Clemency Reviews

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April 5, 2020
Chukwu creatively establishes a totally distinctive brand of somber female empowerment in a penetrating character study of professional disconnect and consciousness...aided by Woodard's profoundly convincing performance
March 13, 2020
...in the end, Woodard and Hodge's unflinching performances reach into the stillness and pull up something extraordinary.
March 5, 2020
Balanced in tone and devastating in its conclusion, Clemency provides a refreshing alternative to the death-row-themed movies by addressing the problem from an uncommon angle.
February 24, 2020
Woodard internalizes everything to give one of the great pressurized performances of the year.
February 22, 2020
The film lends Bernadine a kindness and tremendous understanding, particularly in regard to such controversial and complex subject matter.
February 14, 2020
Alfre Woodard shoulders the load of the acting so well that it is impossible to distinguish her performance from the real life of the beleaguered executioner.
February 11, 2020
dramatizes in a uniquely compelling way the realities of our system of incarceration and punishment that moves beyond broad arguments for and against the death penalty by showing us the price paid by all those who must work within such a system
February 10, 2020
[I]t's Woodard's movie, and her character's silent anguish rests just below the surface of her stone-faced veneer. It's a powerful performance in a powerful movie.
February 8, 2020
Woodard gives an absolutely breath-taking, internalized performance that is among the best that you'll see this or any year.
February 6, 2020
More than an anti-death penalty drama and insight into the mental exhaustion experienced by those circling death row. It's also a statement on the racial inequality of a broken system and how the lives of men of colour are... taken out of their hands.
January 31, 2020
It's a veritable crime against cinema that Tulsa native Alfre Woodard isn't nominated for an Oscar for her masterful portrayal as a troubled prison warden in the acclaimed drama Clemency.
January 26, 2020
Alfre Woodard gives a powerful performance here, backed by an excellent cast. This is a powerful film that gets is point across, but in its sense of hopelessness, it is also bleak and depressing.
January 24, 2020
Clemency establishes its tone quite quickly, one that mirrors the life of Bernadine. It is one of clipped and workmanlike scenes of her life.
January 23, 2020
Though it's occasionally heavy-handed in making its points (a hint of Stanley Kramer periodically intrudes), overall it's a powerful piece of work.
January 23, 2020
Woodard is still at the top of her game...
January 23, 2020
The real question isn't whether this person or that person will be executed, but whether Bernardine will go to pieces, and yet with a performance like Woodard's at the center, that's all a movie needs.
January 22, 2020
If Chukwu hits the right notes here, it's Woodard who sings.
January 22, 2020
It's the kind of film that stays with the audience long after the credits roll. Unlike a pretty little gold statuette, that's not something that can fit neatly on (director) Chukwu's mantle but she should cherish it nonetheless.
January 22, 2020
lemency is just director Chinonye Chukwu's second feature, but it portrays a maturity and a willingness to grapple with difficult subjects.
January 19, 2020
Woodard is deft at not only humanizing Bernadine but in depicting how the barbaric process she's in charge of is slowly eating at the soul she didn't know she had.
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