A24 | Release Date: October 21, 2016
7.2
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 1529 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
1,110
Mixed:
146
Negative:
273
Watch Now
Buy On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
5
BeeceeJan 9, 2017
There is, somehow, an interesting story here, as well as some good acting. There are also some good scenes (particularly those involving his "adopted" father). However, the cinematography and direction bear resemblance to the average homeThere is, somehow, an interesting story here, as well as some good acting. There are also some good scenes (particularly those involving his "adopted" father). However, the cinematography and direction bear resemblance to the average home movie. There is also a huge gap in the story between an incident that happens in high school and Chiron as an adult. What passions does Chiron have other than the fact that he is gay? What does he even do for a living as an adult? Most of these characters are stereotypes rather than well-drawn human beings. Expand
18 of 26 users found this helpful188
All this user's reviews
6
homer4presidentApr 12, 2017
For an accolade wining movie, this movie falls short in depicting the depth you would otherwise expect. The characters fail to be fully fleshed out to realize their potential. While the topic itself is a goldmine for exploring in the AfricanFor an accolade wining movie, this movie falls short in depicting the depth you would otherwise expect. The characters fail to be fully fleshed out to realize their potential. While the topic itself is a goldmine for exploring in the African American community, it falls painfully short of reaching out to the human element in it. The lead while growing in the movie does not grow as a character. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
All this user's reviews
5
weirdoomovieJan 13, 2017
Saw it last night. Didn't know a thing about it before walking in to the theater, except for the awards. Gripping drama about the broken homes and neglected children that contribute to the way things are. The film didn't develop muchSaw it last night. Didn't know a thing about it before walking in to the theater, except for the awards. Gripping drama about the broken homes and neglected children that contribute to the way things are. The film didn't develop much beyond the first half , became slow and tedious. Characters didn't delevop much either. Had great potential, but didn't get there. Overated by critics. Why? Expand
13 of 18 users found this helpful135
All this user's reviews
6
The3AcademySinsAug 4, 2017
Moonlight is a highly ambitious and extremely hyped arthouse flick. I have to say, I had to see the movie twice in theaters to really wrap my head around it. There is some amazing acting and cinematography in Moonlight, and it really doesMoonlight is a highly ambitious and extremely hyped arthouse flick. I have to say, I had to see the movie twice in theaters to really wrap my head around it. There is some amazing acting and cinematography in Moonlight, and it really does stand out as an above average queer film. It's a solid first film, and I can't wait to see what the writer and director do next! My biggest complaint is the performance of Naomi Harris. Her character is so unbelievable that it really took me out of the film. It wouldn't have bothered me so much if her character hadn't played such a big role. I can't honestly give this film higher than a 6, that's how badly it bothered me. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
All this user's reviews
5
JeffKnoxFeb 23, 2017
I don't understand the hype behind this movie. I felt like there was going to be a good message behind it but in the end it felt very lacking in substance. If the movie was about a straight white guy it wouldn't be getting much attention andI don't understand the hype behind this movie. I felt like there was going to be a good message behind it but in the end it felt very lacking in substance. If the movie was about a straight white guy it wouldn't be getting much attention and would be seen as mediocre at best.
I think the reason it got the attention is only because the subject matter was about a gay black guy. If we've had a few movies like this already nobody would be looking at this like it was something special. I get that people might like seeing this subject matter but that doesn't excuse the fact that there's hardly any substance to it.

By the end I was left feeling like I was supposed to be impacted somehow but any message that it had fell extremely flat. Again, I think if it wasn't for the subject matter most people would recognize this as a mediocre movie.
Expand
13 of 20 users found this helpful137
All this user's reviews
4
DzimasMar 2, 2017
Great start but none of the three chapters were long enough to get any more than a feel for the main character. What you have is a highly impressionistic film that doesn't even attempt to get to the root causes of Chiron's problems, turningGreat start but none of the three chapters were long enough to get any more than a feel for the main character. What you have is a highly impressionistic film that doesn't even attempt to get to the root causes of Chiron's problems, turning out pretty much as you expect. Why all the 100s and 10s I have no idea, other than the theme beguiled reviewers who could pretty much insert whatever feelings they have on the subject into the movie. Expand
9 of 14 users found this helpful95
All this user's reviews
4
imthenoobFeb 19, 2017
All hype imo. I expected so much more from such a critically acclaimed film. I thought the whole adult section was a disappointment. He becomes his harden criminal and yet he is so easy to forgive his mother, a junkie who treated him likeAll hype imo. I expected so much more from such a critically acclaimed film. I thought the whole adult section was a disappointment. He becomes his harden criminal and yet he is so easy to forgive his mother, a junkie who treated him like garbage, and rekindle the love he had with his friend, whom he had a one off encounter with before going to jail. It just doesn't really feel satisfying to me.

