Black Girl Nerds

Reviews + Articles

Review: Donald Glover and Maya Erskine Are Exceptional in ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’

When it was first announced in 2021 that multi-hyphenate artist Donald Glover (Atlanta) was coming out with a new version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the eye-roll reception was to be expected. People love to hate remakes, believing that revisiting previous stories and concepts and approaching them from a different perspective lacks originality. Well, this is Donald Glover, and no one should expect him to simply remake the 2005 Brangelina action rom-com. He told EW, “I hope some people are like, ‘This i

Sundance 2024 Review: Bruno Mourral Makes His Feature Directorial Debut with Darkly Funny Crime Thriller ‘Kidnapping Inc.’

In 2017, Haitian writer-director Bruno Mourral impressed audiences with his mid-length film Kafou, co-written by Jasmuel Andri, who stars in the film, and Gilbert Mirambeau Jr. After a few challenging years in production on their follow-up project, Mourral makes his feature debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with Kidnapping, Inc., a wild, action-packed political thriller/dark comedy. The multigenre Creole and French-language film explores the country’s rampant crime, corrupt politicians

Sundance 2024 Review: Johan Grimonprez’s Essayistic Documentary 'Soundtrack to a Coup D’etat' Explores Link Between Jazz and Politics

Writer and director Johan Grimonprez, known for impressionistic documentaries like Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade and Double Take, returns to the Sundance Film Festival with his latest documentary Soundtrack to a Coup D’etat.

First announced in 2021, the Belgian-born filmmaker sheds light on the overthrow and assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba, the dark history of the United Nations weaponizing jazz artists and their music, and so much more. It opens with drums to est

Sundance 2024 Review: Nico Parker Shines in ‘Suncoast’, a Coming-of-Age Dramedy about Grief

Best known for her work in television, writer-director Laura Chinn (Pop TV’s Florida Girls) debuts her first feature Suncoast at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Set in 2005, the semi-autobiographical dramedy follows Doris (Nico Parker), a socially awkward teenager living a far from normal life in Florida. Instead of participating in any extracurriculars or socializing with classmates, she spends her time outside of school helping her overwhelmed mom Kristine (Laura Linney) care for her sick

Sundance 2024 Review: Haley Elizabeth Anderson Returns to Sundance with ‘Tendaberry’, an Intimate Portrait of Young Love and Loneliness

Writer-director Haley Elizabeth Anderson is no stranger to the Sundance Film Festival. In 2020, she participated in the screenwriting intensive and premiered her short film Pillars. This year, she returns to Sundance with her first feature film Tendaberry, an indie drama following 23-year-old Dakota (Kota Johan) as she transitions from the romance of being one-half of a couple to the uncertainty of being alone in New York City.

The film opens with Dakota’s poetic narration playing over old imag

Review: Alaqua Cox Delivers Another Beautifully Nuanced and Intense Performance as Maya Lopez in ‘Echo’

Marvel Studios kicks off 2024 with Echo, a five-episode series centered on Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), who made her debut in 2021’s Hawkeye. It’s the first Disney+ that’s TV-MA, a promising rating for fans of Netflix’s Marvel era. Echo is also the first to launch under the Marvel Spotlight banner, which Head of Streaming Brad Winderbaum said focuses on “street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity.”

Christmas Classics: 'Home Alone' Will Always Be Essential Holiday Viewing

It’s that time of year when the internet sprouts more bizarre theories and newly discovered details about Home Alone. The John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club) and Chris Columbus (The Christmas Chronicles 2) venture premiered more than 30 years ago in November 1990. Despite critics at the time not loving the massive blockbuster, it remains a staple on nearly everyone’s Christmas watchlist. And on December 13, 2023, it was added to the 2023 Library of Congress National Film Registry.

BGN's Picks for the Best Films of 2023

This has been quite the year for cinema starting with critically acclaimed hits in January during Sundance all the way until awards season which is currently in full swing. We here at Black Girl Nerds are excited to share with you some of our picks of what we consider the best films of 2023 by a select group of esteemed film critics.

From big budget studio films to independent flicks, our team provides a short list of our favorites and why these selections have resonated with us so much this past year.

Cult Classics: Revisiting the Strange and Obscure ‘We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story’ 30 Years Later

This month we look back on We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, one of the three animated films produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblimation and an unofficial animated companion to Jurassic Park. It was released on November 24, 1993, and unlike the aforementioned live-action dino-centric movie that year, it wasn’t a hit with critics or audiences.

The story begins with Buster the Bird (Blaze Berdahl) planning to run away from his family nest. But before he hits the skies, he chats with a friendly Tyran

Review: ‘Goosebumps’ Finally Goes Dark

Since R.L. Stine’s first Goosebumps book hit shelves in the 1990s, we’ve seen countless comics, video games, and a beloved TV series. The Rob Letterman (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu) 2015 film of the same name was geared toward a much younger audience, as was its 2018 sequel Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween directed by Ari Sandel.

But the latest Goosebumps adaptation, a 10-part series developed by Letterman and fellow writer-executive producer Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), delivers

Cult Classics: 20 Years Later, 'Freddy vs. Jason' Is Still a Gory Good Time

In 1993, the end of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, the ninth installment in the Friday the 13th franchise, teased a crossover between horror icons Jason Voorhees and A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger. Fans wouldn’t get to see the epic showdown until Freddy vs. Jason hit theaters on August 15, 2003.

With New Line Cinema owning the rights to Freddy and Paramount Pictures owning the rights to Jason, among other things, the horror flick went on a rough journey. Beginning in the late

Review: ‘The Boys’ Spinoff ‘Gen V’ Proves to Be Just as Irreverent, Explosive, and Bloody Fantastic

Based on the comics of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Eric Kripke’s The Boys is known for its shockingly graphic violence and outrageous fun. But if you thought the Seven and other thirtysomething supes were wild, prepare yourself for the unhinged youngsters of Gen V, who are more tech-savvy, meaning most of their unsavory actions end up online.

