Ride or Die with Queen and Slim

The Stream: Movie was about 20 minutes too long

The Big Screen: Romantic, relevant, and great performances by the leading actors

The Final Bill: A must see film that will be an instant classic for the underlying messages and actors’ chemistry

Rating: R (strong Language, a little nudity)
Genre: Drama
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Writers: Lena Waithe (screenplay by), James Frey (story by) 
Stars: Daniel KaluuyaJodie Turner-SmithBokeem Woodbine 
Runtime: 2 hours and 3 minutes
Notable Trailers: The Grudge, The Photograph

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And on this joyous occasion of giving thanks and enjoying family and friends, we bring to you a review of Queen and Slim. This film can be described as two people’s first date lasting much longer than expected when a police officer pulls them over and the rest becomes a viral and cultural phenomenon. Let’s ride with Queen and Slim.

Ok, let’s get the few bad things out of the way. The movie drug on. I could see at least 15 to 20 minutes of the film that could have been edited to make the movie faster or flow a little better; however, I also could see the director saying the pacing was done on purpose at times. Regardless of that, there is at least one scene in particular that I think could be cut immediately and save the viewer 5 pointless minutes. Finally, you would have to suspend belief to make this movie work. In the time the movie lasts, current day technology makes this a virtual impossibility. There is no way this ride would last as long with the lack of hiding or planning that occurred.

Now, for the bevy of positives for Queen and Slim. First, this film is on point, both culturally and in terms of its relevance. From the music/soundtrack to cultural and political climate of our times, Queen and Slim strikes a poignant chord. The soundtrack in itself is so powerful. We ride with them, we cry with them, we get high with them. Few movies this year, I believe, can match or surpass the brilliance put into the film score and sound mixing. This movie would provide the soundtrack of the summer, if the movie came out in May.

Next, Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith gave us all of them in this film. Individually, you could feel the love and hurt from each character; however, together at times they were even better. Their chemistry on screen was palpable and truly drove this film. Neither may get the acclaim they deserve from the likes of the Oscars or Golden Globes, but I believe one or both is deserving of a nomination. Let’s not forget Uncle Earl. Bokeem Woodbine definitely hijacked a portion of this movie. I could see how snobbier sites wouldn’t appreciate, or think his portrayal was necessary or appropriate, but what he brought to this film was truly priceless. I know the audience I viewed this with agrees. One could also say that the writing by Lena Waithe and James Frey gave the cast excellence to work with.

Finally, the messages of this movie are quite powerful, and needed as well. I can’t say what they are without spoiling the movie, but in the political climate we live, this movie is right on point. Actually, this movie might be late and was needed much sooner. Yet, it’s never too late. This movie will spark conversation over the Thanksgiving tables but remember to keep it friendly.

S2S Rating Scale

Queen and Slim, while a different type of romantic dramedy, rivals and, I believe ultimately, will be associated with the likes of the Love and Basketball, Love Jones, and If Beale Street Could Talk. The performances in the movie and the conversation piece this movie will be makes it worth every dollar in the movie theater. Date night or not, this movie is a fresh box of popcorn.

Date Night and Instant Classic