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  • The most ironic thing about the reviews for this movie is the purposeful down-voting due to the subject matter and - likely - simply because of the trailer. The irony lies in the direct response of the up-voting and both sides not consciously realizing how closely those actions mirror the social issue that the movie attempts to highlight.

    If even half of the reviewers bothered to watch the movie, they would realize that the actual purpose of the movie - in this writer's opinion - is the act of hard conversation. Not 'I-yield-3-minutes-to-the-gentleperson-from-Georgia'-type conversation but rather direct, constant and heated - yet metered - conversation.

    Communication and understanding is the key to advancing all solutions to problems, especially considering how polarized the US has become in recent times.

    The production value of the movie is also fine. Those that presented negative comments and ratings based on 'poor production value' are using that as an excuse for bias. The production may not be US$100M-summer-blockbuster fare but that wasn't the intent, and would have sorely taken away from the delivery.

    The fact that this movie was produced in 2019, before the BLM/George Floyd-inspired protests and the Capitol-storming is a testament to why these conversations need to be had and why that time has long-passed. However, the next best time to start something is now.

    'American Skin' is not just timely, it's incontrovertibly relevant.

    The honest rating for this film is 7.1 but I confess my heart wants to give it a 9.
  • A Marine veteran (Nate Parker) working as a school janitor tries to mend his relationship with his son after a divorce. When his son is killed by a police officer (Beau Knapp) during a traffic a stop, who is then found innocent without standing trial, he takes matters into his own hands. Teaming up with a group of friends, he storms the Police Station where the officer works, takes the occupants hostage and conducts a trial of his own.

    I tend to take time to review two types of films on IMDB, small independent well-made films, which need support and films of any size or budget that deserve better praise than their getting. American Skin has an extremely talented team behind it. Nate Parker writes, stars and directs this story, which explores the very current and immediate question of the relationship between the Police and the African-American on the street. In the wake of George Ffloyd never has this topic been more important at a time when America has never been more divided since the Civil War. I can't help but feel that there has been a concerted effort by certain parties to give this film a low rating because of the issues it confronts. I pride myself on being impartial on my reviews and will do so again here.

    American Skin comes across more like a stage play and I don't know the history of the script but I personally would have loved to have seen this movie on the stage, as it has that kind of energy and setting. Once the opening act is out the way, the rest of the story is essentially set in the Police station as the impromptu jury argue out the merits of the case (this scene felt too short to me) and the hostages argue out the issues with their captors. This many big statements from one side then the other, thus at times the script can feel a little preachy and expositional BUT and it's a big but any film that tackles this deep wound in America's social narrative is almost certainly going to come across that way at times. To dismiss this piece of work is to dismiss the issues it seeks to explore and if starts conversations, no matter how small, about this issue, then it should be commended for that alone. Parker has assembled an extremely talented ensemble cast of both well known actors and some relative unknowns in the ranks here and there isn't a weak performance among the lot. Perhaps one of the issues with the movie however is in the first 15 minutes of the film, you think this is going to be a film where everything is seen via CCTV and cell phones and then it changes tack a few times, which can leave the viewer discombobulated at the beginning as to the tone and style of the film, but persevere because it's worth your time.

    Parker handles the entire process well and coming from someone who knows how hard it is to wear multiple hats, he's done an extremely good job here. The pacing of the film is extremely tight and the story greatly compacted in the short running time. I personally would love to see this on a theatre stage, with a slightly longer script as the merits of the argument are played out between the characters. I felt we could have been more but I suspect Parker was very conscious of the fact that he didn't want the film to come across as to 'talking heads' - Again I must praise the acting here. Parker himself always commands the screen in any role but his co-stars here are all first rate. Beau Knapp who plays the officer responsible for his sons death manages to inject some empathy into what could have easily been a two dimensional character and its nice to see Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy) in a very different role (Give him a lead part someone, he can handle it)! Some special mentions must go to Shane Paul McGhie and Milauna Jackson who are both outstanding and perhaps a little underused. I know they both have fantastic careers ahead of them.

