It's easy to look at this film's reviews and blame its merely decent reviews to all of the backstage drama involving Nate Parker. It had such huge hype and popularity coming out of its festivals that it seemed to not only be an Oscar frontrunner, but it seemed destined for great reviews. I can't speak for all critics, but I think its decent reviews are justified. It's definitely not a bad film by any means, it's definitely of substance and real worth. However, it falls well short of greatness and I think the screenplay could have used a lot more work. The filmmaking is decent as well, and Parker's lead performance is really good.