Sounder is a very simple tale about a black family trying to make ends meet in the midst of the Great Depression. In an effort to feed his family the patriarch commits a crime and is punished, which has an adverse affect on his entire family. I'm not 100% sure why the movie is named after their dog, since he doesn't have a very active role in the movie. The story focuses much more intently on the eldest child of the family. It's tough for a child actor to portray the amount of emotional turmoil that this kid has to go through, but I was surprised just how bland Kevin Hooks was in the role. He shows one minor moment of emotion, and everything else is flat and monotone. Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield are great as his parents, and I like a number of the other adult actors as well. Sadly, the story of the movie is very bland and doesn't amount to much, which is why I didn't care for it I guess. I think they did a fairly decent job of portraying what it was like to live in those difficult times, but there's only faint rays of hope in the story. Even those small moments of hope are strictly for the oldest son, not the family as a whole. To be clear, I don't think Sounder is a bad film, it simply didn't do a whole lot. The story has very little progression, and the characters do almost nothing to influence the story. Similar to many people from that era, the characters simply endure the hardship, they don't really affect it in any way. It's just not my style of film I guess, even if it was made well.