26 user 29 critic
2:11 | Trailer
A look into the early life of U.S. President Barack Obama.


Vikram Gandhi


Adam Mansbach
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Devon Terrell ... Barry
Anya Taylor-Joy ... Charlotte
Jason Mitchell ... PJ
Ellar Coltrane ... Will
Jenna Elfman ... Kathy Baughman
Linus Roache ... Bill Baughman
Avi Nash ... Saleem
John Benjamin Hickey ... Professor Gray
Ashley Judd ... Ann Dunham
Sawyer Pierce Sawyer Pierce ... Thad
Eric Berryman Eric Berryman ... Ali
Ralph Rodriguez ... Andre
Danny Henriquez Danny Henriquez ... Milton
Tessa Albertson ... Tina
Tommy Nelson ... Buzz


A look at the early life of Barack Obama. Before he became President of the United States, he was one of the few black students at Columbia University NY in the early 80's. Faced with judgmental and racist opinions all around him, he tries to find his place in the world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Before he was Barack, he was...


Biography | Drama


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Parents Guide:

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English | Swahili

Release Date:

16 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Барри See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film takes place in the year of 1981 which is about eight years prior to the time Southside with You (2016) is set in which is the year of 1989. See more »


Barry is seen wearing a Casio F91W watch throughout the movie. The movie is set in the early 1980's, but that model watch wasn't released until 1991. See more »


Barry: They're uh, different races. I'm guessing that's what Kathy meant.
James Boggs: Ah, I see
Barry: My mom's from Kansas, and my dad's from Kenya. I've only met him once though. I grew up in Jakarta and Honolulu, and spent a little time in California, then well, I ended up here.
James Boggs: That's some kind of gumbo.
James Boggs: You know what that makes you young brother?
Barry: No sir, I don't. I uh really really don't.
James Boggs: It makes you American. And you don't ever have to choose.
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All Along the Watchtower
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Bobby Womack
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

Slow and disappointing
5 May 2017 | by somfSee all my reviews

Although I consider Obama the best President in my lifetime, I consider this film the worst film made about a President who lived during my lifetime. I had to write this review because when I saw the low IMDb rating I figured it was due to typical site trollers that never even saw the film. But the truth is that this is not a very good film.

The acting is all solid, but the script is trite and boring. I don't think it revealed a bit about Obama that most people did not already know.

When tackling the issues of race that have to be tackled in a biography of a young Obama, it would be very easy to come off as clichéd. And unfortunately that is the way it comes off. If you feel like watching a film about recent Presidents there are several films about Nixon and JFK and Stone's Bush bio that are certainly worth watching. "Secret Honor" is a gem you should seek out in particular. But you can skip this one.

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