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Black or White

7/10
Drama
 

A grieving widower is drawn into a custody battle over his granddaughter, whom he helped raise her entire life.

 
Actors: Kevin Costner , Jennifer Ehle , Gillian Jacobs , Octavia Spencer , Bill Burr , Sadarias Harrell , Joe Chrest , Janet Lynn Carey , Indigo , Mpho Koaho , Jillian Estell
Directors: Mike Binder
Country: USA
Release: 2015-01-30
More Info:
  • Gary Goldstein

    The filmmaker and his on-screen proxies boldly go places our national discourse desperately needs to go, yet rarely does.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Jordan Mintzer

    Black and White never panders too easily to sentiments, creating characters who are riddled with flaws but likeable all the same.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    The good news is that Kevin Costner does some of the finest, most deeply felt work of his career as a widower lawyer fighting for custody of his biracial granddaughter in Mike Binder’s Black and White. The bad news is that this well-intentioned family drama never quite shakes free from its didactic, movie-of-the-week dramaturgy and a hand-holding approach to race-relations.

    Variety Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    By the film's end, Black or White raises only one question: Is its racial-baiting disingenuous or oblivious?

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Kevin Jagernauth

    Woefully misguided, Black And White is at times painfully quaint and obtuse about contemporary issues surrounding race and class.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    A textured and unexpectedly entertaining drama about the human toll when racial assumptions crash.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Costner’s performance is filled with memorable moments.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Good acting and plenty to think about, but a better director than Mike Binder would have made a better film.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    “Selma” wasn’t the only film about race to get short shrift from Oscar voters this past year. Black or White is a frank, touching and very well-acted melodrama about child custody and cultural perceptions of “blackness” and “the race card,” and could have earned Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner fresh Oscar nominations.

    Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    A boldly sappy melodrama that plays on - and off - racial stereotypes.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    It's often painful, and not in a good way; it's painful because of the roads it doesn't explore, the shortcuts it takes, and the special pleading it can't stop itself from indulging in.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The film is by no means perfect and its goals are undermined by a sloppy climax and conclusion but it avoids preaching while providing fodder for thought.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Despite the best of intentions, a career-best performance from Kevin Costner, and outstanding work by Octavia Spencer and child actor Jillian Estell, Black or White succumbs to some of the same stereotypes it tries to dispel.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    There's a chance Black or White just might offend some, but it's more likely to get them thinking and talking. In this day and age, and given recent headlines, it's hard to ask much more from a movie.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    A racial melodrama that, until it stumbles into obvious and maudlin territory, is a thoughtful work thanks to Octavia Spencer, Anthony Mackie and especially Kevin Costner.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Give Binder credit for addressing racial divides even if not as profoundly as one would hope.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Writer-director Mike Binder, who worked beautifully with Costner on 2005's "The Upside of Anger," finds himself on the downside of juggling stereotypes.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    To put it simply, people may be right and people may be wrong, but there are no right races or wrong races. A writer-director who chooses to have characters representing race and not themselves alone paints himself into a corner in which everyone in the movie absolutely must come out all right.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    The performances are fantastic across the board, with Costner acting in his trademark low-key naturalistic style and Spencer as the picture of no-nonsense maternal love. But their efforts can’t make up for overly simplified characters, not to mention melodramatic exchanges that sound exactly like written dialogue.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    Mike Binder’s steady, well-intentioned exploration of the racial tensions affecting two branches of a Southern California family, is notable for what it doesn’t try to do.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Despite excellent performances by Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and other cast members, Mike Binder’s racially tinged custody battle drama Black or White never achieves much in the way of dramatic credibility.

    New York Post Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Tempting though it might be to celebrate any earnest, good-faith attempt to talk about race in America, it’s clear that the creator of Mind Of The Married Man was not the right one to do the talking.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Barbara VanDenburgh

    Black or White is more remarkable for what it isn't than for what it is. For example, it isn't ripe with drama. It isn't a thoughtful exploration of racial identity in America. It isn't a compelling look at judicial bias and class conflict. It is, instead, a movie that's every bit as oversimplified and obvious as its title.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • William Goss

    Black or White is a film all about matters of race that hardly matters at all.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    Occasionally, the film rouses into something thoughtful, even daring.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Eric Henderson

    Kevin Costner scowls and darts around the dubious thin line between "racism" and un-sugarcoated "truthfulness" that only anti-P.C. wingnuts actually believe exists.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Black or White may not be racist, exactly, but it patronizes its African-American characters up, down and sideways, and audiences of every ethnicity, background, hue and predilection can find something to dislike.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The trouble with Black Or White is that it feels reverse-engineered, as if Binder wanted to deliver one big statement about race, and rigged an entire movie to make that possible.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    The only thing Black or White adds to the discussion of race relations is another one-sided argument.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Talk about tin ears. Black or White comes off as the product of clouded eyes, sour stomachs and addled brains.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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  • grieving widower

  • widower

  • color in title

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