Despite some on-the-nose dialogue and a needless revelatory flourish toward the end, Hamilton gets at the strangeness of lived American history, in which violent ruptures leave behind poorly understood scars.
...Night Catches Us has a lived-in, almost languid feel, with artistic cinematography by David Tumblety capturing moments that are as perfectly framed as still photographs.
| Original Score: 7/10
February 1, 2011 Writer-director Tanya Hamilton and two of today's most gifted actors have produced a sensitive drama with a powerful conclusion.
| Original Score: B+
Tanya Hamilton's Night Catches Us, a snapshot of the post-Black Power movement era, suffers most from its structural deficiencies.
| Original Score: 54/100
Writer-director Tanya Hamilton has crafted an intriguing narrative even if she struggles to realize it onscreen.
| Original Score: 3/5
Tanya Hamilton directed her own script, and though her ending leaves loose ends dangling, the movie is refreshing for its seriousness and originality.
Attempts to pry the lid off a painful chapter of American history that textbook writers and elected officials would rather erase or whitewash.
This is just another reminder there is a whole pool of acting talent in America, almost a whole film industry, that white audiences are largely unaware of.
| Original Score: B
The real story here is the arrival of (director Tanya) Hamilton.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Washington and Mackie both deliver deeply-felt performances in roles that are all about nuance, particularly when the text sometimes fails them.
| Original Score: 6.8/10
Except for a stellar soundtrack by the Roots, there isn't much here to make anyone overly excited.
works in maddening shades of gray and pure, compelling lyricism to tell a tragic story about events that are neither right nor wrong, but somewhere in between
| Original Score: 5/5
An excellent achievement for its ability to weave so many complex themes and shades of gray with such poise.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington nearly rescue the piece but it just doesn't come together into anything memorable enough to recommend.
As a director, Hamilton makes Liv Ullmann look like an action movie director - and just for the record, Ullmann makes Ingmar Bergman look like Jerry Bruckheimer.
| Original Score: 1/4
Its rhythm forces audiences to pay attention to what its superb actors express non-verbally, and to measure the weight of the characters' past lives.
| Original Score: 3/4
The film leads to no showy conclusion, no spectacular climax. It is about movement possible within the soul even in difficult times.
Sometimes [the film] wisely demonstrates that even in a volatile time and place, there's a time and place to take action. Other times it feels like a shorthand lesson for kids.
A poorly-paced, bland and underwhelming drama that can't be saved by its authentic production values nor by Washington and Mackie's strong performances.
| Original Score: 5.21/10
The movie evokes its time and place so potently that it almost doesn't matter that Hamilton's script proves unequal to her vision.