Critic Reviews



Based on 37 critic reviews provided by
The film team is so strong and the direction so fine that it’s simply hard to believe this is actually Talbot’s first full-length feature film. And to detail much more would spoil the genuine surprise of their many on-screen artistic contributions.
Aside from exploring the housing crisis benefiting developers and startups, “Last Black Man” hones in on male friendship from the standpoint of two young guys whose fraternal bond surpasses any need for the posturing associated with toxic masculinity.
Talbot has a gift for making twee material feel true, but his grip weakens during the pivotal home stretch of his debut, and as a result the ending doesn’t land with the emotion it deserves.
All the dramatic components have not only been well thought out by Talbot and co-writer Rob Richert, but they’re adorned, for the most part, by a sense of reality that keeps pretentiousness at bay. To be sure, this is a highly calculated and worked-out story, but the humor and lively playing of the entire cast keeps the film aloft across its two hours.
A patchwork of impressions, ruminations and unsolved mysteries, The Last Black Man in San Francisco teems and even overflows with life and love, some might argue at the cost of narrative focus or momentum. That strikes me as precisely the point.
This is a film of shifting moods and occasionally contradictory narratives. It’s as much about delusion as it is about gentrification, and as much about friendship as it is about solitude.
This ambitious debut features flashes of imaginative visuals, quirky dialogue, and well-meaning messages about gentrification and disenfranchisement.
It’s a shaggy, wistful film that acts as a heartfelt tribute to both a city and a friendship and when the cutesy quirk that surrounds it is dialled down, we’re able to appreciate the underpinning earnestness.
While Talbot and Fails claim to have walk-and-talked their way all over San Francisco, the script — and especially the dialogue — is the most disappointing element of their first feature.
The subject matter is immediate and engaging. But the structure of this film is languid to the point of aggravation.

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