Repentance (2013) Poster

(I) (2013)

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Really good, very dark
Naly Shawnda13 June 2014
This movie has gotten a lot of bad reviews and i have no idea why. The twist were at the right place and everyone says the acting was bad. Forrest Whitaker always KILLS everything he does and Anthony Mackie was PERFECT. People say Mike Epps is just a comedian but he was really good in this role. This movie actually had me confused and shocked at some point but i don't regret watching this at all. I really wish i would've went to the movie theatre to see this. I recommend this movie to anybody who loves movies that make you think and that don't just hand their ending out to you on a silver platter. My advice watch this on a rainy day, turn the lights off and pay attention. Hope this helps.
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psychological thriller lover's delight
bestactress-123 March 2014
Sadly this film may not be embraced by the masses, as bad as they need to see those types of films, but one can hope. One ought to be sharp and capable of following intelligent plot to really enjoy this film. It's not the 6th sense, where everything is pretty much spelled out for you yet still maintains it's integrity by being genius. This is more for the figure it out, use your brain kind of audience.

The cast bring it in terms of acting, my congratulations to the people who thought this would be great for an all black cast. The direction, the casting, was brilliant. Mind, consciousness, terror, a strong sense of reality, moving at real life pace, all the ingredients for a great psychological thriller are there. Very atypical for an all black cast, remember, I said atypical, please look it up and don't get confused. I personally think they should have maintained the original title VIPAKA. I played the Seer so I won't comment on my brilliant work :), I read the guidelines and it doesn't say I can't review a film I'm in, since many actors don't like films they're in, this one, is definitely worth a shot especially if you like the actors in it, (I personally can never take my eyes off of Forest Whitaker) and that genre, you will be happy you saw it.
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It's not very bright to bring a gun . . .
Tad Pole4 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
. . . to a shovel fight, and movies teach us that few people use conventional weapons (such as revolvers) in Louisiana. Pipes, power tools, and cloth sacks full of broken shards of glass are among the tools of the torture trade for the vengeful Angel of REPENTANCE, ably played by Forest Whitaker. Going off his lithium to better juggle his responsibilities as a single dad, carpenter, and serial kidnapper, Angel proves the adage, "If you want to feed old ladies to the gators in the bayou, first make sure they don't have relatives." Angel proves to be "crazy like a fox," inducing one of the killers to off himself while he still has enough pieces left to do the trick. The guiltier brother is last shown facing a fate too grisly for the cameras to dwell upon: days of cannibalizing his true love, followed by weeks of starving to death in Angel's basement bomb shelter. The lesson REPENTANCE teaches us is that the "self-help" industry is a crock. No one needs a "life coach." Everyone can find salvation inside their own heads (and if you want to have a REAL "near-death episode," just try throwing a random old lady off a bridge in Louisiana's "Voodoo Alley").
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Well done but very unpleasant.
MartinHafer12 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This has been a tough week movie-wise for me. While I have seen some excellent films, I must say that a few of them were so violent and so disturbing that it makes me want to take a break and seen something pleasant. After all, generally films should be enjoyable and the last two I've seen were incredibly well made but extremely upsetting to watch. And, "Repentance" DEFINITELY makes me want to take a break from violent films.

"Repentance" begins with a couple drunken men driving home from a binge. The driver is a mess and hits some pedestrian and then you see the car smash. Suddenly, the movie jumps forward four years. The driver of the car, Tommy Carter (Anthony Mackie), is a respected author who writes new age self-help books. He's at a book signing and Angel (Forest Whitaker) tells him that he loves his books—so much that he'd love to have some one on one counseling. However, Tommy declines--saying he's too busy and doesn't take on clients any more. Soon Tommy's ne'er do well brother arrives from prison and demands that Tommy give him a lot of money because he 'owes him'. You assume it probably has something to do with the opening scene, as the brother was the passenger in the car of the night of the accident. So, reluctantly, Tommy decides to take Angel on as a client to get money for the brother.

The work Tommy does with Angel is like a combination of being a life coach and a lot of new age mysticism and ceremonies. The problem is that this sort of work might work fine for reasonably well adjusted folks, but it's very obvious that Angel is emotionally disturbed…VERY emotionally disturbed. Freaking crazy emotionally disturbed! Angel hallucinates and clearly should be seen by a team of psychiatrists—not some self-taught counselor. However, Tommy decides to treat the man. Further, he feels that Angel's problems can be solved by him stop taking his medication, working through some grieving ceremonies and thinking positive thoughts! Soon, Angel descends further and further into madness. Now it's obvious to Tommy that he's way in over his head—his brand of feel-good counseling is no match for 100% nuts! At first, he unwisely ignores Angel's requests for more sessions and later he goes to Angel's house to tell him that he needs to get help that he cannot give him—professional help. And then….things get violent and really, really crazy! Tommy is attacked and awakens in a basement—bound and at the mercy of a man who is out of his mind. Believe it or not, this is only about a third of the way into the film. What follows is terrifying and Tommy is tormented by this madman. But there's more…far more. Exactly what's next you'll need to see for yourself.

