A morning talk show host mobilizes a network of listeners during the Civil Rights era.
The first act of this film sets up themes of negotiating "blackness," and set as it is during the Civil Rights era, this is an interesting question, pitting the executive against the ex-con. But the plot eventually degrades into thematically irrelevant and unfocused interpersonal dynamics that make the film as a whole more like My Week with Marilyn than Malcolm X, as Dewey Hughes, the radio executive, must keep Petey Greene, the host, from sabotaging both their careers.
The performances by Don Cheadle, whose antics are barely on the right side of believability, and Chiwetel Ejiofor are very good. I especially like Ejiofor whose reserve and intensity are characteristic of his fine body of work.
Overall, though the film has promise at the beginning, this biopic ultimately doesn't live up to expectations; it's just good enough to make me wish it were better.