THE BEST OF ENEMIES
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Director: Robin Bissell
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay, Bruce McGill
Plot: A civil rights activist and a Klansman are forced to work together on the issue of school integration
Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters
I was watching this film recently, and about 30 minutes in I thought, "This is the point where this movie decides to be good or terrible."
Thankfully, it chose wisely and decided to be a good movie.
I give a lot of credit to Robin Bissell, the writer and director. Not many people could read a story about a two-week long civil rights meeting and find a movie in it. Even fewer could do that and actually make the movie enjoyable.
The driving force behind this movie is the powerful acting by Henson and Rockwell. While there isn't much character development, we still get a decent feel for who they are, how they operate, and how uncomfortable they are having to work with one another. Most of this is portrayed through facial expressions, extended pauses, and starts and stops moments. Both of them are at the top of their game in this movie.
The downside is that this film clocks in at about 2 hours and 10 minutes. This is easily 30 minutes too long. There were several opportunities to make the movie shorter that should have been taken. Instead it drags on, not only in time, but in pacing. That isn't to say that the movie ever gets to the point of being boring, but there were times I felt myself wandering out of the story.
Overall, this is a really good, powerful film that covers important social issues. It is also a fantastic film to show younger teens and tweens a significant moment in the civil rights movement. There are a lot of opportunities for discussion that can arise from this movie.
This probably won't be the best movie you see this year, but it will be one that will stay with you, and you won't feel bad having dropped $20 to see it.