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Sleight subverts genre norms, delivering a smart and well-acted -- if ultimately somewhat frustrating -- magical mystery.
All Critics (43)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (33)
| Rotten (10)
Sleight... is a minor film with major virtues: tenderness, imagination, and a strong grasp of character and setting.
[Latimore] has a magnetic screen presence mixed with a down-to-Earth directness. And while he's got swagger for days, he's just as compelling when his character is quietly contemplating his next move.
The film lives and dies by Latimore's performance, which is quiet and ever-shifting.
Dillard's feature debut squanders its high concept ... and serves up a low-rent, Nickelodeon-lite version of that story, blowing his chance with corny acting, paint-by-numbers plotting, and a dippy score.
A tight tale well-told, with an appealing hero, a direct route to satisfaction, and the ever-present sense that the merest turn toward stylistic extravagance or adventure frippery would sink it.
Dillard's not interested in the Zing! Pow! Bam! Sleight is quiet, almost naturalistic, even when Bo is stopping bullets with his bare hand.
This is not a perfect film, but I don't expect that from a superhero film. I want solid characters, convincing acting and solid action. The fact that this film gives all of that while being centered in the black experience makes it a must-see.
A bold work of vibrant creativity, a solidly crafted film with a primal grittiness and an intimate, small scale story that's also as clever as hell.
It pulls off a balancing act between its grounded drama and some of its more outlandish aspects, concluding with a compelling piece of action filmmaking, the details of which shouldn't be spoiled.
In Dillard's Sleight, the use of magic tricks is transformed into a rather clever metaphor for personal power and life-altering transformation that makes this film an exciting thriller with just the right touch of drama.
Honestly, Sleight deserves a sequel, as with the origin story out of the way there is room to create something truly bold and refreshing within the oversaturated superhero genre
Maybe it doesn't take a production budget north of $100 million to crank out a superhero film these days.
The idea of this film was the kicker here and while it keeps the film from being a generic melodrama, it can't survive the simplified storyline. I found this to be one of the better twists on a normal story, this is exactly why indie cinema exists. If I had the opportunity to support this film at the cinema, I wouldn't blink twice and the filmmakers involved have a bright future. The classic in too deep storyline grows a little tiresome, the good natured drug baron is overdone and filmmakers need to shake things up here. Blumhouse wisely got behind this film, indie filmmakers need more producers for these lower end films. 11-11-2017.
A nerd who likes to perform magic tricks ALSO happens to be the friendly neighborhood drug dealer and thief in this story where credibility is stretched even while the presentation is decently okey-dokey. J.D.Dillard writes and directs and might well be going places in the future, but this is and shows all the signs of a starting effort. Can't wait for the next go round though.
Almost everything that happens in Sleight made me think "Oh, this is just like where this happens in that other, better, movie". But the fact that it's original IP overall is refreshing, and just because someone else did it better, doesn't mean Sleight doesn't do it very well.
It is surprising to see this not being talked about more. The fact that it was done on a budget of $250,000 and anybody even knew that it is out is a miracle in my eyes. It just goes to show that people will go out of their way to see a film that's off the beaten path if you give them the option. As for the film, it seems like an ideal date movie. There's isn't anything you have to think about very hard. The protagonists are all likable and well acted. It sneakily becomes a superhero movie without dwelling on an origin or mythos. The lead Jacob Latimore shines in his first starring role - another great surprise as he was in one of last year's worst films, "Collateral Beauty". His on-screen girlfriend Seychelle Gabriele played the dead fish princess in "The Last Airbender", so they are both making up for lost time. The plot revolves around Latimore, a gifted young man with a passion for street magic and Harry Houdini. His mother's passing leads him to a life of crime to support his little sister, but he doesn't really want that life and get's in over his head. He uses his magic skills to get himself out of several close calls while protecting the people he cares about. All around the performances are great, and the story is solid. However, it does seem to fall victim to the YA, superhero shows on CW vibe. Then there is one extremely violent tonal shift that brings to mind a certain "Game of Thrones" episode involving Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's character. There are also some pacing issues with the last act, so it's not a perfect movie. But it is entertaining and well worth the price of admission.
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