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The Brother From Another Planet (1984)

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Joe Morton, Rosanna Carter, Ray Ramirez

Writer-director Sayles doesn't beat viewers over the head with the racial themes in his quirky and mellow dramedy The Brother From Another Planet; in other words, he's no Spike Lee.

Joe Morton gives a nicely controlled performance as the titular brother, an alien who climbs out of a cheap-looking spaceship, walks into Harlem and must blend into society despite the fact that he can't talk. Made on a shoestring budget, the indie Brother foregoes elaborate special effects in favor of heavy dialogue and simplistic character development; in that regard, it's about as unconventional a sci-fi film as one could imagine.

Sayles (who previously co-wrote the 1981 cult horror classic The Howling) finds the perfect balance between social commentary and fish-out-of-water humor, giving The Brother From Another Planet a uniquely unassuming vibe. With all due respect to our dude Meteor Man, Morton's Brother is our favorite African Alien movie character.

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