaches his difficult teen years when peer pressure affects what he and many of his peers do, unless he follows Juan's advice of truly making his own decisions for himself.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 86%
IMDb Rating 7.9

Casts

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by marcosaguado 4th January, 2017

Three One Everything

When a film comes out and you know next to nothing about it with a director you don't know and a cast of mostly unknowns and it blows you away like it did me. Then I know I'm confronted by something unique. In fact it was director/writer Martin Donovan who wrote about Moonlight, urging all his actors to run and see it. Thank you sir. The faces of those three young men who are just one did something to my brain and to my heart. The best group of actors I've seen in one single film in a long, long time. The big surprise is that we knew it all along. It's all about love and what it means to be a man. Thank you Barry Jenkisns A revolutionary film made of truth and beauty.

Reviewed by This_is_parsa 11th December, 2016

Possibly The Best Film of 2016

Moonlight is one of the most beautifully told stories of this decade. The camera work used in this film is like never before it has some of the best camera work since Children of Men. The film has a brilliant and beautiful way of using It's camera as a character. The cast is incredible every single one of them giving layered and beautiful performances there is not one bad or decent performance they're all fantastic. The three talented actors that play Chiron are all equally brilliant in their own ways playing the character of Chiron perfectly. Mahershala Ali as the drug dealer is possibly the best performance in the film he is perfect and Naomi Harris has a brilliant supporting role. This film flairs with originality and a unique style of telling It's story. There are some extremely depressing parts in this film involving the second act which nearly made me tear up and there are some sad parts in the 1st and third act as well. I absolutely love the open wold atmosphere Moonlight creates which many films try to do but don't succeed where as Moonlight succeeds at sucking you into It's dark world. Some of the long tracking shots most notably the opening scene are filled with realism and beauty and it sucks you into the characters and the world. There are some parts where the film asks you what would you do If you where Chiron? It puts you in the place of Chiron which I found brilliant. After watching this film if Barry Jenkins keeps this up then he will be known as one of the modern great directors. This film is not only the best film of the year It's one of the best films of this decade. It's a powerful beautiful and metaphorical film that is an absolute essential viewing for any film fan. This film truly floored me in pretty much every aspect. There aren't enough words I can say that'll do justice to this film so check it out at you're nearest theater you won't regret it. 10/10

Reviewed by Turfseer 11th November, 2016

Atmospheric inner city coming of age story has major third act problems

Moonlight represents the end product of a collaboration between Barry Jenkins who wrote the screenplay based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney. It has an amazing score of "99" on Metacritic, with the lowest score being "63." When I saw this score my immediate reaction was that this film is no "99." It's a lot closer to that "63," a score attributed to a review put out by Slant Magazine. Moonlight is divided into three segments, first focusing on a young African-American boy named Chiron (whose nickname is "Little" in the first segment). When we first meet Little, he's run away from home, alienated from his crack-addicted, abusive mother, Paula. A crack dealer named Juan discovers Little inside an abandoned motel and after learning he's been the victim of bullies, he brings him to the home of his girlfriend, Theresa. Little is mute until he opens up the next morning and tells the couple where he lives. Juan eventually forms a relationship with Little, acting as a mentor, despite hostility from the boy's mother. Unfortunately, Juan plays no part in the rest of the film and we eventually learn in the last segment that he's no longer alive. Despite the lugubrious pacing, Moonlight chronicles the tragedy of how drugs can play such a ruinous part in the lives of African-American men and women, residing in the inner city. Just at the right moment, Jenkins introduces Chiron as a teenager in the second segment. Here he is referred to by his true name. The withdrawn child is now a withdrawn teenager who is still coping with his crackhead of a mother and is taunted by other teens who regard him as not only passive but possibly homosexual. Jenkins isn't afraid to chronicle additional problems in the African-American community, especially the scourge of bullying. The story becomes more interesting when Chiron hooks up with his old childhood friend, Kevin, who leads him to a homosexual encounter on the beach. There's more drama when Kevin participates in a hazing ritual, betraying Chiron by slugging him a number of times in the face, at the behest of the usual suspects of high school bullies. When Chiron smashes a chair over the bully in front of his high school class, he's taken away by the police and placed in a juvenile detention center. The third segment focuses on Chiron ten years later—he goes by the name of "Black," an appellation given to him by Kevin when he was in high school. Jenkins makes the mistake of casting the older Chiron with an actor who doesn't resemble the younger high school student Chiron, at all. We find out next to nothing about the older Chiron, except that he's now a hardened drug dealer living in Atlanta. After getting a phone call from Kevin, who now works as a cook in Miami, Black goes to visit him there. He first visits his mother who is now a resident at a nursing home and begs his forgiveness for her earlier deleterious behavior. Naomie Harris does a fine job as the repentant mother and the son hugs her, still acknowledging their bond. Once Black walks into the small restaurant where Kevin now works, the story is virtually over. You can guess what happens next: Black acknowledges that he's been alone since their encounter in high school—and he agrees to send the night with Kevin, who still has feelings for him, despite having a child with a woman from whom he is now separated. Moonlight really runs out of gas in the third act, as Black (Chiron) remains a completely underdeveloped character. The reconciliation, highlighted by tender feelings between two men, is simply not enough to bring the story to a fitful conclusion. Jenkins' final 30 minutes is dragged out where there are no surprises. Moonlight has quite a bit of atmosphere (particularly in the first two acts) and some raw performances (particularly by the child actors), but ultimately the denouement was not thought out clearly enough to pass muster as a film rated almost 100 by an overwhelming majority of major film critics.

