Review: OUT OF OMAHA Is Inferior To Those That Came Before


Although Out of Omaha has only the best intentions, it lacks the polish or narrative momentum for it to be as effective as it should be.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Out of Omaha, directed by Clay Tweel (Gleason), is a new documentary that tackles the subject of race relations in America. Unfortunately, this is yet another documentary that has noble intentions and an interesting backstory, only to never come together into a cohesive or satisfying whole.

The film follows two twin African-American brothers as they grow up in the racially-divided city of Omaha, struggling to defeat the racial injustice that faces them. Some of the most iconic documentaries about race take this approach of documenting a particular person or group of people over a period of time, but sadly, this movie is inferior to the films to which it obviously owes so much for a myriad of reasons.

One of the main issues with the movie is that it is unable to develop its subjects in an adequately compelling way. Although most audience members will sympathize with the struggle the characters are facing, this is a story that has been showcased on film many times before. It is sad that the same story keeps happening over and over again, but to keep that story cinematic, a personal touch has to be added, which is what Out of Omaha is missing.

For all of the trials and tribulations that Darcell and Darrell Trotter face, you would expect that the film would have a great emotional impact. However, because the movie does not form a connection between the audience and the subjects early on, the film does not resonate as it should. Ultimately, the story feels too distant or maybe even sanitized to have the intended effect.

out of omaha curb

Another issue with the movie is its pacing. Even though the film was shot over a period of eight years, the runtime clocks in at just over an hour and a half. As such, the filmmakers had a lot of material from which they could pull and had to cut out quite a bit to make a story. One can’t help but wonder if something more compelling was left on the cutting room floor, as there are significant portions of this movie that drag.

On a technical level, the film was also somewhat underwhelming. The movie is mostly shot in a fly-on-the-wall format, but there are some talking head interviews and archival footage slipped in every now and again. The film could have been significantly more immersive had it stuck with a single style of storytelling.

Additionally, the soundtrack of the movie is often overwhelming. There really isn’t a reason for music to be as prevalent in the film as it is other than perhaps that rapper J. Cole produced it. In many sequences, the music is overbearing and draws you even further out of the movie, creating an even greater divide between the audience and the story.

Out of Omaha definitely has some important things to say, but it is unable to say them in a way that is particularly compelling or cinematic. Plenty of other documentaries cover a similar topic, so your time would be better spent seeking out one of those more effective versions of this story.

Out of Omaha debuts on Starz Network at 9pm ET/PT on Sept 9 and is available on VOD the same day.


Strong Black Classics | Netflix

Sister Sister, Half & Half, One on One, The Game, Parkers, Moesha, and Girlfriends are coming to Netflix (US) SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages.…

Hanna Season 2 Badass Moments | Amazon Prime

If you thought Hanna was a badass in Season 1, wait till you see her in action in season 2! Now streaming on Prime Video. » Watch Hanna now exclusively with your Prime Membership: » SUBSCRIBE: About Hanna: In equal parts high-concept thriller and coming-of-age drama, HANNA follows the journey of an extraordinary…

Piece Of Cake: Episode 1 – Let’s Chat Cake | Cake | FXX

What's it like to illustrate for Cake? We're chatting with the creator of "Daytime Noir", Jeron Braxton, and instructor of animation at Otis College Extension, Enoch Davis. Subscribe now for more Cake clips: Cake is a handcrafted assortment of bite-sized content served up to viewers as a tasty treat for the mind. Featuring a…

Young Wallander | Official Teaser | Netflix

Can't sleep, too much happened in the last few days. - Wallander SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they…

The Old Guard | Making Immortals | Netflix

Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. But when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it’s up to Andy and Nile (Kiki…

ASMR from Homecoming Season 1 | Amazon Prime Video

These are the satisfying sounds from Homecoming season 1. Get ready for all of the ASMR tingles. About Homecoming: The critically-acclaimed series Homecoming returns for its second season with new twists and an exciting new star, Janelle Monáe. Her character wakes in a rowboat adrift a lake, with no memory of how she got there…

Hard Knocks: Los Angeles | Official Trailer | HBO

There's never been a preseason like this before. Hard Knocks: Los Angeles gives an unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League. The 18-time Sports Emmy Award winning series will follow head coaches Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers and Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams…

Bugs Bunny’s 80th Birthday Celebration | HBO Max

What’s up, doc? Let’s celebrate the one of a kind rabbit on his 80th birthday by reliving some of his most iconic moments and taking a glimpse at the things only Bugs can get away with. Subscribe: Be the first to know more: HBO Max: Like HBO Max on Facebook: Follow HBO…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here