The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Two youths from the Brooklyn projects attempt to fend for themselves on the streets after their parents are arrested in this urban drama from director George Tillman, Jr. (Notorious, Faster). It's summer in New York City, and 14-year-old Mister (Skylan Brooks) is hungry. His irresponsible mother unable to hold down a job, Mister's situation goes from bad to worse when she is taken into custody, and child protective services attempts to track him down. Meanwhile, nine-year-old friend Pete finds himself in the same sinking boat. Together, Mister and Pete search for sustenance while attempting to avoid the violence that plagues their neighborhood. All the while Mister grows to feel invincible, never realizing that it's his vulnerability - not his youthful bravado - that's truly his saving grace. Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Mackie, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
R (for language, some drug use and sexual content)
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Skylan Brooks
as Mister
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Critic Reviews for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (12)

This is an impressive piece of grass-roots filmmaking.

Full Review… | December 10, 2014
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A gritty, sometimes downright heartwrenching story of two young boys left to fend for themselves for weeks during a boiling-hot summer in a Brooklyn housing project.

Full Review… | October 10, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

Proves to be as awkward as its title thanks to its uneven screenplay and tone, and questionable casting in supporting parts.

Full Review… | October 10, 2013
Top Critic

Pitched fascinatingly, at times uneasily, between misery and uplift, "Mister & Pete" tells the story of an endlessly resourceful child who survives the unimaginable over one long summer.

Full Review… | October 10, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

They may be tiny little kids, but they deliver outsize performances.

Full Review… | October 10, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

"The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" is a moving bit of mischief and mayhem that will break your heart, give you hope, make you laugh, possibly cry.

Full Review… | October 10, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete


With an almost sing-song title, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete is anything but a cheery film and is actually a harrowing and all-too-real story about two inner city kids living in the Brooklyn projects who are left to fend for themselves for an entire summer after both of their mothers are taken away by the authorities. This film doesn't hold back in showing the ugliness of desperation and poverty as our main character, Mister witnesses daily robberies, strung-out homeless people, and his very own mother prostituting herself to make ends meat; which is uncomfortable and deeply sad to watch. Once his mother is taken away, Mister has to continually hide from the authorities with his fellow companion, Pete, who he protects like his own kin, despite the fact that they are different races. It's a fairly bleak and unapologetic coming-of-age story that hammers our lead characters into the ground at every turn, but their determination to rise above their situation helps the audience root for their plight. There were a couple of things that bothered me: some characters seemed a bit pointless in the grand scheme of things, some of the conflicts felt really forced, and most annoying of all: they never explain why Mister is named that! It's a pretty random name for a young boy, but we're just left to accept that that is what he's called. The film contains wonderful acting from the two young stars, Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon, and also includes two American Idol alums, Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson, the latter portraying Mister's mom and her glammed-down performance really impressed me. This is a solid drama about poverty, maturity, and the human spirit, that I don't feel the need to ever watch again, but I'm glad that I did see it once!

Brett Horton
Brett Horton

Realistically portrayed drama of the life in the disadvantaged suburbs of America directed by George Tillman, Jr. and written by Michael Starrbury , can bring tears even without melodramatic elements in it. Presenting Skylan Brooks (Mister) and Ethan Dizon (Pete) in the title roles nd casting Anthony Mackie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Jeffrey Wright, the director made simply perfect team. As a genre, I will classify this movie as a coming of age story of two inner city boys. They were left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the police for drug possession and prostitution. The movie concentrates on the two boys who are forced to forage for food while dodging child protective services and the destructive scenarios of the Brooklyn projects. They are faced with more trouble than any child can be expected to bear, and the fragile but resourceful Mister nevertheless finds strength in an idea from a movie, that he can be an unstoppable force against seemingly unmovable obstacles if he believes in the success... There are plenty of sad and disturbing moments in this movie, but all of them managed to become inspirational and uplifting, because the director offered a glimpse of hope in the continuously degrading American society, especially for the poor. The brotherhood of Mister and Pete was something to make note, as well as the answers on the entire question of morality when people are forced to making ends meet. The film exposes the lack of real role models for the children in the society where the only value is the almighty dollar, and the authority figures were presented as menacing instead of helpful at times. If you are ready for a dark movie with its moments of humour and lots of charm, while enjoying the innocence and cuteness adjusting to difficult moments of life, please, check this one!

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

This movie was not what I expected but went so much further than I thought! Great performances by these two brillant young actors. 2 Thumbs up with this film that touched reality in so many ways!

Keith Kershaw
Keith Kershaw

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