Reviewed by Lord moo_23 2nd November, 2016

Identity Takes Time to Discover

To solely categorize this film as an examination of Chiron, a young African American who has to deal with being gay is accurate but inadequate. It wouldn't be inadequate to also categorize it as a movie about drug abuse, school bullying, and isolation. However, if someone were to ask me what MOONLIGHT is truly about I would say that, at it's core, it's a film about teaching a child how to swim, feeling the sand on your skin, and cooking a meal for an old friend. Director Berry Jenkins is not afraid to be poetic, to guide his film away from conventional storytelling and offer his audience something to connect to in their own way. The way his camera roams around is sensually magnificent; he knows when to cut to the next shot and when to linger a few seconds longer. But above all else, his ability to add an extra texture to each scene is awe-inspiring; it's more than just style for the sake of style; it's essential to the movie's argument. From the very first shot to the very last, MOONLIGHT is about as beautiful a movie as you're likely to see this year. The colours are rich and luminous; James Laxton's cinematography is visually immersive leaving you stranded inside the story of the film. It moves at a smooth, welcoming pace. The music, whether it be the classical or hip-hop selections as well as Nicholas Britell's subtle score, is perfect. And the performance are, well… they're the cherry on top. It's uncanny how similar the 3 actors, who played the kid, teenage, and adult versions of Chiron behaved and acted; you'd almost think it was the same actor who played all three roles. Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are more deserving of Oscar nominations than just about anyone I've seen this year. They may be the standouts, but all the performances, ranging from the children to the adults, are so raw and powerful; a standing ovation for the casting director is in order. But perhaps the thing about this movie that deserves the most acclaim is its open-endedness; it's fight against straightforward categorization and recap. MOONLIGHT so much more than a movie about growing up gay; it's about overcoming your adversities and, despite being a product of your environment, figuring out who you want to become. Identity takes time to discover, and that's something anyone can relate to.

Reviewed by mtrossides 3rd September, 2016

Masterwork

Told in three parts, the story of a bullied boy ('Little") growing up with a lack of love and guidance in the slums of Miami, his life as an isolated, beleaguered teenager ("Chiron") and finally his persona and relationships as a man ("Black" ). Script, directing, acting, cinematography, music were all outstanding. The acting will blow you away. The themes at play have rarely been given such a realistic rendering. You feel as if you are watching a real boy cope with the strange unfairness he finds at every turn. And you are grateful for the occasional kindnesses he receives. The audience I was with at Telluride LOVED it. I feel it is a masterpiece.