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Review Roundup: What Do Critics Think of AMERICAN SON on Netflix?

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Review Roundup: What Do Critics Think of AMERICAN SON on Netflix?

Christopher Demos-Brown's popular stage play "American Son" has been adapted into a Netflix film. It premiered this week at Toronto International Film Festival.

The entire Broadway cast returns to play the roles they created onstage: that includes Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan, and Eugene Lee.

A Florida police station in the middle of the night. Two parents searching for answers. AMERICAN SON is a gripping tale about who we are as a nation, and how we deal with family relationships, love, loss, and identity.

Find out what critics think of "American Son" before it arrives on Netflix November 1st.


Dennis Harvey, Variety:

But despite Leon's attempts to keep things visually lively via some busy editing, a sleek look, the odd brief, impressionistic flashback and so forth, this remains all too evidently a photographed stage play. The overly finished language and theatrical intensity levels that might be potently effective onstage lose any pretense of naturalism under the camera's unblinking gaze.

John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter:

Adapted from the recent play of the same title (written by Demos-Brown, directed by Leon), the film does little to disguise its roots. But any failure to expand into cinema's possibilities is overshadowed by the uniformly strong performances in a four-person cast led by an excellent Kerry Washington. For once, this is a movie whose straight-to-Netflix release makes perfect sense: From its own room-with-couch setting to more comfortable ones across America, the picture's intimate intensity should translate very well.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:

There are important, pertinent ideas in this movie, a NETFLIX SPECIAL adapted by Christopher Demos-Brown from his Broadway stage play and directed by Kenny Leon: ideas about racism, sexism and generational conflict. There are good professional actors here doing their well-intentioned best. The dialogue might well have worked well enough in the theatre - well enough to make it a hit, clearly. But on the screen, it's a deafening misfire, like the most unbearable, unwatchable daytime TV soap filled with the most awful self-conscious hamminess, parodic emoting and pointless shouting-at-each-other acting.

Danielle Solzman, Solzy At The Movies:

The transition from stage to film is one that benefits the story. It's a minimal cast and the story wraps up in an hour and a half. Yes, the film feels very theatrical but it's not to the detriment of the story at all.

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