Geek Review: Monsters And Men

I had a three day weekend, so that means three movies.

For the final viewing, I went with the drama Monsters and Men.

Monster and Men is set in a largely unspecified neighborhood in New York City and follows three different characters and their reactions to a police shooting of an unarmed black man.  Those three are Manny (Anthony Ramos), who shot some home video footage of the incident; Dennis (John David Washington), a uniformed cop who has some thoughts on being both black and a cop; and Zyrick (Kelvin Harrison Jr), a promising young baseball player who wants to see some change.

Writer/director Reinaldo Marcus Green made a very subtle movie here.  He doesn’t offer any solutions or even, arguably, take any sides.  Instead, he presents multiple viewpoints on what the situation is and lets his individual characters make up their own minds about what is right or wrong.  He may seem to lean more into the systemic racism of the police, but at the same time he gives the police point of view, particularly from Dennis.  As an additional bit of subtlety, the shooting itself is never shown.  We see characters react to it, but the shooting itself always happens off-camera, leaving the entire incident ambiguous as to what happened and who may be more responsible for what happened, though the script as written borrows heavily from the Eric Garner incident.  The movie doesn’t provide any sort of answers, but it maybe instead isn’t trying to.  8.5 out of 10 suspicious arrests.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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