While I thought Repentance was a very good film—especially because of its acting and clever twists—I also thought it was very hard for the average person to watch. After all, much of the film involves torture. There is a lot of blood and the film is definitely NOT for the squeamish. It also has a lot of loose ends that are deliberately left that way at the end of the film. I didn't mind that at all, as I like films where the viewers can debate exactly what will happen next. My wife, though, HATES films with such endings and I doubt if I ever could get her to watch a film like this.

So is it appropriate for you? Well, if you could sit through "Misery", you might be able to handle this one okay, but it's a bit gorier and more difficult to watch. It certainly is NOT a film for kids, your mother or anyone else who is looking for a feel good film! But, in its defense, the film IS well done, has some clever writing and delivers a very powerful punch. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
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Don't waste your money
kyale10011 March 2014
I am truly a movie fan. I go out to the movies every other week. I was so disgusted and disappointed while watching this film. I could not believe that Forrest Whittaker would involve himself in this horribly directed and produced film. Mike Epps should be taken out back and scolded for his so called acting skills. Whomever the casting director is should be fired. Hopefully soon one day people will understand that he CANNOT act. Please allow him to stick with stand-up. I really want my $7.50 refunded. The movie was confusing, the main actor was crazy and holding on to the memory of his dead mother. And Sanaa Lathan was absolutely useless. I didn't understand her role in it at all.
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Absolutely Miserable
Joel Berzas10 June 2014
First, let me say that I was born and raised Cajun in South Louisiana. I usually check out the movies that are made in, or are made about, the area that my family and I call home. The acting in this movie was good enough. The writing and plot, however, were terrible. What a horrible message it sends the audience in its conclusion. The other thing is, I can't imagine how they spent $5,000,000! There were no effects or any even relatively expensive looking sequences. I think the only person to speak his honest mind here was kyale100 in his review. Or, maybe he was the only reviewer (besides me) not on the producer's payroll! No disrespect to Ms Milfort, who did a fantastic job in the movie, as well as her angelic addition to La Mer!
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A decent semi mystery and revenge tale, but don't expect the 10 rating it has been given or you will be disappointed..
Shawn Stetsko13 June 2014
Solid although not usually exceptional acting from the cast carries this movie well enough, while the performance by Forest Whitaker is quite strong (but I tend to expect that from him). He carries off the role he is given well, and elicits a fair bit of understanding from the viewer even though the role he plays is a hard one to make people sympathize with. The story is solid, and the ending is decent even though it is less realistic and more moralistic in motive. I don't rate it highly, but I do give it a true medium rating and would recommend it to anyone who just wants a movie to watch that will not leave them cold.
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Waste of a good cast. 3/10
leonblackwood29 November 2014
Review: I had high expectations from this film because it had some decent actors in it, but the storyline is sketchy and the pace of the film made it quite boring. If you use your head, the film is predictable from beginning to end although it's supposed to be a suspense thriller. It also seemed a bit over acted and the director chose to jump right at the deep end which didn't give the characters that much depth. The concept, which is about a man who has psychological issues after the death of his mum and he decides to get help from a psychologist, doesn't seem to go anywhere for the first half of the movie and then it gets extremely dark out of the blue. The ending was also very sketchy so you end up feeling a bit cheated after spending so much time waiting for the story to unfold. Personally, I thought that the movie seemed a bit cheap and not very well thought through. Disappointed!

Round-Up: Forest Whitaker is not an actor that has chose the easiest path in his career. I would have thought that he has earned the right to pick and choose what roles to take, so it might just be down to bad choices why he has starred in so many dodgy movies lately. From big movies like the Butler and The Last King Of Scotland to the dodgy Pawn, Crossfire and the Truth, he has really had a rollacoaster of a career. Maybe he's just addicted to work like Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro. Anthony Mackies career has picked up lately with roles in the new Captain America, Pain and Gain and the new Avengers movie, so I doubt that this film will harm his portfolio. In all, this film must have looked good on paper but it just wasn't put together well by the director. 

