5.9/10
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3 user 8 critic

Big Words (2013)

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Members of a once-promising hip-hop group, now in their late 30's, struggle with regret, disappointment, and change on Election Night 2008.

Director:

Neil Drumming

Writer:

Neil Drumming

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Cast

Credited cast:
Dorian Missick ... John
Gbenga Akinnagbe ... James
Darien Sills-Evans ... Malik
Yaya DaCosta ... Annie (as Yaya Alafia)
Zachary Booth ... Ben Shine
Jean Grae Jean Grae ... Bree
Amir Arison ... Eddie
Lucy Walters ... Sheila
Francis Benhamou ... Sam
Suzy Jane Hunt ... Tracy (as Suzy Hunt)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Malik Burke Malik Burke ... Junior
J. Bernard Calloway ... Bubby
Ta-Nehisi Coates Ta-Nehisi Coates ... Writer at Bookstore
Johnny Hopkins Johnny Hopkins ... Record Store Clerk
Mina Joo ... Stripper
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Storyline

Members of a once-promising hip-hop group, now in their late 30's, struggle with regret, disappointment, and change on Election Night 2008.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 2014 (Netherlands) See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,371, 21 July 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,371, 21 July 2013
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Blues Blue Alt. Version
Written by Sonny Clark
Performed by Sonny Clark
Courtesy of Time Records
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User Reviews

 
An endearing if uneven effort.
15 April 2014 | by mike-seamanSee all my reviews

"Big Words" is writer-director Neil Drumming's feature debut. It follows five people wandering through NYC on election night in 2008, all attempting to understand their pasts in order to make peace with the present. The film is built around three former members of an early 90s hip-hip group, that seemed to have some underground credibility, but never released a full length album.

The film is purely dialog, with the actors carrying the film. Drumming opts for a fairly intimate cinematography, with closes up dominating the running time. His direction was hit and miss, at times the camera work aided in creating a sense of intimacy, as the characters work through their lives. At other times, Drumming's staging feels amateurish and contrived, fearful of movement.

The parts of the movie that drew me in the most revolved around John or Big Words (played Dorian Missick) and Annie (Yaya Alafia) who I think gave the most engaging performances. Additionally, Drumming's best work is inside Annie's small apartment, the film felt the most at ease during these sequences. I found myself increasingly disinterested in Terry or DJ Malik (Darien Sills-Evans), a character I struggled to related with.

While some issues raised are more specific to the African-American community (and probably somewhat specific to NYC), the film deals at its core with universal human themes, of lost youthful dreams and how awkward, confusing, difficult, and even scarring the transition into traditional adulthood is.

A good film to sit and reflect with.


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