Parents' Guide to

Black Beach

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Cynical, violent political thriller has language, nudity.

Movie NR 2021 110 minutes
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This is an over-plotted, runaway mess of a predictable movie splattered with clichés and standard boilerplate material stolen directly from other, far better movies. Yet it still offers a few moving moments and a sense that there may be hope for honesty and decency to prevail now and then on the world stage. Black Beach unsurprisingly suggests that racism is bad and likewise homophobia, plus world powers will support corrupt regimes as long oil keeps flowing.

But director Esteban Crespo isn't good at sorting out complex narrative flow. Relying on tons of tedious exposition, he lays out a mashup of characters and situations and it's up to us to figure out what's going on. Why does Carlos run to a bar every morning and secretly leave stuff in a hidden plastic bag in the basement? And though Carlos doesn't seem stupid at first, he keeps leading corrupt authorities to the secret hideouts of good guys and getting them killed. As he makes one fatal mistake after another, yet maintains an over-serious superiority, the movie begins to feel like a parody about White guys coming to unsuccessfully save oppressed Black people. You'd think the guy would learn, but no.

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