Review: QUEEN & SLIM Offers A Beautiful American Nightmare


Queen & Slim is a powerful fugitive love story that speaks to the current climate in American society.
Technical Merit

Social messages have become a staple in recent films, but very few are capable of delivering an important message while also telling a gripping story and Queen & Slim is one of those few that can do both very well. A powerful fugitive film that balances an engaging love story while also speaking to the current climate in America’s black community. While not a complete hit from start to finish, Queen & Slim delivers an overall thrilling tale about a tinder date gone to hell.

Directed by Melina Matsoukas and written by Lena Waithe, the film follows two young African American adults who go on a first date only to end up on the run from the law after an act of self-defense against a crooked cop. The two become legendary after footage of the incident goes viral and they are labeled the black Bonnie and Clyde. Queen & Slim stars Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloe Sevigny, Sturgill Simpson, and Indya Moore.

Waithe’s script is covered in symbolism, themes and multiple metaphors that reference the way society currently is for African Americans that find themselves in situations like the one our two protagonists find themselves in. The two leads are very likable characters for the most part, but Queen is fleshed out a little bit more than Slim. Initially, she comes across as a snobby, arrogant, entitled individual. However, the film spends time unpacking why she has certain traits by diving into her rough background. Slim is just a regular man looking for acceptance for who he is as opposed to something he isn’t. He has a take me as I am or leave me where I stand attitude. In regards to the social messages, Queen & Slim speaks to police brutality, racism, and the unfortunate effects it has on society.

Adding to that, the film does an amazing job at illustrating the different views that an intense encounter with an officer can spark amongst African Americans. The viral video featuring our two leads causes a movement across the nation, and many of these participants view Queen & Slim as heroes or saviors for the community. However, perhaps they don’t want to be viewed as heroes and simply just want the truth to be told without it resulting in chaos from their peers. In fact, the names of these two “heroes” aren’t revealed until the final moments, echoing how it seems black lives matter more after the fact or when something corrupt happens. Queen & Slim falls short a bit in the pacing, which feels very tense for both the characters and the audience for two acts, but one act drags a bit due to the nonexistent tension.

Kaluuya stars as Ernest Himes (Slim) and Smith stars as Angela Johnson (Queen). Kaluuya is fantastic in his role, and while it may come across as the same old thing we have seen from him in the past, he manages to make this character unique. Smith is great in her role as Angela, who happens to be an attorney so she knows how the system works against certain people based on the experiences she has had with clients in the past. This pairing worked really well and watching their two characters fall in love over the course of the film is an absolute treat. They do an amazing job of portraying two people who know they may be on borrowed time and just simply want to cherish what could be their final days of freedom.

Matsouka’s direction is impressive for a directional debut, but there is certainly room for improvement. Overall though, she captures a lot of great shots in this unexpectedly sweet film about two strangers caught in an American nightmare. Matsouka is more known for her work with music videos, but for a directional debut in film she showed off her talents really well. Cinematographer Tat Radcliffe also complimented with her direction, as the images on screen are very pleasing. Perhaps the biggest component working for Queen & Slim is the score by Deonte Hynes, which is very thrilling and makes every scene that much better, specifically the film’s final moments, which is very strong and intense.

Queen & Slim doesn’t appear to be getting the recognition it deserves, but this is a film with a purpose and a beautiful story backing it up. Whether or not it will get award recognition when that time comes is anyone’s guess, but Kaluuya and Smith deserve one for their performances and so does Waithe’s for this well-written script. Queen & Slim isn’t a must-see, but it has a lot to unpack and enjoy for everyone.


Drag Queens Trixie Mattel & Katya React to Spinning Out | I Like to Watch | Netflix

Drag queens Trixie Mattel and Katya react to scenes from the new Netflix series Spinning Out, in this episode of "I Like to Watch". Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries…

Normal People – Teaser (Official) • A Hulu Original

A first look at Hulu’s new drama series based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel. Normal People is an exquisite, modern love story about how one person can unexpectedly change another person's life and about how complicated intimacy can be. It follows Marianne and Connell over several years, as they embark on an on-again/off-again romance that…

The Flash | Season 6 Episode 10 | Marathon Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of The Flash Wednesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About THE FLASH: Based on characters from DC's The Flash. After the S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator explosion, a dark matter lightning storm strikes Central City C.S.I. Barry Allen, bestowing him with super-human speed. For now, only a few close…

Batwoman | Season 1 Episode 9 | How Queer Everything Is Today! Promo | The CW

Watch new episodes on Sunday and stream Batwoman from the beginning, free only on The CW app: SUBSCRIBE: About BATWOMAN: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own…

Stargirl | Destiny | Season Trailer | The CW

Stargirl is coming to The CW in Spring 2020! SUBSCRIBE: About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect with The CW Online:…

Next on Episode 7 | Work in Progress | SHOWTIME

Having ignored the advice of her friends, Abby finally confesses the truth to Chris (Theo Germaine) after a painting puts her in a trance. Starring Abby McEnany. Watch Work in Progress on Sundays at 10/9c. #WorkInProgress Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: Get SHOWTIME merchandise now: Get…

The Stranger | Official Trailer | Netflix

We all have secrets. Based on the novel by Harlan Coben, The Stranger forces us to confront a question we all fear - how well do we really know the people closest to us? Starring Richard Armitage, Jennifer Saunders, Siobhan Finneran and Hannah John-Kamen, The Stranger arrives January 30. The Stranger, Only on Netflix:…

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina | BTS ‘Straight to Hell’ Music Video Trailer | Netflix

Go behind the scenes of the making of the iconic music video, "Straight to Hell" from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3. It's a wicked time. Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over…
Eric Trigg
Eric Trigg
 I am Horror fanatic that can't go a single month without watching something horror related. I have a YouTube channel that is growing and would love for you to be one of my supporters. The fact that sequels exist proves there is no perfect film. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here