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Family Movie Review: Black or White (PG-13)

BlackOrWhite ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalhalf-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 121 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. The film is about a white grandfather and a black grandmother fighting over custody of their biracial granddaughter, and so the film attempts to tackle issues about race and class. There is constant drinking; a few brief scenes of drug use and the depiction of a crack house; cursing and one use of the n-word; and some dramatic courtroom showdowns.

Maybe ‘Black or White’ is a well-meaning film, but most of the time it just comes off as a tone-deaf one. Undeserving of a strong performance from Kevin Costner, the film’s attempts to tackle preconceptions about race and class are from only one point of view.

By Roxana Hadadi

It’s difficult to watch a film like “Black or White” without rolling your eyes early and often. The latest from director/writer Mike Binder is attempting to ask tough questions about race, class, and how white and black people view and treat each other in the United States, but this is no “Selma.” This film is a strange mix of pandering and condescending, and its greatest flaw is in its point of view—that it rotates around the privilege of a wealthy and powerful white man, who we’re supposed to sympathize with from beginning to end. No one else really gets a chance to earn our sympathy, undermining the film’s would-be inclusivity from the get.

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