Director: John Sayles
Stars: Joe Morton, Daryl Edwards, Rosanna Carter, Bill Cobbs

The racial themes in the quirky and mellow dramedy The Brother from Another Planet aren’t used by writer-director Sayles to beats viewers over their heads; 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 forgoes 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 The Brother is our favorite African American movie character with links to outer space.