Also, I think it would have been more interesting seeing him in his Teen/Adult years. To see how he got into the world of drugs and how he became the man he is today. That would have been really interesting to see. This film has easily been the most overrated film I've seen since Avatar.
Expand
12 of 20 users found this helpful128
All this user's reviews
6
FortifierJan 28, 2017
I think the reviewers only gave this film the extremely high rating it got because otherwise they would be called "homophobic" by the SJW community...

Lets be honest, though; this film is a 3/5 at its best. While it does tackle a rather
I think the reviewers only gave this film the extremely high rating it got because otherwise they would be called "homophobic" by the SJW community...

Lets be honest, though; this film is a 3/5 at its best. While it does tackle a rather difficult subject and has great performances, its really how overly simple and average the story and cinematography itself is compared to other similar films. There have been similar films such as this which go through a boy's life as they grow up in a rather messed-up part of the world/family; examples include "City of God", "Do The Right Thing" and "Gran Torino", yet this film is nowhere close to the aura and sheer beauty of these films.
Expand
13 of 22 users found this helpful139
All this user's reviews
5
jimbox666Feb 26, 2017
One of the best acted movies of the year, which unfortunately does not make up for how boring it was. I fear that we once again fallen prey to political correctness whereby you are labelled a homophobe and racist if you do not like thisOne of the best acted movies of the year, which unfortunately does not make up for how boring it was. I fear that we once again fallen prey to political correctness whereby you are labelled a homophobe and racist if you do not like this movie. I am neither. I just did not think it was a very good movie. Expand
12 of 21 users found this helpful129
All this user's reviews
6
niknacksJan 24, 2017
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm pretty surprised by how positive this movie has been reviewed. Many of the character relationships make little to no sense based on what is occurring in the movie. This is a dark coming of age tale, but loses much of it's believability early on in the movie. To start, the bullies of the movie recognize the main character as gay long before he himself does, almost making it seem as though because they call him gay he then turns gay. It is hard to care overmuch about the main character as he has maybe 25 lines in the entire movie, and anytime he does talk it's 4-5 word sentences followed by long stretches of silence. I guess this was supposed to be an interesting character trait, but when the movie contains nothing but dialog and the main character doesn't talk it seems like a bit of a problem. It's exacerbated by the fact that every other character in the movie constantly points it out. The best friend/lover is equally confusing throughout the movie. His sexuality is seemingly fluid ranging from dude bro misogyny to handjibbers at the beach. At least the friend/lover was charismatic and for me the only redeeming actor in the movie. Every other character could have been played by anyone, the mom especially lacked presence in the film with the exception of the scene in which she forcibly takes money from her son. Not a bad movie, but it left much to be desired. The music and cinematography were strong, but total lack of likeable characters, and odd character choices felt like it detracted from the any real entertainment value that could have been found here. The biggest problem was the main characters arc, troubled gay kid in broken home beats the **** out of bully, disappears, comes back as a drug peddler. In the interim has not touched another person man or women, comes back and I guess gets back with his childhood hand jibber giver for love ever after? This is a story that takes place over a 20+ years of a persons life, but quite literally goes nowhere in all that time. Expand
9 of 16 users found this helpful97
All this user's reviews
4
Nifty2gMar 31, 2017
If I open my history I can find at least 10 gay porn films featuring black couples that has a more compelling story line than this film. I watched for about 15 minutes 2 gay black dudes drink wine in a diner talking about the most boring crapIf I open my history I can find at least 10 gay porn films featuring black couples that has a more compelling story line than this film. I watched for about 15 minutes 2 gay black dudes drink wine in a diner talking about the most boring crap you could imagine that ended up leaving me blue balled. Expand
5 of 9 users found this helpful54
All this user's reviews
5
ubuntomFeb 15, 2017
Everything is so predictable in this movie that it keeps you waiting for something upsetting to happen, but it never does. The more it tries to fight against stereotypes, the more it revels in them. It certainly has its lyrical and touchingEverything is so predictable in this movie that it keeps you waiting for something upsetting to happen, but it never does. The more it tries to fight against stereotypes, the more it revels in them. It certainly has its lyrical and touching moments, but it lacks honesty and character depth, and it's too abrupt in the kid-boy-adult evolution of the protagonist. Reviews outside the US are far from rave. Expand
11 of 20 users found this helpful119
All this user's reviews
6
cxmtlJan 29, 2017
Aren't we all hot moths in search of light and warmth? This was the feeling this movie left me with, passing through the film reel and reaching directly over. It was just a feeling though, and it stayed with me for just a couple of seconds.Aren't we all hot moths in search of light and warmth? This was the feeling this movie left me with, passing through the film reel and reaching directly over. It was just a feeling though, and it stayed with me for just a couple of seconds. Everything else was not so memorable. Expand
6 of 11 users found this helpful65
All this user's reviews
6
GreatMartinNov 12, 2016
Once again I think I fell for the hype and found myself disappointed in a movie when I actually saw it. “Moonlight” is not your ordinary movie in that it tackles the subject of a Gay, Black 9 year old kid/teenager/adult as he goes throughOnce again I think I fell for the hype and found myself disappointed in a movie when I actually saw it. “Moonlight” is not your ordinary movie in that it tackles the subject of a Gay, Black 9 year old kid/teenager/adult as he goes through discovering who he is. It is not a ‘Gay’ and/or ‘Black’movie meant only for a minority as it gets into the many feelings all human beings go through.