    In the times we currently live in I am all too aware, just from conversations I have with my American friends just how savagely divided a nation your country is right now, as if George Ffloyd wasn't enough, the world only had to look at the events of January to be reminded of that. I have no doubt many of us are asking ourselves this question - 'What can I do, in my role, as a member of the human race, to make this planet a better place? How can I contribute towards improving the social narrative in my community? How can I effect change?' - Maybe this film was Parkers contribution when he asked himself that question. THIS IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT A 4.4 movie and even if I didn't agree with Parkers views on this topic, I certainly wouldn't rubbish his efforts for trying to effect change. Recommended.
  • The reasonings and arguments presented in this film are brilliant and anyone who can't see that just doesn't have the ears to hear. The writing is extraordinary and the pain is real. I watched with my teenaged sons and American Skin stayed with us for a long time as we discussed, dissected and reveled in its themes. It will probably stay with us forever. Any critic who gives this film a poor review should never be allowed to review Black film again. All their biases are out for us all to see. Mr Parker pulled this film off with a tiny budget and look what he did!! So good. ALL police departments must change their training to include deescalation protocols. Let's hope this film opens the ears, eyes and hearts of the decision makers of the training programs.
  • kphaircare16 January 2021
    This was a incredible movie, it was so relatable and touched me in many ways. I was thinking about all the men I know with sons. But in particular my brother who has four sons and four grandsons. I texted everyone in my contacts last night to watch this movie. Every household in America needs to see this movie. Thank you Nate for creating this movie. This is definitely Oscar worthy.
  • nashoaleksi26 August 2020
    American Skin is a breath taking film!! Very well written with an amazing performance! Very emotional and touching! Trust me if I tell you that it will shake you, cuz it made me jump!
  • Production: Solid script, realistic but kind of preachy. Also some plot holes and questionable story choices. It is difficult to write in depth with systematic racism and police brutality, in a filmatic experience, that being said, solid writing. Decent sets, good enough to make the film believable. Solid editing, I wished they put subtitles on the Spanish speaking parts. 6/10. On screen: Good acting from Nate Parker, solid acting from the rest of the cast. At times, there were questionable decisions made by the actors, but I believe this is because of the writing. Some of the other actors' performances were either over the top or underperforming which is unbelievable. Solid cinematography. 6/10. Content/Impact: This is the dialog that is needed to talk about police brutality, mass incarceration, and racism. It's sad that movies like this one and others need to be made to show to racist, especially ones with power, that we black people are human beings and that we deserve equality. Also, the powerful statement at the end of the film about mass media and their carelessness of black lives. I am glad that Nate Parker is still able to make films, because between this and his debut film Birth of a Nation this is a director that has something to say about society and I'm all ears. Lastly, this will create space for other directors of color to be able to create more "radical" films meaning films that make a statement about society and how black and brown people are treated in it. 10/10. Overall: Pretty good film with a fantastic message about racism in America. 7.3/10.
  • The critics panned it, legitimate reviewers here who have more than one review in their history average 2.7 stars.
  • stickelnk13 February 2021
    Everyone should see this movie. Even if you're not American, and especially if you're white. All the reviews across the internet talking about it being "too violent" or "heavy-handed" are completely missing the point of this incredibly necessary film, and much worse, propping up white supremacy. As the main character Linc asks, "Why are (Black people) the only people in this country that are expected to do things without violence?" Watch this film, and show it to everyone you know.
  • I was moved to complete, thought provoking silence after watching this movie. After the credits ran, I just sat there over an hour with a lingering sadness. This movie was important for me because I often find myself in defense of police officers in volatile situations (due to having law enforcement friends/family members). As a black woman, I have been criticized for not jumping on the protest bandwagon for every police related shooting/killing of a black man. If a black man is fighting police, trying to pull a weapon, or being aggressively resistant, why do we feel they get a pass (although I do not believe they should be shot and killed)? I believe this takes away validity of protests in cases such as Philando Castile and other innocent black men mercilessly killed by police without provocation. This movie had several notable perspectives - from black men being tired of harassment for merely being black, to cops wanting to go home to their families at the end of the day. The irony of the 'jury of peers' was not lost on me. I loved the balance of this film; it doesn't force you to pick a side; it allows you to see perspectives other than your own. Gordon, the twelfth juror, said I've ever wanted to say when having this difficult discussion. I found the movie to be captivating. I needed to see this and so do you!
  • kidaneseale18 January 2021
    This has to be one of the best, if not the best, movies that shows the true color of Amerikkka. A must watch!!!
  • Sub par and unrealistic movie capitalizing on black victimhood..... truth is the only people liking this video in the comment section are those who love perpetuating the narrative that black America lives in a never ending attack on their day to day lives from cops and "white America".... Which is false. The cold hard reality that black America doesn't want to ever face is that the biggest threat facing our communities is our own people. We are killed at a higher rate then whites, Asians and even Hispanics by police because we commit 7 times more violent crime per capita. We break the law at a rate 7 times higher then any other race, we then pretend like we are "victims" when faced with the consequences of our own actions, and instead of surrendering and giving up when caught 99% of the time in these videos we are fighting and acting belligerent with the cops. We want respect yet cant even respect ourselves. We out here doing everything wrong and encouraging criminal behavior in our music, entertainment and in these streets and then play dumb when the police come knocking and asking questions. So ya, if you want another movie about black victimhood, black impulsivity, black weakness rather then black intelligence, black strength and empowerment then THIS is the movie for you.
  • As I'm writing this review the rating is at a 4.3, that is absolutely ridiculous. I assume the lower ratings are from folks with deep seated issues. It's a unique movie style, and it captures you from the moment it starts. It has a gritty feel similar to a Menace To Society, Boyz in The Hood, or even Set It Off. Even if you don't like the subject matter, there is no way this movie is anything less than a 5 from the most critical reviewer. I've seen WAY worse movies with 6 and 7 ratings. This is a very well made movie and I'm only halfway through it, but had to come here to combat the low ratings which might discourage others from watching. When I initially seen the trailer it looked good, and it is just as good as the trailer depicts. Watch it, because it is powerful and poignant. It's almost a case study of sorts.
  • This film is a MUST see, and for those critics who have panned this film or stooped to the typical default of trying to tear down Black creators, your bias is showing loud and clear. I do not believe this deserves an R rating. I watched this with my 12 year old son and it led to fascinating conversations in our family about our white privilege. The writer is not "heavy-handed" or "too verbose" as some reviews have stated. The material is heavy because racism in it's many forms IS heavy! The casting and acting are superb and the variety of techniques used to tell the story kept us engaged and on the edge of our seats. You will see yourself in this movie, I promise. If what you see is like looking in a funhouse mirror, watch this several more times, so you can confront the ugliness that lives in you. I applaud everyone involved in this powerful film for telling this story. There is so much truth here about education, media, the health system (specifically the lack of aid for veterans), prisons, policing, and if you are white in America, then this film can really help you to understand how these the systemic racism on which these institutions are built. Take the time to watch this film, and you will learn something. I'm on my third viewing and so thankful for the team that made this.
  • tabeagnes13 December 2020
    This is a must watch movie 🎥, I can't believe its wasn't in theaters all over the world. Wow
  • mfaltzmcqueen16 January 2021
    This movie was amazingly put together from the beginning to the end! The suspense and build up on what was going to happen after the verdict definitely had me on edge, but it was wishful thinking on how it would all finally end.
  • This movie will most certainly open eyes and dialogue. This is the kind of movie that forces people to see what they have turned a blind eye to. I'm looking forward to it's release. The trailer looks amazing.
  • Actor Nate Parker dabbles as a newb filmmaker writing and directing this story, as well as starring in it. It wasn't by any means a top-tier production, but considering he wore many hats with this film, it was still a pleasant viewing experience. His inexperience in directing was a little evident, and his screenplay certainly needed some tweaks, scenes cut shorter, and the pace picked up. But I really liked the format on how he decided to tell the story. The 89 min runtime felt a little longer with the slow pacing, too much preaching, and lots of filler. It could've used more substance, more drama or conflict. Nevertheless, it was very powerful, especially the very end when the news outlets tell their story... literally nailed it. The critics went really hard on this one, nitpicking it too much. Was it a great production? Not even close. Does it need to be seen? Absolutely, and it will still entertain. A solid 7/10 from me.
  • mikaeel19 January 2021
    This movie had me going through it. As a black man who has had cops guns in my face more than once and also having been beaten by police officers, this movie opened up old psychological wounds.

