Big Words (2013)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Set in Brooklyn on the eve of Obama's history-making election, three former members of a promising hip-hop crew cross paths again to discover that some things never change. Former frontman John, once known as Big Words, is now a working class guy who raps only to himself. James is a publicist living with his boyfriend, far removed from the days when he rhymed about getting girls. While DJ Malik still spins records with a longing for the glory days. Together again on the day of a landmark election, the friends reckon with dreams diferred and new hopes. (c) Official Site
Directed By:
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Dorian Missick
as John/Big Words
Gbenga Akinnagbe
as James / Jayvee Da Mac
Darien Sills-Evans
as Terry / DJ Malik
Yaya Alafia
as Annie
Jean Grae
as Bree
Amir Arison
as Eddie
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Big Words

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (4)

Drumming is able to swing from lighter comedic moments to dramatic insights while making it seem effortless.

Full Review… | July 24, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

"Big Words" explores weighty themes with a very light touch.

July 18, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Full of ideas on art, politics, relationships, and the construction of identity, it's that rare film in which black characters aren't amped-up caricatures.

Full Review… | July 16, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

While not perfect, its restrained approach makes for ideal counter-programming in which message-mongering takes backseat.

Full Review… | July 15, 2013
Top Critic

The nuances and layers the actors bring to these complicated, all too real characters and dynamics between them speak far more loudly than any written or spoken word, no matter how big.

Full Review… | August 29, 2013

A poignant portrait of a very eventful day in the lives of a trio of African-Americans too self-absorbed to care about the fact that Barack Obama was about to win the Presidential Election that night.

Full Review… | July 19, 2013

Audience Reviews for Big Words


Unique physique. John, James, and Malik used to be part of a semi-successful rap group in New York in the 90s. Unfortunately, their internal arguments left the band disbanded. Their love for the industry has held up their lives in different ways, some emotionally, some professionally, and some both. When Obama is elected into office, hope arises within the African American culture and some feel this should inspire them to reunite. Will the group get back together or decide it is time to fully move on? "I always thought of Ice Cube as a cute, angry little bear." Neil Drumming, director of the short film Hi Res, delivers Big Words in his directorial debut. The storyline for this picture is just okay, as are the character interactions and script. The DJ's character was funny and entertaining at times, but the film is pretty average. The cast includes Dorian Missick, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Darien Sills-Evans, and Yaya DeCosta. "The black man is God, but the black man is also the sun." I grabbed this off Netflix because it looked like a unique independent film for the genre so I gave it a shot. This is a fairly straightforward movie with some interesting situations that the characters are put in. Overall, this is pretty average but worth a viewing. I'd watch this film once, as it does stimulate some thoughts for those in that situation, but this isn't worth adding to your DVD collection. "I didn't vote." Grade: C

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

Full of ideas on art, politics, relationships, and the construction of identity, it's that rare film in which black characters aren't amped-up caricatures.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

I've bitten off more than I can chew this month and just won't have the time to do a proper review of Big Words, but please take my word for it, it's a very tight script and genuinely funny, it deserves a wide-release. It's not about rap music, I was afraid of that too when I read the synopsis, that's just a background story element. It's about friendship, regrets and it's a love story. Here's a Q & A video (10:16) with writer/director Neil Drumming -

Le Anne Lindsay
Le Anne Lindsay

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