Astonishing Performances - Review of Beyond the Lights
This evening I had the pleasure of getting to watch another movie from my to-watch list that I knew nothing about. I added the name Beyond the Lights (2014) to the list long enough ago that I had completely forgotten what it was about.

Beyond the Lights is a drama about the singer Noni, right as she is becoming a superstar, and a police officer who helps Noni on one fateful night.

After watching the movie, I now know why I added it in the first place - the actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who I came to greatly respect for her performance in Belle (2013). This time around, Gugu showed that she truly is an amazing actor - with the addition of the other great performances from Nate Parker and Minnie Driver.

The story of Beyond the Lights is relevant, interesting, heartfelt, and moving. The performances of the actors that tell the story are, simply put, perfect. Together, the movie is borderline amazing - though not quite there. Certain parts of the movie literally moved me to tears and were utterly and completely perfect. Unfortunately too many middle-parts of the movie felt unpolished and out of touch with the beginning and end of the movie. This movie could potentially have been one of my favorite movies - but it tried to build up something truly amazing in an inferior way. Don't get me wrong, the middle parts of the movie were far better than the best parts of most movies; they simply weren't as great as they could have been.

Beyond the Lights is a movie with huge potential that it only partially fulfills. Gugu Mbatha-Raw's performance is easily Oscar-worthy, despite the lack of nomination. Either way, Beyond the Lights is definitely a great movie that both moved me and made me think. A movie I can highly recommend, even despite its unfilled potential.

(List of all my review at
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