BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

When he died of cancer in 1981 at age thirty-six, Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, and guitarist Bob Marley was a worldwide sensation. The new drama One Love, which spotlights a brief period in his too-short life, treats Marley and his work with affectionate reverence yet fails to dive deep into the life of the man behind the music. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, One Love centers on the 1977 recording of Exodus, the ninth studio album by Marley and the Wailers shortly after Marley survived an assassination attempt at his home in Jamaica. How Marley handles certain events in his life are shown so subtly as to feel unexplored.

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WE OWN THIS CITY – Review by Diane Carson

Fans of The Wire know the hard-hitting, confrontational social critiques delivered by its creators, George Pelecanos and David Simon. They’ve lost none of their gritty, scathing indictment of dysfunctional communities as proved by the six episode series, We Own This City. Based on real events, to our shocking dismay, sequences immerse us in Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force.

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KING RICHARD – Review by Susan Granger

Will Smith has been nominated twice for Oscars. Now his persuasive performance as King Richard should earn him a third nod and, perhaps, first win. Smith plays stubborn, outspoken Richard Williams, the demanding yet loving father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. “You gonna be the greatest of all time,” Richard tells the girls. “You know how I know? Because I planned for it.”

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KING RICHARD – Review by Diane Carson

Director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s King Richard focuses on Richard Williams, the single-minded father of the great tennis sisters, Venus and Serena Williams in their early days. Richard guides and perfects their talent through a racist sport where opportunities arrive only because of his unflinching, unflappable determination with support from his wife Oracene.

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GOOD JOE BELL (TIFF20) – Review by Pam Grady

To call the truth-based film a disappointment is an understatement. What might have been a compelling story of a father’s quest for redemption is, instead, a flabby melodrama that plays like one of those old Afterschool Specials. Joe Bell and his family are reduced to symbols of problems that plague society. Flesh-and-blood people deserve better.

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