If Beale Street Could Talk Reviews

January 11, 2019
That's pure cinema. What Baldwin does with words, Mr. Jenkins does visually.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 27, 2018
James Laxton's cinematography is even more richly hued than his work on Jenkins's Moonlight, and the sound design and Nicholas Britell's score add to the movie's brimming sensory pleasures.
December 26, 2018
This movie works as a timeless romance, a family drama, a legal thriller and a poignant social commentary. A great American novel has been turned into a great American film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 26, 2018
If a powerful kick to your gut's sense of social justice is what you're looking for, you can't do any better.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 26, 2018
"If Beale Street Could Talk" carves a holy place in a hard, hard world.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 25, 2018
Jenkins lets the story unfold slowly and patiently, giving his actors room to tell their own quiet stories.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 25, 2018
An intoxicating, intimate work from a born filmmaker, "If Beale Street Could Talk" is an elegant poem of a film.
Full Review | Original Score: A
December 24, 2018
Jenkins brings an urgency to "If Beale Street Could Talk," along with the melancholy of problems still yet to be solved.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
December 21, 2018
Like a great bluesman, Moonlight's Barry Jenkins finds poetry in the lives of people struggling to surpass pain and cruel circumstances, often choosing beautiful images over words.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 21, 2018
If Beale Street Could Talk is an impressive, mature, and determined work that ably reaches the great heights it sets for itself.
December 20, 2018
The experience of this film is beyond mixed, practically schizophrenic - long stretches of portentous, syrupy emptiness, followed by scenes that rank with Jenkins' best work in "Moonlight" and "Medicine for Melancholy."
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
December 20, 2018
By the end of "If Beale Street Could Talk," it was me who could barely talk.
December 19, 2018
Even at its most grim and precarious, an indestructible core anchors "If Beale Street Could Talk," lending it gravitas and hard-won hope.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 17, 2018
If Beale Street Could Talk portrays Tish and Fonny's fleeting happiness but also doesn't sugarcoat the impediments to it created by a system that treats young blacks as less than. Its director... he's by no means a one-hit wonder.
Top Critic
December 17, 2018
If Beale Street Could Talk is better than Moonlight, but that is faint praise indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 16, 2018
Some might view this as a political movie (perhaps even Jenkins) but it's also very much a tale of love, survival, and humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 14, 2018
A period piece that feels beautifully and painfully present: beautifully because love stories are timeless, painfully because the spectacle of racial injustice feels up to date.
December 14, 2018
[Barry Jenkins] wants to move us on an intuitive level that reaches beyond conventional storytelling. It's an admirable ambition, but what he offers in its place is often so lush and sentimentalized that it wafts off the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 14, 2018
"Beale Street" is never less than righteous but can feel a little slow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 13, 2018
The scenes come alive even more thanks to Nicholas Britell's gorgeous score, laden with sweeping strings and brass melodies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 13, 2018
If Beale Street Could Talk is at once a tribute to love and a call for its defense against racist hatred, all told in an artfully composed tragedy.
December 13, 2018
Barry Jenkins creates one of the year's 10 best films by celebrating black love and a human connection that can raise you up and move you to tears. Regina King's performance should finally get her the Oscar she's deserved for years.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
December 13, 2018
There is a formality to the language here and to the heightened, rather torturously plotted dramatic situations, and so Jenkins wisely tries to put everything across visually as simply as possible.
December 12, 2018
When two lovers look at each other in this movie, the tenderness in their eyes softens everything, creating a radiance that folds around them like a blanket, blunting the world. You feel the warmth, the softness, too.
December 10, 2018
Jenkins' decision to let the original storyteller live and breathe throughout If Beale Street Can Talk is a wise one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
December 3, 2018
In the movies, love is cheap. It's everywhere and nowhere, too often reduced to a formula or a reward. Beale Street knows better.
November 30, 2018
The planets of the plot, as it were, are more exciting than the sun around which they revolve.
November 28, 2018
Something else guides Jenkins, generally and more acutely with Beale Street: He provides space for his character's flaws while never allowing those flaws to define them.
November 7, 2018
Barry Jenkins channels all of James Baldwin's lyricism and anger into a story of love and injustice that burns with a gentle flame, occasionally blazing into a white heat.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
October 8, 2018
You've never seen romantic love depicted on screen with such lyrical and gorgeous intensity, or systemic injustice brought to such vivid and enraging life. Film classes will be taught about Jenkins' use of color.
September 15, 2018
Jenkins has cemented his style: lush romance on top, hyper-realistic despair just beneath the surface.
Top Critic
September 12, 2018
If the film lacks Moonlight's sheer expressive power and primal simplicity, Jenkins is reaching further this time, telling a bigger story than the heartbreak and alienation of one taciturn kid.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 10, 2018
In cutting against the aesthetic grain, Jenkins gently and wisely corrects our vision. The passionate glow of this filmmaker's embrace belongs, quite rightly, to his characters. He is generous enough to also extend that embrace to us.
September 10, 2018
Jenkins creates many remarkable scenes, particularly as the male characters discuss the racist realities with which they live.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 10, 2018
In some ways Beale feels less like a movie than a well-staged, meticulously shot play; a period piece that floats beyond its specific time and place and into the realm of allegory.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 10, 2018
Jenkins' reliance on the original text opens up the filmmaker's style, but he also turns the material into a broader meditation on Baldwin's broader concerns.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
September 10, 2018
The film is a bold and elegant celebration of young black love in the face of a Harlem rife with police corruption.
September 10, 2018
If the movie's slow burn seems to build toward a powerful release that doesn't materialize, the sheer beauty of its craft and the heartfelt feeling behind every scene nonetheless command attention.
September 10, 2018
A work of social realism elevated to poetic heights by the sheer beauty of its voice and the humanism of its spirit...