Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Focus Features Picks Up Ruth Negga/Joel Edgerton 'Loving' Story (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case) Focus Features Picks Up Ruth Negga/Joel Edgerton 'Loving' Story (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case) HBO Drops First Trailer for 'Confirmation' HBO Drops First Trailer for 'Confirmation' Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? 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...

Review: Contained Drama 'Four' Explores Issues of Identity and Secrecy (Opens Today)

Photo of Jai Tiggett By Jai Tiggett | Shadow and Act September 13, 2013 at 11:27AM

Anchored by strong performances by its four leads, Four is an intense and uncomfortable drama, yet certainly worth the watch.
0
Four poster

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. 

AMC Theatres is partnering with newcomer, 306 Releasing, to bring the Independent Spirit Award-nominated drama to a theater near you, starting this Friday, September 13.

Four will be released at the following AMC locations:

  • Atlanta – AMC Phipps Plaza 14
  • Atlanta – AMC Southlake 24
  • Baltimore – AMC Owings Mills 17
  • Chicago – AMC River East 21
  • Dallas – AMC Mesquite 30
  • Houston – AMC Studio 30
  • L.A. – AMC Marina Pacifica 12
  • L.A. – AMC Ontario Mills 30
  • NYC – AMC Loews 19th St. East 6
  • Philadelphia – AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24

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, Yolonda Ross


Shadow & ActNewsletter