Budget: $5million Worldwide Gross: $1million

I recommend this movie to people who are into their suspense/drama/thrillers about a man whose suffering with psychological problems after the death of his mother and seeks for help from a successful book writer. 3/10
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Imagine a Misery inspired movie in which the author was a psychiatrist and the crazed fan was someone who deeply needed their help with grief.
Amari-Sali24 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Trigger Warning(s): Torture Scenes

When it comes to some actors, there is just a go to style which seems to fit them well. For Will Smith, it is the likable and approachable Black guy; Denzel Washington, as of late, recycles his Training Day persona; and then there is Forest Whitaker who usually plays off putting characters. This one is no different but, with a character which reminded me of Kathy Bates in Misery, the question is whether his portrayal as Angel was good, or just another awkward character of his to write off?

Characters & Story

A man with mental issues named Angel (Forest Whitaker) has lost his mom; his wife, to a point; and now all he has is his house and daughter. So needless to say, he is troubled. But there is one man he believes can help him: that man is Tommy Carter (Anthony Mackie) whose self-help book dealing with his brush with death seems to have had a profound effect on Angel. But as Angel reveals his demons, Tommy finds himself facing off with them and his own which involve wife Maggie (Sanaa Lathan), as well as Ben (Mike Epps). Leaving us with a film which makes it seem that Tommy may have taken on Angel's problems a bit too lightly.


As always, Whitaker playing an unnerving character just fits. It pretty much has been his signature, to me anyway, since Jason's Lyric in the 90s. And in this movie he is not only off putting, but a bit frightening as well. Arguably, Whitaker could probably play, with the right script, an iconic fictional villain again and perhaps set a precedent people would be trying to match for years. Though, it should be noted, the rest of the cast surely isn't slacking. Mackie hold his own against Whitaker and does attempt to compete for intensity. But you can see Whitaker's veteran status definitely gives him the upper hand.


When it comes to the story though, it does require you to be a tad bit open- minded. For one, Whitaker as Angel is so off putting that it is hard to understand why Tommy would allow himself to be alone with this man. Then, when you add in Lathan and Epps' characters, you see a side-story there which isn't fully cohesive with the main story. For one, it doesn't act well as a break between Angel's mad moments, nor does it really draw you into either Lathan or Epps' characters fully. And two, as much as I understand they are there to beef up Tommy, neither character is written, or maybe portrayed, to the point you really care about them. Lathan's character, to me, barely evolves past being a shallow love interest. Then with Epps, who honestly I am just not fond of as an actor, not only are you given this brash and utterly unappealing character, but the attempt at giving him a proper back-story to draw sympathy out of you just feels utterly weak.

Overall: TV Viewing

Though I am not highly fond of either Lathan or Epps' characters, their place in the film hardly takes away from Whitaker and Mackie's story. If anything, Epps and Lathan are like a pickle which comes with your burger which wasn't asked for. But overall I am labelling this as "TV Viewing" since even though I like Whitaker and Mackie in this movie, honestly neither pushes the story to a place where it makes this "Worth Seeing." It is decent to spend some time with, especially if you are a fan of anyone involved, but this surely isn't the highlight of any of their careers. Just another film and another paycheck.
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How could Forrest Whitaker Stoop This Low
Forrest Whitaker is one of the most talented actors I have seen within the last few decades. I would put him on the same level with Sidney Portier, Denzel Washington, and Daniel Day-Lewis. His character in the Last King of Scotland was astonishing and the Oscar he received for the role was truly earned.

I guess it doesn't take long for Hollywood to forget how talented an actor is, and Whitaker wasn't offered anymore challenging roles. I guess, for financial reasons, he took whatever roles were offered.

To say this movie was completely awful and was poorly written is an understatement. The characters were unbelievable and the storyline did not make any sense. First of all, how could a street thug become transformed into a licensed therapist and earn TWO graduate degrees within a time frame of 4 years? How come the little girl did not hear any screaming after she left the locked room she was in? Why did the child's mother allow the father to have so much unsupervised time with the child? It was obvious he was unbalanced and unstable.

I just can't believe how low Whitaker stooped to make this garbage. Not worthy of an actor of his caliber.
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Please for the love of God don't watch this
ronaldentner15 July 2015
This movie was so awful I actually made an IMDb account at 3 in the morning just so I could vote this movie farther into the gutter. If I can just prevent one helpless soul from spending precious moments of their life seeing this movie out it's worth writing this review.

Please God do not try to watch it all the way through, you will feel only rage.

Seriously, I am legitimately angry at the producers of this movie for allowing it to be released. I've been robbed, beaten, and berated, but this movie is the worst crime ever committed against me.

