The Undefeated

The Undefeated is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Candice Frederick, Soraya Nadia McDonald
Rating Title/Year Author
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald What a relief to see something so nakedly committed to entertaining its audience, and which made the case for doing so with such passion. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
() Soraya Nadia McDonald Sweetness in the Belly has its moments of grace... But for a complicated story set during even more complicated times, Sweetness in the Belly just feels altogether too simple. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
() Soraya Nadia McDonald Director Atiq Rahimi has once again created a beautiful and disturbing work of cinema. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
Just Mercy (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald It's a new twist on the old formula of Yankee lawyers who come to the South and find a wall of community resistance to racial equality and injustice, but it's a powerful one. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Clemency (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald [Clemency] continue the work of highlighting racial inequality in the justice system. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Lucas Brothers: On Drugs (2017) Soraya Nadia McDonald It's sharp, smart, insightful and hilarious. EDIT
Posted Jul 16, 2019
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald [Toni] Morrison remains an inspiration for many reasons, but especially because she believed in her own talents long before the institutional arbiters of such things caught on to them. EDIT
Posted Jul 15, 2019
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald The Last Black Man in San Francisco is an exquisite dirge for the loss of a city, of home, of community. But most of all, it mourns the loss of possibility, and for some that load is just too heavy to bear. EDIT
Posted Jun 7, 2019
See You Yesterday (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald No matter the inspired cinematography or considered, authentic performances, these stories carry a weight of inevitability as they suck every particle of hope out of the air. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald Shahidi and Melton are charming and utterly watchable together. They're both absurdly attractive and skilled actors, but whatever magic exists between them is limited by Tracy Oliver's script. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
Fast Color (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Fast Color is an exceptional, poetic ride that cries out for further exploration. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2019
Native Son (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald Nearly 80 years after Native Son was first published, we're still searching for answers. EDIT
Posted Apr 11, 2019
Us (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald As social commentary, it's not as razor-sharp as Get Out. But it still feels like an exceptional accomplishment, mainly because Peele created a role that is a worthy showcase of Nyong'o's talent. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
() Soraya Nadia McDonald With archival footage from college basketball games in the 1940s and pro ball in the 1950s, Hamilton illustrates how much Sailors seemed like a time traveler from the future. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2019
High Flying Bird (2019) Soraya Nadia McDonald To avoid spoilers, I'll hold my tongue on the rest of High Flying Bird's deliciously crafty plot. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald In his adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk, Jenkins has fully established himself as one of American cinema's finest architects of intimacy. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2018
Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald More than anything, the value in Say Her Name lies in its refusal to allow Bland to be silenced, even in death. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2018
Widows (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Widows is filled with wild beauty, heart-thumping grotesquerie and even some good ol' soapy treachery. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
Jinn (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Jinn quivers with joy and uncertainty, confidence and shame, delivering exactly what makes independent cinema exciting: a bright new voice with a bold vision. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2018
The Hate U Give (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald In dealing with all of it, the book character finds her confidence and her voice. But the movie version of The Hate U Give leaves me unsure that its makers ever found theirs. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
Student Athlete (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald A new documentary about the exploitation of college athletes is right on time. EDIT
Posted Nov 1, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald The best romantic comedy from a big studio since Bridget Jones's Diary was released in 2001. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2018
Crime + Punishment (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Maing's documentary doesn't offer an answer to whether a system as vast and powerful as the NYPD can be reformed from the inside. But he illustrates just how difficult it is to try and how many disincentives face officers who challenge the status quo. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2018
BlacKkKlansman (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Just as Lee reminds us of his talent and the way it's been overlooked, he also reminds us of what he's been trying to tell us about American racism. Malcolm X was Lee's rainbow sign. BlacKkKlansman is the fire this time. EDIT
Posted Aug 10, 2018
Blindspotting (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Blindspotting is a film about gentrification that never stops screwing with its audience. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2018
Sorry to Bother You (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Riley's film thrums with the energy and unnecessary tics of a filmmaker itching to empty the contents of his imagination into one crazy, not-all-together coherent motion picture. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
