Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay American 'Luther' Gets Official Pilot Order at Fox, But Contingent on Cast. Let's Help Them Out... American 'Luther' Gets Official Pilot Order at Fox, But Contingent on Cast. Let's Help Them Out... Anthony Mackie Says 'Selma' Oscar Snub Is Because Voters Are "Tired of Race" Anthony Mackie Says 'Selma' Oscar Snub Is Because Voters Are "Tired of Race" Sundance Trailer Exclusive: Stanley Nelson's Timely 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Sundance Trailer Exclusive: Stanley Nelson's Timely 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Geeks Gone Wild in First Trailer for Rick Famuyiwa's Sundance-Bound Drama 'Dope' Geeks Gone Wild in First Trailer for Rick Famuyiwa's Sundance-Bound Drama 'Dope' These Movies Are Coming to Netflix's Streaming Library in February These Movies Are Coming to Netflix's Streaming Library in February Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Premieres Tonight on OWN. Watch 3 Clips Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Premieres Tonight on OWN. Watch 3 Clips Amazon Announces Plans to Disrupt Feature Film Production & Distribution Environment Amazon Announces Plans to Disrupt Feature Film Production & Distribution Environment Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

New To Netflix Streaming Review: Contained Drama 'Four' Explores Issues of Identity and Secrecy

Photo of Jai Tiggett By Jai Tiggett | Shadow and Act February 13, 2014 at 12:20PM

New To Netflix Streaming Review: Contained Drama 'Four' Explores Issues of Identity and Secrecy
0
Four poster

It's now streaming on Netflix...

Anchored by strong performances by its four leads, Four is an intense and uncomfortable drama, yet certainly worth the watch.

The film follows two couples as they cruise around a glum Hartford suburb on the Fourth of July. There’s Joe (Wendell Pierce), a middle aged married man who arranges to hook up with June (Emory Cohen), a white teenage boy he met on the internet. Meanwhile, Joe’s teenage daughter Abigayle (Aja Naomi King) goes out with former basketball star Dexter (E.J. Bonilla).  Each character hopes for a spark; each has something to hide.

The couples provide balance for each other as the interplay between Abigayle and Dexter (helped by a charming performance from Bonilla), often provides respite from the conflict between Joe and June.  Joe works hard to connect and even inspire confidence in painfully shy June, while Dexter does his best to earn affection from aloof Abigayle. Yolonda Ross also makes a brief but haunting appearance as Joe’s wife and the uniting source between Joe and his daughter.

This is a far cry from anything we’ve seen from Pierce in the past, which could be unsettling to some. But the intriguing part of Four is that it moves beyond dirty secrets and illicit acts to uncover the layers of who characters are, and in the process raises questions of normalcy, sexuality, masculinity and race. The film doesn’t seem to preach, and though the characters’ choices may inspire disagreement or even disgust, ultimately, we understand them all.

Director Joshua Sanchez, who adapted the script from a play by Obie award-winning writer Christopher Shinn, has mentioned his desire for the film to capture the loneliness of suburban life. He seems to achieve this as the story lives - visually and figuratively - in darkness and shadows, playing out against a landscape of parking lots, alleys, and near-empty streets. When Abigayle looks out her passenger window at the gloomy town and struggles to think where they can possibly end up, we wonder the same.

At 76 minutes, Four is a quick but impactful watch. 

The film was produced by Christine Giorgio and Pierce, with Allen Frame and Neil LaBute executive producing.

VOD and DVD distribution of the film will be handled by Wolfe Releasing.

This article is related to: Wendell Pierce, Aja Naomi King


Shadow & ActNewsletter