Moonlight - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Moonlight Reviews

Page 1 of 97
½ September 16, 2018
Incredible performances.
Very important film for today. Emotional and empathising.
September 12, 2018
10/10 Literally a perfect movie.
September 11, 2018
Made with a very simple and effective traditional 3 act structure, Moonlight tells a young boys story growing up with such delicacy and purity that's become a rarity in Hollywood, and other indie films. Notably, I'd say only Ladybird compares in terms of the general feel and honesty of the story. The camerawork is incredibly well done, and the use of color in particular was exceptional. However, I felt for all of Moonlights brilliance, the Oscar buzz, and praise, it's too subtle and complex. Watching the movie felt a little lethargic and I couldn't appreciate much of the techniques Jenkins used until 2nd viewing. I feel like its hiding too much of its brilliance in the way it's been made. Moonlight is a beautiful and poetic movie ultimately, La La Land got robbed!
½ September 3, 2018
Homosexual propaganda. A perfect example of overrated garbage posing as filmaking.
½ August 31, 2018
Muy aburrida, la trama es confusa. El final con
½ August 31, 2018
probably watched in the summer of 2017. Forgot to write a review. I remember it being realistic. However, it didn't really live up to the hype.
August 31, 2018
The first two thirds are a bit of a mess but the last 'act' presents some of the most tender storytelling and acting in recent cinematic history.
August 30, 2018
I'm not a particularly emotional person and so it's very rare for a movie to really move me. This one moved me and it stayed with me days after I watched it. I loved everything about this film - the cast, the acting, the multiple storyline arcs and how they were developed, the shots and camera angles (raw and realistic as opposed to veneer), the beautiful visual metaphors. I also haven't seen the coming of age story so convincingly handled by three different actors (all playing the same main character) since Cinema Paradiso. It is breathtaking to watch a film alternate so expertly between being hard and gentle as it needs to be - Jenkins does a stellar job.
August 25, 2018
A different style of cinema

This film brings two other films to mind, 'Dunkirk' and 'Boyhood'. They both follow a life/lives without trying to make a conventional 'story' with a 3 act structure. However, out of the 3 films, that I can think of using this style, Moonlight was the only that truly blew me away. I cannot quite explain why this is the case, and why I didn't have the same connection with the other two, but, 'Dunkirk' left me emotionless, and 'Boyhood' left me bored and unsatisfied, and I felt like there was no real progression in any of the characters. Whereas, Moonlight, invoked emotion and felt incredibly authentic, due to the such real acting and directing. 'Dunkirk' felt the most artificial out of the three, I didn't connect due to their failed attempt at realism. In short, I thought Moonlight was great and recommend it to all.
August 18, 2018
Arguably one of the best films I have seen in the last 20 years. This movie's beauty is in it's quiet feel and captivating cast. Perfect in every aspect of film. Fight me.
½ August 18, 2018
Seemingly gritty tales like this one are rarely told so sensitively and beautifully, but Moonlight enables us to empathise wholeheartedly with difficult characters usually presented with broad strokes elsewhere.
August 15, 2018
One of a masterful piece of art in the gay society.
August 8, 2018
The greatest impending social fear within joining a group, community or society is the very expectation that comes with it and the daunting fear of having a true identity that is a contradiction to the status quo. Nature seeks to isolate and destroy the anomaly, forcing individuals who are different within any social enclave to augment their identity to camouflage themselves and to survive the day-to-day inner-workings of the imposed expectations. Many black Americans feel this way within American society, and yet for many gay black Americans, they feel even more cast aside.

Rejected by a white society searching for homogeneity, and debased by a poverty-stricken black social enclave demanding masculinity and cultural conformity, the identity of a gay black male is seemingly constricted to victimization. Within the media, the representation of gay black males is often constrained to the humorous stereotype, or the shamefully self-serving closeted cheater. The expectations, labels and ideas placed upon black people and furthermore black gay males is so layered and multi-faceted with demeaning limitations that it's a suffocating experience of which there seems to be no true escape. This is ultimately why filmmaker Barry Jenkins' sophomore film Moonlight is so liberating.

Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's stage play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, Barry Jenkins' feature film Moonlight follows Chiron, a young African-American male living in Miami, Florida (and later Atlanta, Georgia) during the height of the war on drugs in Reagan's America. Using a three chapter bipartite structure, the film explores Chiron at three important periods in his young life and marking each chapter with a transition point with Chiron evolving from a puny, persecuted little boy into a sheepish, repressed teenager and finally into a hardened drug dealer.

The first noticeable aspect of Moonlight is the craft by which it is made. From the swirling camera shifts to the distinctive color grade, James Laxton's cinematography emphasizes movement as much as it does color. Nicholas Britell's score, while minimalist, creates character motifs that are revisited throughout the film's progression. Such a craft is more reminiscent of Harmony Korine or Nicolas Winding Refn's stylistic predilections, and yet is used with more significance to its own haunting beauty than anything either filmmaker has attempted. Creating a unique presentation for the film, Barry Jenkins poses the possibility for black voices and expression in cinema that is both introspective and yet forward-thinking. In doing so, Moonlight eschews the cinema of pity-partying, proselytizing and enraged polemics on issues of race in favor of being as much of an affirmation of black audiences as it is a challenge to them.


The style of the film largely underscores its substance on a number of levels. While obviously a gay-related story, Moonlight operates on far too many levels to be pigeonholed to that label or cinematic subgenre in the way Pariah could be. Moonlight first encapsulates the experience of black poverty by documenting the impacted lives of those who suffered from drug abuse, the fallout of the drug trade and the decades of harsh draconian lawmaking to "prevent" it. The vicious cycles are portrayed here with exacting clarity. Similar to Justin Tipping's 2016 drama film Kicks, Moonlight examines the culture of masculinity as manifested among black men. Its examination isn't biting, yet shows the many cracks within its fabric. Jenkins, in adapting McCraney's voice, also frames the gay experience as experienced by black men in a tasteful manner far removed from tawdry sexual objectification and explanation-giving psychoanalysis. All of these social frames are depicted by the contrast of contradiction between social expectation and individualistic identity. Within those contradictions is the immense detail of humanity often missing from filmmaking and storytelling on similar subjects.

These said contradictions are found throughout Chiron's relationships. First seen attempting to escape the bullying of his peers, he takes solace in the company of Juan (portrayed by an affecting Mashershala Ali) and his girlfriend Teresa (played beautifully by a motherly Janelle MonŠe). Juan, a drug dealer with a heart, presents the contradiction of being the most empathetic to Chiron and sympathetic in his own right despite his world-destroying profession. This contradiction comes full circle with the introduction of Chiron's mother (excellently portrayed by Naomie Harris) who is a verbally abusive and neglectful crack-cocaine addict enabled by Juan's drug dealing. Completing the full circle of the crux of Chiron's development is Kevin, a childhood friend and boasting sexual provocateur with whom Chiron's limited expression of sexuality grows.

Within the embodiment of these characters, Jenkins infuses a full-fledged humanity often denied to such characters who would only be judged by the end result of their lives. Instead, the audience is shown life in a far more comprehensive manner and even in the absence of certain characters as well as the full arc of their stories, so much is still understood just by simple intuition, words and gestures. Being shown these complex experiences, Moonlight establishes that a person's sum total is made up of difficult, sometimes harsh moving parts complete with trauma, unfortunate circumstance and poor decision-making, all of which gets lost in the heat of judgment.

In using style, substance and the complexity of more realistic characterizations, Moonlight provides a very rare experience in watching a film about African-Americans. Very rarely can I point to faces in cinema and utter, "I've seen that person before." Seldom can I say, "I experienced that exact situation" with the ability to pinpoint the exact feelings I felt during that situation not to mention being able to feel them all over again in the vessel of Chiron. The encapsulated experience of black America in cinema can feel so specific to harsh situations that filmmakers are rarely able to fully transport the audience into the experience. Barry Jenkins in the most stunning fashion presents Chiron's experience in a way that it feels like my own experience, making every word, gesture and event analogous to my own. In doing so, Moonlight runs the possibility of making us all see people beyond the surfaces that they present in order to survive in a harsh environment rife with impossible expectations.

