Crown Heights

Critics Consensus

Crown Heights' heartbreaking fact-based narrative -- and LaKeith Stanfield's remarkable starring performance -- push this powerful drama past its structural flaws.



Total Count: 79


Audience Score

User Ratings: 833
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Movie Info

In the spring of 1980, a teenager is gunned down in the streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The police pressure a child witness to identify a suspect. As a result, Colin Warner, an 18-year-old kid from nearby Crown Heights, is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Colin's childhood friend Carl 'KC' King devotes his life to fighting for Colin's freedom. He works on appeals, takes loans for lawyer fees and becomes a legal courier to learn the court system. This incredible true story is adapted from the acclaimed This American Life segment by writer/director Matt Ruskin, with Lakeith Stanfield playing Colin Warner and Nnamdi Asomugha as Carl King.

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LaKeith Stanfield
as Colin Warner
Natalie Paul
as Antoinette
Bill Camp
as William Robedee
Nestor Carbonell
as Bruce Regenstreich
Amari Cheatom
as Leon Grant

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Critic Reviews for Crown Heights

All Critics (79) | Top Critics (23)

  • The sole fresh twist, one that should have been more than enough to drive the show - one friend dedicating his life to exonerating the other - is repeatedly undermined by their unequal presentation.

    Sep 8, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Stanfield deftly balances rage and resignation, and Asomugha is impressive as a crusader who refuses to give up.

    Sep 7, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • "Crown Heights" is soul-shaking only in the abstract. In execution, it's deathly dull.

    Sep 7, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Stanfield, in a performance of quiet power, fully inhabits Warner's agony at the injustice that is being done to him.

    Sep 5, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • "Crown Heights" plows forward, steely in its resolve, and forgoes the emotional fireworks in favor of subdued, straightforward storytelling.

    Sep 1, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • The two men's relationship, and others in the film, might have been explored in greater depth, but Ruskin rightly keeps his focus on the judicial system as it fails Warner again and again.

    Aug 31, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Crown Heights

  • Dec 15, 2017
    It loses steam by the time it gets around to the investigation and exoneration portion of the movie. The reason is that this shift in the narrative forces the filmmakers to abandon their far more moving examination of the slow, agonizing way the criminal justice system and prison dehumanizes those trapped within them.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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