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Dear White People

Drama . Comedy

Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in 'post-racial' America while weaving a story about forging one's unique path in the world.

Actors: Ashley Blaine Feathers , Malcolm Barrett , Brittany Curran , Dennis Haysbert , Kyle Gallner , Brandon P. Bell , Teyonah Parris , Tyler James Williams , Tessa Thompson
Directors: Justin Simien
Country: USA
Release: 2014-12-04
More Info:
  • Michael Phillips

    Dear White People isn't perfect. And yet the flaws really don't matter. This is the best film about college life in a long time, satiric or straight, comedy or drama.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    Like the movie itself, every character is a beautiful swirl of contradictions.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Simmien both mocks and provokes the nature of our seemingly progressive times by illuminating misguided assumptions and fears embedded in forward-thinking discourse. But Simien's relentless screenplay is never too self-serious or didactic, instead pairing culturally-savvy brains with a goofy grin.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Simien's film is one of those rare works that teach by appearing not to — you laugh at some of the antics, cringe at others, but the film is so entertaining you may forget you're learning something.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    You want to see this movie, and you will want to talk about it afterward, even if the conversation feels a little awkward. If it doesn’t, you’re doing it wrong. There is great enjoyment to be found here, and very little comfort.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    The small miracle of the movie is that Simien finds so many laughs in what are genuinely bewildering issues.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Although there are moments when the characters in Dear White People sound as if they’re reciting different sections of a thesis, overall Simien’s screenplay is tight, funny, smart and insightful, and his direction has just enough indie feel without becoming too self-conscious or preachy.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Steven Boone

    It's fortunate that, like "The Social Network," Dear White People is so charismatic in form and style that we easily forgive its surfeit of priviliged narcissists. Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Dear White People marks an auspicious debut for writer-director Justin Simien, an African-American who laces his satire with delicious mirth and malice.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Identity is the film’s true subject: As much as he pokes fun at the foibles of a privileged white America, Simien is more interested in the ways his protagonists conform, or refuse to conform, to society’s idea of them.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    The most impressive thing about Simien's film is his script, which he wrote. With multiple protagonists and multiple storylines to serve, he deftly manages to keep a number of balls in the air -- without losing sight of his film's purpose.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    The film is called Dear White People, but it might as well be called Dear Everybody. It’s hilarious, and just about everyone will wince with recognition at some point in the film.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Lorraine Ali

    The complicated narratives don't distract from what this film does best: make you laugh about the things that make you furious.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    Comparisons to Spike Lee’s movies are unavoidable, particularly with a setting that recalls Lee’s “School Daze” and a conclusion that echoes “Do the Right Thing.” But Dear White People is a film of the moment, and an essential one at that.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    A title like that needs balls of brass to back it up. Luckily, this fiery college comedy from feature-debuting writer-director Justin Simien, loosely inspired by a series of scandalous black-face parties at all-white fraternities, is full of punchy intelligence and barely concealed anger.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    The cast is game and Siemen’s trenchant observations are the mark of a filmmaker with something to say – an increasing rarity in this day and age.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    The pitch on Dear White People is that it’s “Do the Right Thing for the Obama generation,” which is both an oversell and a disservice to Justin Simien’s witty satire about race relations on a fictional Ivy League campus.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    This is an important movie, but it’s not a perfect one. It has one enormous flaw, and it’s a testament to the smartness of the writing and the inherent fascination of its viewpoint that it doesn’t wreck the experience: Director Justin Simien doesn’t know how to shape scenes or pull performances from his actors.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    It’s true that satire is the perfect weapon of reason, and Justin Simien deploys it with resourcefulness, cool assurance and eagle-eyed aim.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Leah Greenblatt

    The movie finds real power in its climax, a party that turns into a nightmarish orgy of leering white kids in blackface. And the end-credit photos of real parties just like it at schools across the country are a stark reminder of the ugliness that Dear White People, flawed as it is, wants to confront.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    The four main actors, all uniformly excellent, can wrap their tongues around Simien's verbose dialogue, but some of the minor actors have a harder time, resulting in several jokes falling flat.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Simien focuses too much on the character played by his star, Williams, which seems a mistake. Scenes are underscored with classical music chestnuts, a trite way of suggesting “academia.” And the ending is an eye-roller.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    It’s an American film that talks about race with strong feeling, common sense and good humor; it’s an indie screenwriting-directing debut as polished as it is provocative; it’s a satire that also lets its characters be people; it’s a showcase of clever craft and direction as well as whip-smart comedic writing brought to life by a dedicated, charismatic cast that also conveys real ideas and emotion.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Justin Lowe

    Simien intensifies the impact of both action and dialogue with a self-reflexive directorial style that creates a marginally heightened sense of reality, revealing more about characters' motivations than would conventionally be expected.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    The dose of reality is bracing and welcome after all the hothouse talk that preceeded it. Dear White People is a first feature, lively and intelligent and thought-provoking, by a writer-director whose best movies are yet to come.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Although the characters don’t lapse into stereotypes, neither are they sufficiently funny or fierce to engage us in the issues they raise.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    “It’s a little self-congratulatory and light on story,” says one student of another’s film project in Dear White People, which feels like director Justin Simien getting out ahead of inevitable (and accurate) criticism.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Aisha Harris

    Unfortunately, Simien’s many smart, relevant thoughts on race are more often wrapped up in an impassioned, didactic bow that rarely feels fresh—or, more damagingly, funny.

    Slate Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Simien is clearly a talented, witty writer, with a fantastic sense of character development and dialogue, but he makes a lot of rookie mistakes as a filmmaker, from trying to cover too much ground in one movie to making stylistic choices that render Dear White People visually incomprehensible.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Bristling with arguments about the complexities of black identity in a supposedly post-racial America, this lively and articulate campus-set comedy proves better at rattling off ideas and presenting opposing viewpoints than it does squeezing them into a coherent narrative frame.

    Variety Full Review
  • Jamie Graham

    Dear everyone – stop whatever you’re doing and go see Dear White People. One of the freshest, funniest and most vital films of the year.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Nick de Semlyen

    Do the right thing — take a break from summer spectacle to check out this assured and eloquent indie.

    Empire Full Review
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