One Night in Miami (\N)

One Night in Miami is a movie starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, and Aldis Hodge. One Night in Miami is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered...
  • 7.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2019-07-11 Added:
  • Kemp Powers, Writer:
  • Regina King, Director:
  • Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder, Producer:

Trailer:

6 / 10

One Night in Miami - A Film which Somewhat Meets Its Potential

Overall, I appreciated this movie, but I wanted to like it even more.

This film is cast fairly well, although the vocalizations from all four leads border on caricaturist... the actors gave it their all, but their personas felt a bit pushed and imitative. It's a difficult, fine balance whenever an actor portrays a real person. This task is perhaps more challenging in this film, because all four of these historical figures are quite esteemed, even to this day.

Several female co-stars got the short shrift - scarce lines. With Regina King at the helm, it's baffling that this would fly. She didn't write the screenplay, yet she did work in close collaboration with Kemp Powers, the screenwriter. Having said that, there are parts of the dialogue which are genuinely stirring.

The production design, costumes, and score were beautiful.

This film has a smattering of ironic, humorous moments which serve it well, because a good chunk of the film is a bit intense, with regards to philosophy and interpersonal tensions. The rhythm got bogged down several times, but there are some lively moments, especially revolving around musical performances.

8 / 10

Strong debut film!

A stylish and promising debut from Regina King. While not as constantly engaging as I was hoping, it still features brilliant performances all around and some of the strongest directing I've seen all year; I would love to see the Oscar winning actress become an Oscar nominated director!

9 / 10

Mightily impressive feature debut from Regina King.

Based on a play that tells the fictional account of a real night, 25 February 1964, One Night in Miami is an incredibly relevant film for 2020, Regina King's feature film debut premiering at the BFI London Film Festival during Black History Month and a year when the Black Lives Matter movement has become much more prominent with the injustices in America being seen and protested all round the world.

After Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) wins the World Heavyweight Championship from Sonny Liston in Miami, he meets with Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s.

One Night in Miami is a fascinating watch, Kemp Powers adapting his own play to the screen with a screenplay that pits iconic figures and their ideaoligies against one another in a film mostly set in one location. Introducing each of the characters in their everyday vocations and the struggles they faced in being black men sets the film up for a rather powerful main act where they discuss how they can use their positions of varied success to be heard during the civil rights movement.

The contrasting feelings of how they should use their positions of power, whether it be through music, sports or activism, makes for a really intriguing and captivating set up and Regina King directs it with aplomb, giving the actors the chance to shine on such a narratively tight project, Tami Reiker's cinematography impressing too in the confined spaces of the motel room in particular.

One Night in Miami also excels in the performance department, the four mightily impressive leads each delivering a performance of power and stature that goes with the iconic figures they are portraying. Leslie Odom Jr. came close to being the best of the bunch as Sam Cooke but he was just beaten to it by Kingsley Ben-Adir's incredible portrayal of Malcolm X, the passion he had for his friends to do their best and not waste their potential being powered home in Ben-Adir's excellent performance.

What Regina King has achieved here with One Night in Miami, her debut feature, is nothing short of excellent, a tale of powerful black men questioning their own ideaologies as they clash with one another at a time in history where their voices would be better united against the injustices they faced.

9 / 10

Refreshing

In terms of cinematography and performances this is an incredible (perfectly edited) movie. Despite what people say about two hours of men talking to each other, it was quite refreshing seeing black men in different social positions during the civil rights movement.

Can't wait to see more of Regina King's work.

7 / 10

Black Panthers

Based on a play "One Night in Miami" finds four of black America's most popular public figures in a motel room where things immediately unravel. Race, civil rights, sports, politics and music leap to the fore as Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Jones and Sam Cooke discuss, argue, laugh and contemplate on the turbulent times and their important contributions to it. Fine casting and decent acting carry the message through. A watchable and informative glimpse of America in the 1960s this is one of the notable releases of recent times.