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Running Time:
1 hr. 50 min

Rating: Unrated

Rating Explanation:
for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Never has a film about gay sexuality been as so profoundly real, moving, unique, and electrifying as this incredibly original drama.

Additional Info:
Mahershala Ali ... Juan
Shariff Earp ... Terrence
Duan Sanderson ... Azu
Alex Hibbert ... Little
Janelle MonŠe ... Teresa
Naomie Harris ... Paula
Jaden Piner ... Kevin age 9
Rudi Goblen ... Gee
Ashton Sanders ... Chiron
Edson Jean ... Mr. Pierce
Patrick Decile ... Terrel

When a young black man appears on screen in an American movie, there is a limited range of things his character can generally be expected to do. He can deal drugs or get addicted to drugs. He can get in fights, run from cops, get arrested, go to jail. If he’s lucky, he might get to be a cop (though often his luck runs out, and his white partner is spurred to acts of heroism by his buddy’s untimely death) or get out of jail (only to face the temptation of life back on the streets). Maybe he gets to fall in love with a good woman, but more often, he keeps that good woman down.
The main character in director Barry Jenkins’ tender, lyrical, and stunning Moonlight—who’s known by a different name and played by a different actor in each of the film’s three distinct sections—does engage in a few of the activities described above. But he also does things we almost never get to see a black male do on screen. 
He wrestles with the societal expectation that he project strength, invulnerability, and hypermasculine cool, even when he feels anything but strong or cool on the inside. In the transcendent nighttime scene that gives the film its title, he kisses another young black man on a beach. Most surprisingly of all, he cries. Not just once, in a single pent-up release of long-suppressed manly emotions, but several times, alone and in the company of others: sometimes from loneliness and rage, sometimes from relief and gratitude.
Moonlight is one of those movies that showers its audience with blessings: raw yet accomplished performances from a uniformly fine cast, casually lyrical camerawork, and a frankly romantic soundtrack that runs the gamut from ’70s Jamaican pop to a Mexican folk song crooned by the Brazilian Caetano Veloso. But the film’s greatest gift may be that flood of cleansing tears—which, by the time this spare but affecting film is over, you may also be shedding in copious volume.

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