    Some of the dialog was a little trite. Still, it makes you feel. That is why many non blacks who see this movie seem to not like it. They are not comfortable feeling what I've been feeling for the last 45 or so years.
  • jdolcejerome14 December 2020
    A much needed story that needs to be seen and digested.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Nate Parker is an excellent film maker. While I have read some reviews that say the film looks "amateur" clearly it's supposed to as they have college students filming for a documentary... watch the movie, get the message and Learn the lesson. Emotionally tense film.
  • I believe the movie was satisfactory. It illustrated a collection of themes that are encountered and overlooked in the black community which establishes an ideal storyline. These issues warrant much discussion and attention presently.

    The cinematographer made the film more interesting and the ending was dramatic, leaving a valid message. Conclusively, the writer did a tremendous job.
  • dar-453169 April 2021
    Amazing. I believe everybody should watch this. Shoes a side of America we need to see.
  • ptcruuizer9 April 2021
    This movie is simply reality. It makes every effort to show the dirty, ugly truth of life. Those that have, want to be safe both in person and property. That need for the feeling continues the empowerment and overreach of police past written law. Those police that do commit violence and murder are then protected because training, unions and departments had a hand in the 'mistakes'. So no one takes full responsibility and therefore police 'get away with it'. This only reinforces the 'mistakes'. This movie shows the mistakes ending in murder are punished by everyone but those with power, money and skin. We all have a hand in allowing this oppression and we can all have a hand in stopping it.
  • Nate Parker is an amazing writer, director and actor. This movie, to me is not for entertaining, but to me, more movies of this genre need to be produced. The movie encompasses both sides of the conversation. It's powerful. It's needed. Knowing that this movie was filmed prior to George Floyd's death makes this more impactful. Acting was great. Story was heartfelt and needed.
  • ryan_thompson-2866217 January 2021
    A true representation of what people of African extraction go through and feel in this country. Wonderfully done. Should be apart of school curriculums and police trainings everywhere.
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