Ultimately, Moonlight is a unique experience and cinematic event that ought be remembered, emulated and expanded upon. It poses ideas, challenges and questions without pushing the answers. It seeks not to create rage against the other, but introspection of the self as a way of creating new starting points. And most poignantly, it unabashedly shows the beauty of blackness, and all without having to denigrate anyone with a lighter shade. It's unfortunate that black cinema did not reach this point earlier, but if anyone is listening or watching, it's the greatest starting point for an entirely new and badly needed frontier.
½ August 8, 2018
While I can't say I loved this movie like everyone else did, this is still a remarkably crafted film into this young boys change in life and understanding of who he is. What I really like about is it feels like a genuine personal story about a young man living the harsh realities in a rough urban neighborhood. It is very well crafted and every actor in this movie does a great job at playing their roles.
½ July 30, 2018
This is an example of how the deviation state of man can be shown as a healthy state of man. Sick ideology is doing surgery on people brains through the culture. This is neo-Marxism called Gender.
July 28, 2018
Poignant and beautiful in every aspect. The score is breathtaking and the cinematography is by far the best I have ever seen.

Please watch Moonlight!!!
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2018
The poster containing all three faces of the actors playing the main character with a pink triangle approaches perfection. Barry Jenkins' screenplay is in three sections. Alex R. Hibbert plays Little in the first. When the character grows up a bit and goes by his given name Chiron he is played by Ashton Sanders. Then after time in prison he has hardened himself and is called Black, played by Trevante Rhodes. In all three sections Chiron struggles with being gay and having feelings for his friend Kevin. Chiron also has a difficult time caring for his mother (Naomie Harris) who is addicted to drugs. When he was little at least he experienced love when another couple temporarily took him in. Janelle MonŠe and Mahershala Ali play this couple. This film deserved its eight Oscar nominations (and three of those became wins). It is set to a slower poetic pace that lingers on the inner turmoil and desires of its protagonist.
July 4, 2018
After watched it I said me "What a great movie that has touched many hearts... I want more movies like this!" and.... what's happened then? I met my best friend and he said me that he use boxxy software, it is for free and he can find all movies want in a great quality... I was shoked... Really... Then I try it and it's true! It's amazing software the same as this amazing movie!After watched it I said me "What a great movie that has touched many hearts... I want more movies like this!" and.... what's happened then? I met my best friend and he said me that he use boxxy software, it is for free and he can find all movies want in a great quality... I was shoked... Really... Then I try it and it's true! It's amazing software the same as this amazing movie!
July 3, 2018
One of the best movies I'Ve Ever Seen. Not what I expected.
June 24, 2018
Moonlight came out in November of 2016 and went on to win the Academy Award for best picture that year. This movie is directed by Barry Jenkins and stars a pretty solid cast, namely Naomie Harries, Janelle Monae and Madershala Ali. The movie is split into three acts and follows a young boy named Chirone and his struggles with his own identity. First things first this film has brilliant direction and it includes some all around standout performances. However, this is a movie that conflicts my own judgement and view on film and entertainment because I felt many different ways about this movie after viewing it. All around this movie is really well done. A masterfully told story with some incredible drama and some truly touching scenes. On the other hand this movie has moments where it really really slows up and doesn't quite drag on but.. it just doesn't really do anything. In that I mean this is a very realistic take on a truly touching story so in that there will be some moments that are sometimes mundane. Moonlight is a film that has stuck with me since my first time watching it and I do think about this film from time to time so it has done a good job at leaving an impact. As previously stated this film is cut into three acts and each actor that plays Chirone does a remarkable job. This movie also has some great shots and really good looking scenes. In that the cinematography is great! Moonlight is a slow burn and a very touching take on a very real story. I applaud the filmmakers for staying true to the art and making a well told story but I cannot deny the fact that this movie could've been a bit of a better watch with 15 minutes shaved off. Moonlight is a 4/5 for me!
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