black and blue review

For many actors, an Oscar nomination is a crowning achievement that can lead to newfound opportunities or added prestige to their name. But for Naomie Harris — and in an unfortunate pattern, many Oscar nominees and winners of color — that Oscar nomination has amounted to zilch. Since earning a nod for Best Supporting Actress for her raging turn in Moonlight, the British actress has been relegated to supporting roles in blockbusters that have ranged from deranged to disastrous.

But it looked like her fortunes might change with Black and Blue, Harris’ first long-deserved lead role in a feature film since her Oscar nomination. In the action thriller directed by Deon Taylor, Harris stars as a rookie cop in New Orleans who ends up witnessing violent evidence of police corruption. But what could be a monumental turn for Harris in a painfully topical film ends up being a B-movie thriller that cops out on any potent sociopolitical messaging in favor of hamfisted platitudes.

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