Gen V, developed by writer-director Craig Rosenberg (The Boys) and with Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (Emergence, Agent Carter) serving as showru

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: Winning Millions Has Deadly Consequences in Daniel Brown’s Thrilling Morality Tale ‘Your Lucky Day’

Writer-director-producer Daniel Brown (Color TV, No Vacancy) makes his feature film debut with Your Lucky Day, an indie action-thriller based on his popular short of the same name released in 2010. The film marks one of the last performances of late actor Angus Cloud, who tragically died in July of this year.

From the beginning, we’re with Sterling (Angus Cloud), a young man considered a low-life doing less than legal things to make a living. It’s Christmas Eve in Miami and he’s out trying to m

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ Unearths the Origins of Jud Crandall and the Lore of Ludlow

Based on a chapter in Stephen King’s 1983 novel, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines acts as a prequel to the 2019 remake and delves into the story Jud Crandall (John Lithgow) tells Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) about “that Baterman boy.” In the film, writer-director Lindsey Anderson Beer (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) and co-writer Jeff Buhler (Pet Sematary, Jacob’s Ladder) show us the origins of Jud’s iconic wise words of warning, “Sometimes dead is better.”

Warning: Some spoilers ahead for Pet Sematary (both

Fantastic Fest 2023 Review: Netflix’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ Mike Flanagan’s Darkly Comedic, Delightfully Gory Masterpiece

Those still trying to fill The Midnight Club-sized hole left by its unceremonious cancellation can pause their rewatch cycle because Mike Flanagan season is upon us. Netflix has another delectable horror-drama to devour. And this one won’t leave you in a puddle of tears!

This fall, the writer-director and his longtime producing partner Trevor Macy (Midnight Mass) deliver the next Flana-verse installment with their highly-anticipated The Fall of the House of Usher. The master storyteller’s lates

Review: Apple TV+ Brings Victor LaValle’s Folkloric Horror-Fantasy to Life in ‘The Changeling’

From writer, showrunner, and executive producer Kelly Marcel (Cruella, Venom: Let There Be Carnage) comes Apple TV+’s new original series The Changeling, based on Victor LaValle’s best-selling book of the same name. The adaptation arrives just in time for the simultaneously cozy and spooky fall season.

Victor LaValle himself acts as the faceless narrator throughout the series, setting and maintaining the folkloric tone, beginning with, “Once upon a time…”

Apollo Kagwa (LaKeith Stanfield, also

Cult Classics: Celebrating the Enduring Magic of ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar’

Released on September 8, 1995, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar held the #1 spot at the box office for two weeks. Playwright Douglas Carter Beane, known for Broadway musicals like Sister Act and Xanadu, originally envisioned this story of three road-trippin’ drag queens as a stage play. Ultimately, the idea evolved into a film with a lengthy title directed by Beeban Kidron (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) and produced by celebrated filmmaker Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park).

Review: Hulu’s ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Returns with a Star-Studded, Showstopping Season 3

Following its successful debut and an equally addictive sophomore season, Steve Martin and John Hoffman’s whodunnit comedy Only Murders in the Building is back with more laughs, more players, and more mystery.

By the end of Season 2, our sleuthing trio Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short), and Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) cleared their names and solved the murder of cranky but lovable Arconia board president Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell). The case-cracking crew enlis

Review: Harlivy Returns with More Make-Outs, Madness, and Mayhem in ‘Harley Quinn’ Season 4

Last summer, Harley Quinn fans were salivating for Season 3 after a two-year wait between seasons. But since Season 4 came sooner than expected, there’s nothing to do but celebrate. This season of the animated comedy, now residing on Max, sees series writer Sarah Peters (Ghosted) taking over as showrunner for Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker (Abbott Elementary).

Peters met her goal and then some, telling The A.V. Club, “I hope to strike that balance with Season 4: bringing our amazing fans

Review: Juel Taylor’s Strange and Stylish ‘They Cloned Tyrone’ Oozes Originality

This summer, writer Juel Taylor, known for penning films like Creed II and Space Jam: A New Legacy, makes his feature directorial debut on Netflix with They Cloned Tyrone, co-written with frequent collaborator Tony Rettenmaier (Shooting Stars). The satirical sci-fi mystery horror-comedy follows a hustler, a pro, and a pimp as they embark on a strange, dangerous, and humorous journey beneath the surface to uncover a conspiracy.

The Glen is an otherworldly yet incredibly familiar neighborhood ost

Review: Justina Machado Makes a Killer Return to the Small Screen in Prime Video’s Cannibal Comedy ‘The Horror of Dolores Roach’

Aaron Mark’s (Random Unrelated Projects) dark, Sweeney Todd-inspired tale of a serial killing masseuse began in 2015, on the off-Broadway stage with the one-woman play Empanada Loca, starring Daphne Rubin-Vega (In the Heights). Three years later, the writer-creator-director turned it into a Spotify podcast called The Horror of Dolores Roach. Now in its third iteration, Mark and co-showrunner Dara Resnik (Home Before Dark) adapted the story into an eight-episode TV series for Prime Video and Blum

Reboots, Requels, and Remakes: Why Some Work and Others Don’t

In a time when a diverse, thought-provoking movie like Everything Everywhere All at Once wins the Oscar for Best Picture, and a studio like A24 consistently releases fresh genre films, audiences still love to complain about remakes.

Yes, there are objectively a lot of rehashed stories being promoted these days. Sometimes they’re major flops, but we can admit, if begrudgingly, that not all remakes are terrible. And even if they are, they still pull in millions at the box office, so they’re not g
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