Chiron (Alex Hibbart as the 9 year old, Ashton Sanders, the teenager and Trevante Rhodes as the adult) goes from being an alienated, bullied boy to a muscled drug dealer who nobody fools with and in a way has followed the path of his mentor and surrogate father, Juan (Mahershala Ali), who taught the kid how to swim and discover himself.

We also meet his friend Kevin (played at the three same stages as Chiron by Jadin Piner, Jharrel Jerome and Andre Holland), his mother (Naomie Harris) and Juan’s girlfriend (Janelle Monae) who offers Chiron a place to stay whenever he needs one.

Chiron, as many gay kids, of any color, becomes a loner, is beaten up by schoolmates and accepts whatever kindness he receives. It was interesting following his path and where it goes. The scene in the diner is a love story unto itself though nothing is said about love except for a record playing on the jukebox.

The film failed me in that certain sections the jargon, vernacular, made it difficult for me to hear what was being said though I understood what was being done just as I didn’t quite understand the relationship between Juan and Chiron and how it became about and took the turn it did. Also a few very interesting characters just disappear from the film. I wasn’t aware the N word was used so much between Blacks as it is here at a certain level.

All 3 actors playing Chiron are outstanding as is the oldest Kevin. The arch of Chiron’s life holds your interest though at times moves too slowly. Ali’s Juan is an imposing figure and the two women, Harris and Monae, especially the former are strong in their portrayals. The direction and screenplay by Barry Jenkins, based on his life, tackles a rarely told story in the movies but it is also about loneliness and trying to answer the question “Who am I?” Some scenes are held too long, others don’t finish the thoughts being expressed. There are two powerful scenes I don’t think I will forget though they may go over the heads of others.

I do recommend “Moonlight” but don’t go in with high expectations as I did and approach it as going to see a good film with a new story.
Expand
10 of 21 users found this helpful1011
All this user's reviews
4
moothemagiccowJan 29, 2017
I love a good drama, but this could have been condensed to about 40 minutes. Yeah, the subject matter is important, the character types are not common enough, but the story itself is a snoozefest.
6 of 13 users found this helpful67
All this user's reviews
6
jgzegerFeb 24, 2017
A well-directed and well-acted film, but if you're not African-American or gay, you might have difficulty identifying with any of the characters in this movie.
4 of 10 users found this helpful46
All this user's reviews
4
ThiagoGonMar 7, 2017
I understand the importance of this theme and the fact that gay black man are rarely portrayed in films. But this movie has no interesting plot. We only get to see flashes of Chiron's life. The third act is extremely boring and disappointing.I understand the importance of this theme and the fact that gay black man are rarely portrayed in films. But this movie has no interesting plot. We only get to see flashes of Chiron's life. The third act is extremely boring and disappointing. The first two are better and have great performances. Even though, that was not a pleasing movie to watch, as it goes nowhere. Expand
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
All this user's reviews
6
SquaredRenApr 27, 2017
To start and make it clear, this movie has some of the best acting ever on a film. The film itself had some big flaws, at least for my taste. The 1st & 2nd acts felt so organic, it presents situations that people may feel related to, becauseTo start and make it clear, this movie has some of the best acting ever on a film. The film itself had some big flaws, at least for my taste. The 1st & 2nd acts felt so organic, it presents situations that people may feel related to, because it was very well made and close to real life situations. Once the 3rd act starts, there is a little "situation" involving the encounter of two characters. That "situation" felt too unreal, & cheap. It's something that just doesn't happen in real life, and felt forced so that these two characters meet each other. That organic feeling from the first two acts just felt destroyed by that 3rd act and made me feel disconnected & angry by a long time. Therefore, I just felt very underwhelmed by that and it destroyed my experience watching the film. Honestly not worthy of the Oscars best film, but still worth to watch & judge by yourself. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
All this user's reviews
4
xoaMar 1, 2017
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. ====================================================
Please don't lynch me SJW and BLM protestors
====================================================
Expand
2 of 8 users found this helpful26
All this user's reviews
6
LeZeeFeb 26, 2017
Blue is the warmest colour.