I don't think I've ever hated anything this much in my life.
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needed better casting and better organization of sub-plots and back story
jon_manuel11 June 2014
This movie had lots of potential but fell short. Still worth watching but I was disappointed. Forest Whitaker was amazing as expected but the rest of the cast was mediocre. Honestly I felt it wasn't so much bad acting...more bad casting. Tommy Carter played an intellectual therapist/life coach which made for some border line soap opera acting scenes. Mike Epps acting was fine but again wrong guy for that role; he's a comedian not a tough guy ex-con. Many reviewers mentioned this is a tricky, twisting, confusing movie...I have no clue what they watched. Between the trailer and the first scene I had the basic plot figured out which left to real no jaw dropping surprises. The ending was meant to be thought provoking but it felt more like a bad ending to a book. So much untapped potential, so many relations left unexplored.
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I'm no mathematician but the ratings of this movie look rigged!
Yellow Power11 May 2014
Looking at the raw movie ratings, it seems like the majority of voters gave this movie a 10. So someone please explain the low average score? On the other hand, I have noticed a correlation between low ratings and unfavorable movie endings on IMDb. I will repeat here what I said about the movie, "The Afflicted." Not every movie is a fairy tale with a warm and fuzzy ending. In fact, the more realistic a movie is, the less likelihood of a pleasant ending. The horror of it all does not undermine the moral of the story, which is that we all pay for our sins one way or another. The theme of this movie is cold, hard, Karma. Anyone who can't handle realistic fiction should go find a Disney movie.
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A movie with shades of Misery that dragged just enough to make it hard to stay completely involved in.
Tony Heck22 June 2014
"Seems like you were in need so I figured I'd reach out to you." Tommy Carter (Mackie) is an author and spiritual adviser who wrote a book about his near death experience and tries to help others deal with what they have gone through. When his brother gets into trouble Tommy thinks the best way to help is is to do one more one-on-one session. He offers to help Angel (Whitaker), a husband and father who lost his mother but still sees her. When Tommy tells him he can't help him anymore Angel doesn't like that answer. This is a movie that I had no idea what to expect out of it. I thought it was gonna be a little creepy but when it started becoming a little like Misery I got into it. The acting is great from these two and the movie stays pretty tense the entire time but it was also a little draggy in some parts and I found it hard to totally stay focused on. This is a movie that is worth seeing if you can but don't expect anything super amazing. Overall, a movie with shades of Misery that dragged just enough to make it hard to stay completely involved in. I give it a B-.
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It's not all about the money
kosmasp24 February 2015
And by this I'm not only talking about the budget (which seems to be a big concern for another reviewer), but also about the story of the movie. Sometimes there is more to a story than the first glimpse reveals. It may feel like the movie tries to cheat its way into the viewers mind a little bit, but the actors make up for it.

This is still a tough watch, because the title is chosen for a reason. There is not always reason to things happening in the movie and it seems a bit like a muddle from time to time, but it's still able to hold up a certain degree of suspense, if you let it to. The actors try their best to divert from some holes in the script (or finished movie, if scenes got deleted for pacing reasons) and the movie will be explicit in depicting violence to a degree.
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This Just Didn't Work At All
sddavis6330 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Generally speaking, I like Forest Whitaker. In fact, he's the reason I was willing to rent this movie in spite of its rather mixed (at best) reviews. And he didn't disappoint me. His performance as Angel Sanchez was actually good. Sanchez was a man dealing with the tragic death of his mother, who decides that he's going to take revenge on those responsible. Whitaker handled the vengeful psycho character pretty well - one moment the quiet, gentle and doting father; the next moment busy torturing the guy he blames for his mother's death in his basement. But it seemed natural. He was believable in both personas, and the transition from one to another was fine. Whitaker was the obvious highlight of the movie.

Then, into the mix comes Anthony Mackie as Thomas Carter, and here's where things begin to fall apart. Not so much because of Mackie. He was all right. But the character, and the direction the story takes. Mackie's some sort of New Age counsellor type, and once that's introduced the movie disintegrates into a cacophony of meaningless and sometimes incoherent New Age mumbo jumbo. Then - because Angel and Tommy have to be brought together in some way - there's the very fortunate release of Tommy's brother Ben (Mike Epps) from prison. Ben needs money, he wants it from Tommy, Tommy apparently owes him big time so to get money he takes on - voila! - Angel as a patient. Yes. A happy coincidence. Angel's "plan" wouldn't have had a chance had that not happened. And then mixed into this there's a lot of unnecessary supernatural stuff revolving around the ongoing presence of Angel's mom. What was the point of that? Why couldn't Angel just have been out for revenge? Why did he need to keep seeing his mom? And then it wasn't just a figment of his imagination - because his daughter had some sort of contact with her as well. Totally unnecessary; totally pointless. Thrown in because ... well ... I don't really know why it was thrown in. Just because apparently. And the ending was ... not satisfying. To say the least.