Whitney (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald There is a steep price to pay for the racial malleability required for a little girl from Newark, New Jersey, whom everyone called Nippy to become Whitney Houston. Kevin Macdonald's documentary shows us how we all stood by and watched her pay it. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
Burning Sands (2017) David Dennis Jr. It has an important, if didactic, message that could save black fraternities and sororities. I just wish Gerard McMurray had shown more of the beauty that these organizations represent. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2018
Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald It's a testament to [Michael B.] Jordan's skill as an actor that these scenes are remotely palatable, given the shaky emotional scaffolding on which they are built. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2018
Unsane (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald Add Steven Soderbergh's new film, Unsane, to the ranks of psychological horror-thrillers that double as documentaries. Those of us who've seen Get Out or read too many shiver-inducing tales of #MeToo can never consume horror the same way again. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2018
A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Soraya Nadia McDonald A Wrinkle in Time asks its young audience to "be a warrior" by loving itself. But it doesn't really illustrate how a young person does that. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2018
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Soraya Nadia McDonald Suffice it to say, Valkyrie is a certified badass. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2017
Marshall (2017) Soraya Nadia McDonald The shortcomings that separate Marshall from Hidden Figures and Loving are the same ones that give it the feeling of a TV movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 13, 2017
Weiner (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald It's a fabulously entertaining view from inside a political campaign, giving us a firsthand experience of all the weird, Good Wife-style maneuvering that takes place. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
T-Rex (2015) Soraya Nadia McDonald It all comes together in a terrific story that makes it impossible not to root for Shields. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Pervert Park (2014) Soraya Nadia McDonald It's a fascinating look at a community of people many would prefer to write off entirely. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Miss Sharon Jones! (2015) Soraya Nadia McDonald An emotional [and] beautifully rendered story. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Maya Angelou and Still I Rise (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald It's easy to fall into thinking of the late Maya Angelou as something of a national grandmother when she was so much more than that. Thankfully, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, is here to correct that misconception. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Check It (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald Check It provides a realistic look at the effects of cyclical poverty, prejudice, and homelessness on gay youth. Advocacy groups in the nation's capital are still basking in the victory of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine (2017) Soraya Nadia McDonald In every generation, there's a group of maniacs who insist upon rule-breaking, not in the name of some sort of principled stand for freedom but simply because they're a bunch of roustabout, devil-may-care libertines. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Unacknowledged (2017) Soraya Nadia McDonald [Unacknowledged] will likely leave you feeling uneasy, paranoid and maybe more than a little willing to don a tricornered hat made of Reynolds wrap. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
The Fits (2015) Soraya Nadia McDonald If the fits are lemons, caused by metaphorical lead poisoning, then Toni's amazing closing sequence is lemonade. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Free State of Jones (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald Because Free State of Jones concentrates so singularly on making [Matthew] McConaughey the hero of the film, it ends up being a series of missed opportunities. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Ghostbusters (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald Frankly, if you're going to make a new Ghostbusters with a female foursome as the leads and you're facing a backlash from clanging dungeons of the woman-hating internet, it seems like it would make for an epic opportunity to troll them. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
The Birth of a Nation (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald One of The Birth of a Nation's biggest weaknesses is that the film's female characters are given little consideration in comparison to their male counterparts. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
13TH (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald 13th tells us black Americans are not irrational. They are not making up racism or targeted arrests and police violence. 13th tells us black people are not crazy. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Hidden Figures (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald The pragmatism that flows through Hidden Figures provides a beacon of hope in a modern era that feels marked by uncertainty and despair. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
La La Land (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald It makes it more difficult to just let something like La La Land just passively wash over you when, however well-intentioned, the film hearkens back to a time when black humanity onscreen was deliberately hamstrung. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
Little Boxes (2016) Soraya Nadia McDonald In Little Boxes, there's cause for optimism because Meyer and Howell are doing interesting work that's absolutely necessary and not always easy: interrogating whiteness and the ways it shapes the people of color who encounter it. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017) Soraya Nadia McDonald Imagine having to endure the emotional labor of seeing your own story told, without the comfort of knowing that you control it or enjoying compensation for it either. Henrietta Lacks raises questions about ethics, both artistic and biomedical. EDIT
Posted Sep 26, 2017