This is an exceptional film, but only from one perspective and that is, LGBT. I totally respect that, because I'm a big supporter. But apart from that, particularly from the filmmaking aspect I did not like it. I
Blue is the warmest colour.

This is an exceptional film, but only from one perspective and that is, LGBT. I totally respect that, because I'm a big supporter. But apart from that, particularly from the filmmaking aspect I did not like it. I felt like this film took place somewhere in Africa, but the accent was American. Because I could not find a single white or any other race people, even in the background.

The happy parts are, it is surprisingly a very interesting theme. I loved the storyline. The three phases of a man's life. How things around us can influence to build a personality. Sometimes in a good sense, but according to this film, there are some dramatic turns. Though the end was very simple, but I liked the first episode. It had potential to be a message film, but the later parts turned differently. Most importantly realistic narrative.

More like it is about the life cycle. Feels like a short and suburban version of 'Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring'. All the actors were so good. The screenplay was adapted from a book. Looks like it's a breakthrough for the director. I hope he keeps up the momentum and gives us the best products in the future. This film is not for everyone, mainly because of the theme. Initial parts were okay, but the latter developments were unexpected. It is one of the good films of the year, not the best.

7/10
Expand
2 of 8 users found this helpful26
All this user's reviews
4
bavuJan 3, 2020
The most overrated film of the decade if not of the 21. century so far. A mediocre film out of a mediocre script lies between City Lights and Touch of Evil on the list, that's unbelievable.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
6
MiqhtAug 14, 2017
Unpopular Opinion here: It was O.K. It is not that deep, rather it happens to be politically relevant. Had this movie been made 10 years in the future or 10 years ago it would recieve no where near the praise it is getting. The acting isUnpopular Opinion here: It was O.K. It is not that deep, rather it happens to be politically relevant. Had this movie been made 10 years in the future or 10 years ago it would recieve no where near the praise it is getting. The acting is excellent, yes. The plot is utterly horrible. It is a cliche "can't show my true colors" story that was rather built around the controversy of being gay. It's not that deep. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
6
ScreamagerFeb 13, 2018
I wanted to like Moonlight. Really, I did. But I can't. I don't know what it is about the film but it just frustrates me.

I screened this film as part of my research into the representation of sexuality and gender in film, believing that
I wanted to like Moonlight. Really, I did. But I can't. I don't know what it is about the film but it just frustrates me.

I screened this film as part of my research into the representation of sexuality and gender in film, believing that this was a significant work. And it is: the Academy Award for Best Picture winner and one of the most highly rated films on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Naturally, with all the praise the film was lavished with, I was excited.

When the movie ended I was in a state of confusion. Confusion because when the credits started rolling my first thought was "Is that it?". I often like films that are subtle in the way they work and Moonlight is an extremely subtle movie yet at the same time it bears the subtlety of a brick to the face; Moonlight is the equivalent of someone tapping you on the shoulder, punching you and then running away before you have a chance to realise what's happening. The film is too conventional and tries too hard to be experimental with it's simplicity: our protagonist Chiron is met with a number of issues throughout his life which are generic, cliched and frankly uninteresting - people claim that this movie is "all too real" but for me it seemed like a shopping list of typical film issues that had all been neatly shoehorned to create the perfect tragic character. The problem I have with this is that a lot of the issues are unresolved by the time the film ends, but perhaps that was the entire point, but then again I stopped caring in the last 10 minutes. You see if you're going to go for a film with deep meaning you have to make one that's actively engaging. (Not that I would consider the film deep, it's more a shallow grave of ideas.)

What bothers me most about the film isn't even regarding the film itself but the reviews. It honestly feels as though this film has been lauded by the masses out of fear that to hold a contrarian view would mark you as either a racist or homophobic. You might read this and think I sound ridiculous but there are existing reviews that criticise this film based purely on its artistic merits, and the people writing those have been attacked for those exact reasons. Heck, I read an article suggesting that Moonlight itself is racist and I'll admit that they brought up some valid arguments.

I've glossed over much of the other elements that went into the making of this film and although you may think I'll criticise them, because I do not like the film, you are wrong. The performances are for the most part fantastic, Mahershala Ali in particular was deserving of his Oscar, the film is well-directed and has some great cinematography, the only problem I have is the screenplay and how forced some of the dialogue is.

So Moonlight was a great disappointment for me. A film I was excited for but one which ultimately failed to meet my expectations. While there are many brilliant things about this film there is simply one thing that is too significant to prevent the film from being anywhere near a masterpiece.

Honestly? They should have let La La Land keep the award.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
6
KingCrasherJan 17, 2018
A story of Chiron's unfulfilled desire to feel loved plays out beautifully in this gentle film set in a gritty reality of the black neighbourhoods of USA's southeast. Attention holding right up until the end.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews