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05 Dec 2019

A Social Statement: 'Queen and Slim' Works Thanks to a Charming and Talented Lead Duo

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Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith in Queen and Slim. Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith in Queen and Slim.

Queen and Slim depicts the worst Tinder date … pretty much ever.

Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith star as the title characters, two young people who meet in a diner for a mediocre online date. On their way home, they are pulled over by a cop who racially profiles them—and bad things happen. Queen and Slim go on the run, become social-media celebrities, and yes, start liking each other a whole lot more.

Director Melina Matsoukas’ movie isn’t very original, but the atmospherics are solid, and the performances truly drive the film. Turner-Smith is terrific as a lawyer who finds herself on the wrong side of the law, while Kaluuya brings a sweet sadness to the teetotaling Slim. The film deals bluntly with its subject of police brutality, with both good and bad cops present. There’s no question why this film is being called the “black Bonnie and Clyde,” in that the movie follows many of the same beats as the 1960s classic.

Queen and Slim stands as a decent statement on current civil rights issues, and it’s a nice step forward for Matsoukas as a director.

Queen and Slim is playing at theaters across the valley.

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