Yeah. I like Forest Whitaker. But this is one Forest Whitaker movie I wish I hadn't seen. (3/10)
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Not Whittakers best work but OK on a boring day
mts-7868024 April 2017
Too many good actors in this for such a mediocre script. Actors made the best of what they had to work with and I presume they all wanted to try something different. Mike Epps shows some range which adds to his resume but for the life of me, I don't know why Sanaa Latham and Anthony Mackie took the roles....guess it must have been a slow year and pay was too hard to turn down, lol.

Average suspense and unpredictable ending makes it a 5 of 10. Definitely no horror (as advertised)or much Thrill but quality acting saved it from lower ratings.
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Seth_Rogue_One28 August 2015
Now I went in knowing that it had a 4.7/10 average (at the moment) which does indeed sound low, but with general urban movies with a predominantly black cast a low rating is not out of the ordinary.

I mean despite it's flaws, I did enjoy for instance THE CONFIDANT (2010) which has some similarities to this, and was also a Codeblack Entertainment movie, so I was thinking that this could still be good.

I'm fans of most of the cast... Forest Whitaker especially who is one of my big time favourites.

But, neither of them can save this poorly written psychological thriller (without much logic).

Riddled with plot holes and not a single likable character in sight that seemingly get less likable by the minute it quickly becomes a dull watch.

I'm all for African American movies in diverse settings and genres but this is a really poor attempt of a movie and it makes NO GOOD DEED (2014) look like a masterpiece in comparison.

Yeah a very disappointing effort indeed.
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Potentially interesting idea frittered away
Roland E. Zwick15 September 2014
"Repentance" starts off as a reasonably sincere tale of a best-selling author/life coach (Anthony Mackie) who tries to help a grieving man (Forest Whitaker) come to turns with the death of his mother. But at the 35-minute mark, the movie suddenly jumps the tracks, turning into a bizarre, yet strangely conventional, hostage drama, with the psychologically disturbed client kidnapping and torturing the psychologist in an effort to prove which of the two is actually most in need of help.

The movie seems to be making the case that people like the Mackie character are just glib, overpaid shysters, taking advantage of people's suffering by offering them little but shibboleths and bromides to help them cope with their problems - but any message the movie might be trying to convey is subsumed by the unpleasant melodramatics that come to dominate the second half. Yeomen that they are, Mackie and Whitaker work valiantly to overcome the various roadblocks that the script throws in their path, but even these two fine performers eventually have to concede that they're fighting a losing battle here. Even the "surprise" ending and moralistic message can't ultimately redeem this cinematic turkey.
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A Fine Effort But...
MovieHoliks31 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those little films you may not see at your local multiplex, but end up showing up online to watch shortly after it's release. A good cast, including Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Nicole Ari Parker and Sanaa Lathan, but ultimately this film could not be saved.

Mackie plays an author/self-help guru who agrees to help Whitaker, who goes ballistic, and takes him hostage for his sins of the past. I was never quite sure what Whitaker's character's full motivation was (against the Mackie character), and not sure if the movie completely resolved everything. The performances were fine, but the movie itself never quite ropes you in enough to really care about the outcome. But a valiant effort nonetheless...
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Not much of a horror film, more of a fable.
Beginthebeguine20 October 2014
Walking away from this movie I learned one, not what the director meant for me to learn, but rather, that Anthony Mackie is a really good actor. Otherwise the script is predictable and weak. It has too much new age religious overtones and that obviously has to do with Forest's involvement as producer (I get it he is a deep guy with deeper religious feelings.)

The problem is I had no idea that this was a horror film till I visited this page. The director makes cuts and uses camera angles that are not suspenseful at all, neither is the music. In fact, I thought it was a pretty up-film with some unnecessary gory scenes. The dialogue is very weak and unfortunately gives a pretty good cast little to do that is interesting. I would have to say that Ghost Dog was a much better investigation of a disturbed man with a life journey (Forest is good in both films, and he has nothing to prove anymore, but this film was not his best exploration of his craft.)

Mike Epps was also good for his first role and I had wished he had more of a chance to explore his character because it seems like he was on to something. So, the acting is good, but the film is weak, and poorly directed for such a strong cast.
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