Director: Melina Matsoukas
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Sturgill Simpson, Indya Moore
Studio: Universal Pictures

The beauty of Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas linking up once again (Matsoukas directed the Master of None episode "Thanksgiving" that Waithe won her Emmy for) for their collective feature film debut was felt before fans saw a second of film. Two of the biggest black voices in the world of entertainment, joining forces for a tale where a white police officer is gunned down by a black man and woman after their mid Tinder date, forcing the two of them to go on the run? Sign me TF up! 

That said, the film this ultimately became, Queen & Slim, is too beautiful to sleep on, but isn't without fault. Matsoukas crafts a hazy mixtape of a film, bringing us extended dance sequences in safe haven nightclubs and treats the American landscape as beautifully as the act of braiding (and cutting) hair. Lena's cooked up an intriguing premise, with the intensity built right into the film's opening sequence. That said, this feels like their first film—I can't help but wonder if we needed all of those moments where characters had internal monologues together while no one is speaking, and don't get me started on the sex scene that features cuts to a young black boy murdering a police officer, which barely gets a mention later in the film. It unfolds predictably, but the beauty of which Queen and Slim's relationship is built had us all rooting for them in the film's closing moments. —khal